Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Urulaikizhangu Bonda/Aloo Bonda

The weather in Amsterdam, on any day is perfect for some hot coffee and fried snack. Though I love all the different varieties of bajjis, bondas and vadais, I hardly prepare them. It has been a really long time since I prepared any snack. And this weekend, I decided to prepare something.
This post is dedicated to a special person, who loves these kind of snacks. Writing this post, brought back lot of fond memories of the times we spent together.

What you’ll need
Serves 4
For the filling
  1. Potatoes – 4 big
  2. Onion – 1 big
  3. Green Chillies - 3 to 4
  4. Ginger – a small piece
  5. Curry Leaves – few leaves
  6. Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  8. Salt to taste

For tempering
  1. Oil – 2 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Bengal Gram Dal/Kadala Paruppu – 1 tsp
  4. Urad Dal/Ulutham Paruppu – 1 tsp

For outer Covering
  1. Besan/Kadala Maavu – 1 cup
  2. Rice Flour – ½ cup
  3. Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Asafoetida - a generous pinch
  5. Baking soda – a pinch
  6. Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

  1. Wash the potatoes and cut them into quarters. Pressure cook the potatoes for 3 whistles.
  2. Peel and crumble the potatoes roughly. Keep aside.
  3. Heat a Kadai with 2 tbsp oil, temper with mustard seeds, once they crackle, add the kadala paruppu and ulutham paruppu and fry till the dals turn golden.
  4. Now add the chopped green chillies, grated ginger and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds and then add the finely chopped onions and turmeric powder.
  5. Fry till the onions turn translucent. Now add the crumbled potatoes and salt to taste. Mix well.
  6. Remove from heat and drizzle the lemon juice. Mix well.
  7. Allow to cool, and make small lemon sized balls of the potato mixture and set aside.
  8. In the meanwhile, place a kadai with oil for deep frying on heat.
  9. Now prepare the batter for the outer covering,
  10. In a wide bowl, take the besan and rice flour, add salt, chilly powder, asafoetida powder and baking soda, mix well. Add water little by little and whisk well to make a smooth batter which is not to thick or not too runny. It should be of coating consistency. Check for seasoning and add if required.
  11. Now dip the potato balls one at a time in the batter so as to nicely coat the balls and deep fry them in oil. Fry them on medium flame, flipping the bondas once in a while so that they are cooked evenly on all sides. Fry till the bubbles have almost stopped.
  12. Drain on a tissue paper.  Repeat with remaining potato balls.

Serve hot with coconut chutney and a hot cup of coffee.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Urulaikizhangu Kara Curry/Potato Curry

Potato is one vegetable which is like by adults and kids alike. It is a favourite at our home too. While going through the posts on my blog the other day, I realized I haven’t posted our family’s most loved curry. And so, this weekend I decided to cook and click this all time favourite of many.

The recipe is very simple, anybody can prepare it. You can add sliced onions too in this, though I have not added this time. A meal of rice, Vengaya sambar and potato curry is bliss. So here is my potato curry.

Serves 3 to 4
What you’ll need
  1. Potatoes – 5 to 6 Medium Sized
  2. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  3. Sambar Powder – 1 to 2 tbsp
  4. Red Chilly Powder – ½ tsp
  5. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  6. Salt to taste

For tempering
  1. Oil – 2 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Channa dal – 1 tsp
  5. Curry Leaves – few

  1. Wash the potatoes well and cut them into half or quarters.
  2. Pressure cook the potatoes with some water for 2 whistles. Don’t overcook.
  3. Once the cooker cools, open, and let the potatoes cool down well.
  4. Remove skin, and cut into smaller pieces.
  5. Heat a non stick pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds, once they crackle, add the channa dal and urad dal fry till the color of the dals turn golden. Add the curry leaves.
  6. Add the potatoes, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt to taste and mix gently.
  7. Let this roast for few minutes, keep stirring once in a while.
  8. Now add the red chilly powder and sambar powder, adjust the quantities according to taste.
  9. Stir well and roast for few more minutes.

Serve hot with rice and sambar or rasam.

  1. Don’t overcook the potatoes; else the curry would be completely mashed.
  2. If adding onions, add after the tempering and sauté for a few minutes before adding the potatoes.
  3. Always add the chilly powder and Sambar powder towards the end, else, this keeps the aroma of the sambar powder intact without burning the masala too much.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Poricha Kuzhambu

Poricha kuzhambu is a tamarind based kuzhambu with lot of vegetables. I have already posted a couple of variations of this kuzhambu. Today's version is yet another variation. It doesn't have any ground masalas. Yet it is very flavorful and delicious. I learnt it recently from my MIL. I have made this a couple of times now and all at home including my kids liked it very much. Don't be scared by the number of ingredients. They are all very basic ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen. This kuzhambu has a lot of vegetables, which is its speciality and so a simple Keerai masiyal or paruppu thogayal would be a great accompaniment with this.

What you’ll need
  1. Karamani/Red Chowri Beans – ½ cup
  2. Raw Banana/Vazhakkai – ¾ cup, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  3. Yam/Chenai- ¾ cup, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  4. Brinjal – ¾ cup, chopped into small cubes
  5. Tamarind – gooseberry sized
  6. Chilly Powder – ½ tsp
  7. Black Pepper Powder – ½ tsp
  8. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  9. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  10. Scraped Coconut – ¼ cup
  11. Jaggery – 1 tsp

For tempering
  1. Coconut oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
  4. Curry Leaves – few sprigs

  1. Soak the karamani in hot water for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then pressure cook it with sufficient water for 3 to 4 whistles or till the beans are soft. Once cool, mash the beans and set aside.
  2. Also steam or pressure cook the vazhakkai and chenai pieces with about a cup of water.
  3. Soak the tamarind in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Squeeze and extract the juice.
  4. Transfer the tamarind extract to a vessel, add the brinjal pieces, turmeric powder, asafoetida, chilly powder, pepper powder, and jaggery and bring to a boil.
  5. When the brinjal is almost cooked, add the vazhakkai and chenai pieces, the cooked red beans and salt to taste. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. In a small kadai, add some coconut oil, and roast the coconut till the color changes to dark brown. Take care not to burn the coconut.
  7. Add the roasted coconut to the kuzhambu and mix well.
  8. Heat a small frying pan, with a tsp of oil, temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Pour the tempering over the kuzhambu.

Serve hot with steamed rice and Keerai Masiyal or Paruppu Thogayal.


  1. While taking the tamarind extract use only 1 to 1.5 cups of water. Also while cooking the vegetables and the Karamani, don't use more than 1 cup each. Else the kuzhambu will become too watery.
  2. If you have feel there is too much water in the beans or vegetables, reserve some of the water before adding to kuzhambu and add if necessary.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Kothamalli Thokku / Coriander Leaves Thokku

I am a great fan of pickles and thokku varieties, especially the Grand sweets and Snacks ones. Back in India I used to get them frequently. I also carried a couple of bottles while travelling to Amsterdam. But alas, they didn’t last me very long. Now, I was left with no other option other than trying it in my kitchen.

I remembered having a homemade version of the kothamalli thokku at one of my aunt’s place. I checked with her for the recipe. Infact she had learnt it from her MIL. So here is her version of the Kothamalli thokku. I was very pleased with the result.

It is a great accompaniment with curd rice, parathas or even as a sandwich spread. You could also simply mix a portion of the thokku with steaming hot rice. It tastes great. 

Makes a small cup
What you’ll need
  1. Fresh Coriander Leaves – 2 Big bunches, (approx 2 cups tightly packed) only leaves and tender stems
  2. Dried Red Chillies – 5 or 6
  3. Tamarind – a small gooseberry sized ball
  4. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  5. Jaggery – 1 tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  8. Gingely oil/Nalla Ennai – 3 to 4 tbsp

  1. Wash and clean the coriander leaves. Discard the hard and mature stem. Roughly chop and keep aside.
  2. Heat a kadai with a spoon of oil and fry the red chillies, tamarind and asafoetida.
  3. Grind the red chillies and tamarind and then add the chopped coriander leaves to the mixie jar and grind. Add very little water and grind to a smooth paste.
  4. Heat a kadai and add the remaining oil, once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds.
  5. Once the mustard splutters add the ground coriander paste, salt and jaggery and sauté till the oil leaves the sides of the kadai.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jeera Rasam

It has been really cold the past week here. What better way to enjoy the chilly days with a comfort food of rasam, rice and pappadam. Rasam is an all time favourite at our home. My younger one likes to drink it as such. This Jeera rasam is one of her favourites.

This is a very simple rasam with no addition of even dal. Just a few regular ingredients and you have a hearty rasam ready in minutes. This rasam is great on the days when you are down with fever, cold or cough. The black pepper and cumin have a soothing effect.

What you’ll need
  1. Tamarind – gooseberry sized ball
  2. Pepper Powder – ½ - 1 tsp
  3. Jeera Powder – 1.5 tsp
  4. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Curry Leaves – few springs

For tempering
  1. Ghee – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Jeera – ½ tsp

  1. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes
  2. Squeeze and take out the extract. Add about 2 cups of water to this and transfer it to a vessel.
  3. Now add the turmeric powder, pepper powder, and salt to taste. Also tear a few curry leaves and add it.
  4. Now bring this to a boil. Let it boil for 6 to 8 minutes now add the jeera powder and around a cup more of water.
  5. Simmer until the rasam starts frothing.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Heat a small frying pan with ghee, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Pour the tempering over the rasam. Cover and rest it for few minutes before serving. The resting time is for the flavours to mingle well.

Serve hot with rice and vazhakkai Chenai mezhukkuperatti or drink it as it is.

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