Monday, June 22, 2009

Keera Molagootal – Flavorful Spinach/Mixed Greens and Lentil Soup

Ingredients: Wish You a Happy Vishu

10-16 oz bag spinach or mixed greens (keera)
¾ cup Toor dal

1 ½ cup water
1 tspn turmeric

1 pinch asofotedia (ing) (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

¼-1/2 cup grated coconut (per taste)
1 tbspn (or more) oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp urad dal

1 dried red chilli, broken
½ tsp cumin powder
salt to taste

Photo right: Krishna Kumar
In the photo, the dish being prepared in this post is the green pastey side dish. The other dishes are a potato stew (isthu) to the right of the keera molagootal, chapati, the flat bread on the plate, and yogurt soup/curry (mor kozhumbu) in the small bowl.


Step 1:

Drop greens in boiling water. Wilt greens. Drain and cool.

Step 2:

While spinach is cooling, place dhal, water, turmeric, asofotedia and salt in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook it for three whistles.

Step 3:

Put 1 tbspn oil in a pan, heat pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dhal, and red chili. Fry until mustard seeds pop. Add cooked dhal and fry it until it turns color (pinkish). Cool dhal.

Step 4:

Place spinach, dhal, grated coconut all in a blender and blend into a paste.

Step 5:

Rewarm and eat with rice or chapati.

Could be eaten like a curry or a thick, eccentric soup!

Adapted from: Ammupatti's recipe found at her blog.

Original Post- 21st Post on Alaivani

Thank you for reading my blog!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Aloo Bonda and Bread Pakodas by Oldernwiser0

Aloo bondas are round savory deep fried potato (aloo) dumplings (bonda) covered with a slightly spicy and flavorful besan (chickpea) flour. Likewise, bread pakodas, in this context cut bread pieces cut into half or four triangular pieces, dipped into the same besan flour batter and fried.

In fact, besides using the same besan batter to cover both potato mixtures and bread pieces, if some is left over, you can add onions or spinach to it or leave it plain and fry small rounds of this. We like to eat this accompanied by ketchup (or as I learned, known as tomato sauce in India), green chili sauce, varieties of chutneys or any other dip of your choice.

I am sharing the videos for potato curry (filling for aloo bondas) and the actual frying of aloo bondas and bread pakodas by Oldernwiser0. In fact, he had inspired me on my recent trip to India to try my hand at making this for about 10 people in an Indian kitchen. Though I used a slightly different mix of ingredients, I used the same method, mixing things by hand and deep frying in in a kadai (incidentally these kadais are moved with 'thongs' in India, do not touch your hand to the handle like American pans, or you will burn yourself!) and draining oil by placing the hot fried items on newspapers.

Anyhow, here's the recipes, enjoy and try your hand as well!

Aloo (Potato Curry) video by Oldernwiser0
This curry double as a filling for bondas, masala dosa, aloo poori, and possibly aloo paratha

Aloo Bonda and Bread Pakoda video by Oldernwiser0

Oldernwiser0, aka Srivats, is a retired senior bank executive who loves various hobbies including making easier pure vegetarian foods who lives in Hyderabad, India. Watch his YouTube channel for more interesting videos!

About the Oldernwiser0 video series on this blog:
Many wonder is Indian cooking easy? Oldernwiser0 would say, if not shout, YES! As with anything in life, it is easy or as challenging as you think it is or make it. I have always found Indian cooking to be fun, jammed packed full of surprises and about a million and one steps in addition to stocking my kitchen with a whole set of utensils and spice mixes (masalas) that I still learn about as I go along!

I have been following the Indian cookery made easier video series on YouTube created by Oldernwiser0 for about one year. His style has inspired me to make many dishes. From every third Wednesday on this blog, I will share a video from his YouTube profile and my insights. Hope you also enjoy and are able to pick up some quick and easy Indian cooking tips!

Yes, Indian cooking is both fun and easy- besides being tasty!

Related Posts/ Sites:
Oldernwiser0 at YouTube
Paneer Making Made Easier by Oldernwiser0
Other Fried Snacks:
Other related recipes:
Potato filling for Aloo Poori (Indian breakfast item - Potato curry with deep fried breads)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Indian Inspired Vegetable Soup/Stew


2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ajwain seeds

15 baby carrots finely sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced thinly
2 cups diced green, red and/or orange peppers

Salt/pepper to taste

2 bay leaves

1 tbspn Cumin powder

2 tbspn Coriander powder

1/8 tsp turmeric powder

½ tbspn red chili powder

1 cup orzo pasta (or rice that doesn’t fluff up in soup)

6 cups vegetable broth

1 15-16 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried basil

1 ½ cup small beans or lentils (not black beans)


Step 1:

Heat olive oil, add ajwain seeds, onions and garlic on high heat for 3-5 minutes (don’t burn).

Step 2:

Turn heat to medium, add carrots, celery, and peppers. Stir it up. Fry for 10 minutes stirring every two minutes.

Step 3:

Add all the spices. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes more on low heat. During this 5 minutes heat the water and start to make the pasta.

Step 4:

Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, parsley (if using dried, use 1 tbspn) and basil into the soup. Stir it up on high heat. When it boils, turn heat to medium, cover it up.

Step 5:

After 10 minutes add in the beans/lentils. Cover it again and let boil.

Step 6:

Heat for another 10-20 minutes to get firmness/softness of carrots and other veggies you prefer.

Step 7:

When veggies are almost the right firmness, add cooked orzo or rice. Turn off heat, let sit about 10 minutes and serve.

Will serve 4-6. Adapted from

Original Post - 12th post on Alaivani