Beans Carrot Tamarind Stew / Beans Carrot Puli Kootu

Kootu is a type of dish made in South India which traditionally uses ground coconut paste. This differentiates it from Sambhar or Rasam. Puli Kootu is a variation of this preparation where tamarind is used as the stock base and it gives the dish a tangy flavour. I decided not to use coconut and try this as a veggie-filled side dish. Later I realized that this stew pairs well with rice too! The secret to nailing this dish would be in the ground spices which impart the salty-spicy balance to the dish. Try making it as it has minimal oil usage and has the wholesome nutrition of lentils that you will love!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients for cooking:

  • 1 1/2 cup beans, cut into medium length sticks
  • 1 cup carrot, cut into medium length sticks
  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 small ball size of tamarind
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for grinding:

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp chana dal
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Some coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ghee (optional)

Beans and carrot tamarind stew

Beans and carrot tamarind stew


Method:

  • Soak the tamarind in a small bowl of warm water for 10 mins. Then extract the juice and keep it aside and discard the seeds.
  • Take toor dal in a vessel and rinse it 2-3 times. Then add 1 cup of water to it along with salt and turmeric and pressure cook it for 3 whistles. Mash this dal and set it aside.
  • Now take a pan, add in the chopped beans and carrots along with a bit of salt and water and cook it with a lid on low flame. This will take around 10 mins.
  • While the veggies are getting cooked, heat a small pan for frying the grinding ingredients. Add ghee/oil and add peppercorns to it. Once the peppercorns sputter, take them out into the mixer jar. Now in the same pan, add all the other grinding ingredients and roast them till the dals turn golden brown and then switch off the flame. Transfer these ingredients into the mixer jar and wait for these ingredients to cool down a bit.
  • Add cumin seeds into the mixer jar and grind all the ingredients together. The paste should be nice and smooth.
  • After the veggies have semi-cooked, add the tamarind juice to it so that the veggies absorb the flavour of tamarind.
  • Next, add the ground spice mixture to the stew and mix well.
  • After the veggies are fully cooked, add the mashed toor dal into the mixture along with a cup of water and let it cook in medium flame. Once it comes to a boil, switch off the flame.
  • In a small pan, take mustard seeds and peanuts and roast them together as this will act as seasoning.
  • Add the seasoning into the boiling stew and mix it well. Finally garnish with coriander. The kootu/stew is ready to serve with rice or rotis.

Tips:

  • If you don’t like large pieces of peanut, toast them separately and then break them up in a mortar and pestle / grinder.
  • Don’t overcook the vegetables. Cut them into the same size so that they cook evenly
  • The lentils and the tamarind should balance each other. If you like a more tangy dish, feel free to add a little more tamarind.
Advertisements

Beetroot and Carrot Stir Fry / Beetroot and Carrot Sabzi

Easy and healthy cooking is a combination that can be achieved by using nutritious vegetables that cook quickly. Beetroot and carrot are vegetables that are good for health and fast to cook when grated. I made a quick stir fry with these ingredients and used South Indian spices for a hit of heat. These veggies can be steam-cooked, and require almost no oil. This is a quick, healthy, and delicious dish that can be made even at the last moment.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 beetroot, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sambar powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • Salt to taste

Beetroot and carrot stir fry

Beetroot and carrot stir fry


Method:

  • Peel off the skin and grate the beetroot and carrot on the largest grooves of the grater.
  • Beetroot and carrot grated

    Beetroot and carrot grated

  • Finely chop the onions.
  • Take a pan and heat a little oil on low flame. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter. Then add the urad dal and curry leaves.
  • Once the urad dal turns golden brown, add the onions and cook them till they turn translucent.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder and sambar powder.
  • Once the spices are cooked, add the grated beetroot and carrot and mix well to combine. Sprinkle a little water on them and cook for 8-10 mins. Stir in between for uniform cooking.
  • Beetroot and carrot cooking process

    Beetroot and carrot cooking process

  • Switch off the flame and serve with rotis or rice.

Tips:

  • Don’t add too much water – you don’t want the vegetables to turn mushy.
  • If you don’t have sambar powder, use a combination of coriander powder, red chili powder, and garam masala to spice the dish.

Carrot Kulfi

For as long as I remember, I’ve had a sweet tooth. Supermarkets here typically contain ice cream tubs, pastries and cakes. If I want to satiate my craving for Indian desserts, I have to make it at home. And thus began my first attempt at kulfi! Kulfis are a type of ice cream from India which are conical in shape and served on a stick. Since I did not have sticks at home, I decided to use a muffin tray to get a round shape and serve it in a bowl. The visual representation is different from the usual kulfi – but the taste and the feeling of eating a kulfi turned out to be just the same. Ever since I made Carrot Kheer , I’ve wanted to continue using carrots in desserts. Carrots enhance the rich texture required in kulfis. I was also happy with the colour that I got – it reminded me of the golden yellow colour of alphonso/hapus mangoes. Everyone at home loved the dish and that made me really happy.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 1 muffin tray
Time: 60 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 cups milk
  • 5-6 saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 can unsweetened condensed milk
  • 8-10 pistachios (optional)

Carrot kulfi

Carrot kulfi


Method:

  • Soak the almonds in warm water for 30 mins and peel off the skin.
  • Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them into rounds.
  • Cook the carrots and almonds together on a medium flame. Once they become soft, switch off the flame. Let it rest for around 15 mins at room temperature.
  • Now pulse the cooled almonds and carrot mixture in a blender into a purée.
  • Take the milk in a vessel and bring it to a boil. Add saffron threads into the boiling milk. Then add the blended mixture into the milk and keep stirring.
  • Once the milk has almost reduced to half, add in the condensed milk. Stir well and let the whole mixture remain on the flame for 5 more mins.
  • Finally switch off the flame and let the whole mixture rest in room temperature for 20 mins.
  • Now pour the kulfi mixture into the muffin tray and keep it in the freezer for around 4-6 hrs. Before serving, keep it out for some time so that you are able to removed the hardened ice mold easily. Enjoy this delicious carrot and almond kulfi which will make you want to eat more.

Tips:

  • Keep stirring the mixture when it is on the heat. You don’t want the milk to scald and stick the the bottom of the vessel.
  • Let the mixture come to room temperature before pouring into moulds and freezing.
  • You can cover the top of the muffin tray with plastic wrap while it is setting to avoid “skin” formation on the surface of the kulfi.

Carrot and Cucumber Stew with Red Lentils

I’m back! I’ve still been busy travelling and cooking (festival food!) and now it feels great to post again. Hope you all are doing well. I see a lot of new readers reading my blog along with the consistent readers – and all I want to say is Thank you! After hogging on numerous Diwali sweets, I decided to balance all that richness with something healthy. I like stews – they are flavorful and loaded with vegetables. You don’t need nothing else to feel like you have had a wholesome meal. I used red lentils to incorporate protein into the dish. The veggies used are carrots and cucumbers. The fact that it hardly requires any oil makes it a winner from the health perspective. You can serve this with rice or rotis or just eat a bowl of this on its own.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 45 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients :

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red lentils/ red masoor dal
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Curry leaves for garnish (optional)

Method:

  • Wash the red lentils using a colander under cold water 3-4 times and keep aside. This is done to remove the grit present in the lentils.
  • Heat a pot on medium heat and add the 1 tsp oil. Now add the carrots and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Once done, add the ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and cook them for another 3 minutes.
  • Once the ginger-garlic paste is nicely mixed with the carrots and onions, add the cumin seeds and saute it for a minute till the aroma of cumin fills the cooking area.
  • Now add the tomato puree, salt, coriander and turmeric powder along with 2 cups of water and mix well.
  • Add the lentils and stir to combine.
  • Bring everything to a boil and then lower the flame and let the whole broth simmer for around 30 minutes.
  • Keep occasionally stirring it in between and add more water if necessary depending upon the consistency. Do not add too much liquid (that’s soup) – it should be a bit thick.
  • Carrot and cucumber stew in process

    Carrot and cucumber stew in process

  • Finally, now add the chopped cucumbers to the lentil stew and mix it in. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Add a little more salt at this stage.
  • Carrot and cucumber stew

    Carrot and cucumber stew

  • Garnish with some curry leaves and serve it hot. All I can say is you will not be able to resist this bowl of goodness 🙂

Tips:

  • Wash the lentils well. If you want a head start on cooking them, just soak them for some time in cold water.
  • You can serve this as soup as well. Once everything is cooked well, just blend with a hand mixer / blender.

Cucumber and Carrot Pancakes

Most of the times we want a recipe for breakfast that’s quick to make and involves less prep work. This recipe fits those requirements to a T. Cucumbers are light on the stomach and healthy as well. I decided to use them as one of the main ingredients in a pancake batter. To give the entire dish some crunch and bite, I added in carrots as well. This recipe can be made into patties, which can be eaten plain or by keeping them in a sandwich along with some tomato ketchup. They can also be made in the bigger size which would be equivalent to a medium sized dosa. It turned out to be extremely delicious and it is one of my favourite breakfast recipes now. Sometimes I even make this for dinner along with a glass of buttermilk. I have tried this exact recipe replacing zucchini instead of cucumber and the result is equally fabulous.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 small pancakes or 4 large pancakes
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and grated (approx 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, grated (approx 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Chickpea flour/ Besan
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 – 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp oil for 1 pancake for frying
  • Freshly chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Cucumber pancake small size

Cucumber and carrot pancake small size


Method:

  • Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients except the oil to make a batter. Keep in mind not to add water while mixing as the cucumber or zucchini will provide the required moisture.
  • Heat a non-stick pan on low-medium heat and grease its surface with a bit of oil.
  • Take 1/4 cup of the batter and place it on the pan. Press down on the batter gently with your fingers to spread it out in an evenly into a shape of your choice. Do not make it very thin. In case of a large pancake, do the same process using 1/2 a cup of batter.
  • Drizzle some oil on the top and sides of the pancake.
  • Cook until the base turns golden brown in colour.
  • Now turn the pancake over and cook on the other side and then remove it from the pan. Serve it along with toast, with accompaniments of chutney or ketchup (if required), and you are in for a delicious meal.
  • In case of a large pancake, it is heavy enough to serve as breakfast – even without toast. For an idea of the portion size, see the picture below
  • Cucumber  pancake large

    Cucumber and carrot pancake large size


Tips :

  • Do not sprinkle water while making the batter or while spreading the batter on the pan.
  • Don’t make the batter too early as the cucumber / zucchini will make the batter more loose as time passes.
  • If you do want to prep it in advance, use a little more besan and store it in the fridge.
  • Adjust the spices as per your taste levels. You can add finely chopped green chillies if you like it spicy.