Moong Sprouts Pulao

K and I had issues on spelling “Pulao”. I normally write it down as “Pilau” and he prefers “Pulao” and so after a lot of discussion, I decided to rename my “Pilau” as “Pulao”

We were on a moong sprouts spree last week, we made Moong ambat, moong sprouts dosa, 2 kinds of salads and finally decided to make a pulao. I still think moong ambat was the best dish we prepared than anything else!

Here is the recipe for the pulao.

1 cup of uncooked basmati rice
2 and 1/2 cups of parboiled moong sprouts
1 cup of pepper strips
1/2 medium sized onion chopped finely
3 green chillies chopped finely
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon dhaniya powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon hing
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves
Oil, salt to taste


Cook the rice with a pinch of salt and water separately. Keep aside. Heat oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add the cloves and onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the ginger paste, green chillies, hing and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper strips and saute until they are cooked but make sure they are crunchy , then add the parboiled moong sprouts and cook for another 2 minutes and make sure there is no water. Add the cooked basmati rice, turmeric, red chilli powder , dhaniya powder, salt and mix well. Serve with raita of your choice.

Thotakura pulusukura- Amaranth leaves stew

Amaranth has been a well liked leafy vegetable for a long time and was cooked often in our household. I was never too fond of it, but, somehow managed to gulp it down because of the nutritional value.

Here is a simple and easy to make stew , learnt from a friend of my mother . Stews were a regular and a daily food in her house and made with fresh green leafy vegetables.


I bunch of fresh Amaranth
1 cup of diced tomatoes
1 big onion chopped finely
1 teaspoon of rice flour/gram flour(besan)
1 teaspoon dhaniya powder(optional)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chili powder
lemon sized tamarind ball for tamarind extract
1/2 cup of peanuts for garnish(optional)

For the popu/tadka/seasoning:
1 teaspoon urad dal
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2-3 dry chillies
A few curry leaves


Do the popu/ tadka/seasoning by heating oil in a thick bottomed vessel and add the urad dal, once brown, add the mustard seeds and let them pop , then add red chillies and curry leaves. Once the popu is done, add the onions and saute until pink in colour. Then add the chopped and washed amaranth leaves and saute until the leaves wilt, then add the tomatoes, turmeric, salt, dhaniya powder and let simmer for 10 minutes, add the tamarind extract and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the flavours blend. Mix the rice flour/gram flour in a some water and make a liquidy paste add to the stew just before turning off the heat .This is done to thicken the gravy.

In another skillet, either dry roast or saute the peanuts in oil and garnish the stew. Serve hot with rice.

Payatham Parappu Masial/ Mashed Greengram Dal

I have been thinking hard on what to post for RCI- Tamil Cuisine hosted by lakshmi of VeggieCuisine. Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan came to my rescue. I bought this book a few weeks ago and haven’t ventured into the main course. I decided to give it a try and for starters tried this simple split moong beans dal.

All you require is :

A cup of moong dal picked and washed
A lemon sized tamarind ball for tamarind paste
Ghee, Salt to taste

For the Popu/tadka/seasoning:
1 teaspoon Urad dal
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dried chillies
A few curry leaves
3 slit green chillies

Boil the dal in 3 cups of water and keep aside . The author asked to boil seperately, but I boiled in the pressure cooker. Mash and keep aside. Soak the tamarind in hot water for about 15 minutes and then squeeze the liquid from the pulp and keep aside.

Do the Popu/tadka/seasoning in a heavy bottomed pan by heating ghee and adding urad dal, mustard seeds, red chillies, green chillies, curry leaves, asafoetida.

Add the tamarind extract now and let it simmer until the raw smell of the tamarind is gone. Now add the boiled dal and let the flavours mix. Simmer for another 10 minutes and remove from heat. Serve with hot rice.

Potluck Special-Kizhangu payaru stew

I decided to make this stew for a potluck we were invited and it was a super duper hit!! .A mildly sweet and a very light stew, taken from Curry Cuisine , co authored by Das Sreedharan.

Das sreedharan is the founder Chef of the Rasa restaurants In London.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients :
1 onion chopped finely
2 potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen string beans
1 tomato diced
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of crushed black peppers
Oil, salt to taste

For the Popu:
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies
A few curry leaves

Heat oil in a large bottomed vessel and add the mustard seeds, once they pop add the red chillies and the curry leaves and saute for 2 minutes. Add the onions and saute till they are brown and soft .
Add the coriander powder, garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric and add the tomatoes and cook covered for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes .

Add the strings beans and salt to taste. Lower the heat to a low and stir in the coconut milk and add a half cup of water. Stir well and cook covered until the vegetables are tender.

Add a pinch of crushed black peppers and serve hot with parathas/phulkas/rotis or even dosas.

Kizhangu payaru stew

Menthi Baddalu, Aava Baddalu/Unripe Mango and Fenugreek Pickle and Unripe mango in Mustard Pickle

Making a Pickle is a ritual in my parents’ house. Amma would first check for an auspicious date after spring and once the mango season starts to make a temporary pickle for us to taste the first unripe mango bought in the season before they actually start making the Avakaya.I know its a tad late to kick off this ritual at my home here, but Nevertheless I decided to give it a shot. We have been taught that for a pickle the Mangoes should be washed thoroughly and pat dry thoroughly and always make sure that your hands are dry and not a water drop in the surroundings. Dad would do the cutting and mom would do the mixing. Ah!.. those are the days I miss the most, come summer.

I decided to give it a try with just two mangoes and see the end result and it came out well.Its best to use unripe mangoes which are shorter in length and more pulp so that there is ample juice(oota as we say in telugu)to mix with the other ingredients so as to make it taste juicer and a little sour.

For the Menthi Baddalu:
1 raw mango cut into bite size pieces with the skin
2 cups of gingelly oil(peanut oil can also be used)
3/4 cup of chili powder
3/4 cup of salt
1/2 cup of fenugreek powder made by roasting fenugreek first and then grinding the seeds
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon jaggery

For the popu/tadka:
1 teaspoon of seeds
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of asafoetida

Take a large mixing bowl and add the mango pieces, slowly add half of each ingedient mentioned and keep mixing and check the taste . I stopped at 3/4 cups of salt and chili powder and 2 teaspoons less than 3/4 cups of fenugreek powder. Add the jaggery lastly . Its important to add the jaggery as fenugreek is bitter and helps in Mix well and keep aside covered in a corner where there is no moisture. I suggest you taste it again after two days and then do the popu.

Menthi Baddalu

For the Aava Baddalu,I cut the mango into bite size pieces the only ingredient change would be mustard powder instead of fenugreek powder and I stopped mixed after 3/4 cups of each ingredient. There is no need to add jaggery to this pickle.

Once the contents of the mixing bowls are transferred into airtight containers after 2 days the best way to clear the pickle off them is to cook rice and mix it with the remaining pickle in the mixing bowl. Add a dollop of ghee and make Indira’s amma mudda and enjoy ! My grandmother used to do that after she was done with the pickling !

Aava Baddalu

Note: This pickle normally stays for 1-2 months if stored properly. I suggest that you do not store it in the fridge for the first 2-3 days after the doing the popu so that the ingredients mix well and then u can store it.