April 18, 2006

Paruppu Usili with Banana Stem Flower

Paruppu Usili is such a versatile dish that you can make with almost any vegetable...I got this recipe from my mom who really makes it very tasty. I tried to follow the very same method and the method has not failed me. Well other suggested vegetables for this paruppu usili is cluster beans(goruchikkudi kayilu-telugu , kothavarangai-tamil) and regular beans can be substituted too for this usili.

The deep purplish colored banana flower is used as a vegetable in India,mainly I have seen much of their use in Southern India. They are long, slender, sterile male flowers with a faint sweet fragrance which are protected by large reddish bracts(outer reddish leaves). Higher up the stem are groups of female flowers which develop into fruits(white sticks). We dont need the bracts or the reddish leaves ..we just need the fruits..the white colored sticks for our Usili.

How to prepare this vegetable

Whenever working with this vegetable smear oil on both ur hands because touching them could sometimes be very sticky and dirty.Remove all the outer purplish leaves as they are very very mature and will taste bitter.But as you keep layering one leaf after another ,remove the fruits (white sticks)and keep aside in a bowl of (buttermilk + salt) else they will turn black. If buttermilk is not available use yogurt(4 tblsp).Churn it properly add salt and water and churn again. Once you get to the inner core, you will find leaves which are yellow in color meaning they are young and tender . You can use these leaves too. So now the fruits(the white sticks) , the tender yellow leaves should all have been soaked in buttermilk solution. Now chop these into fine pieces and again keep them soaked in the same solution. Once the chopping is done,wash the veggies thoroughly, transfer the contents to a pot of clean water, add salt and boil it till the vegetable is about 3/4 cooked.Thus preparation part is over!!!


Banana stem flower-1


coconut - 1 tbsp
jeera-1/2 tsp
hing-1/4 tsp
turmeric-1/2 tsp


toor dhal-1/2 tblsp
bengal gram dhal-1/2 tblsp
r.chillies-3 to 4


mustard,urad dhal,curry leaves - 1 tsp, 2 tsp,1 sprig


  1. Soak the dhals with the r.chillies for about 1 to 2 hrs till the dhals get little soft.
  2. Once the dhals are soaked grind them with the other ingredients and make it into a coarse paste.
  3. Combine paste with the boiled vegetable and steam it for 15 min to 20 min.
  4. After the steamed mixture is cooled , just crumble it.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard, urad dhal, curry leaves and add the crumbles.
  6. Finally add the coriander and lemon to taste.

A note of appreciation!!

I would like to appreciate fellow food bloggers who have participated in the VCC Q1-2006 contest held by VKN of MyDhaba. From the pictures I have seen and the recipes i have read from these appetizer entries is truly amazing. It does bring out the passion,the creativity and the competitive spirit amongst each and every food blogger.Well last but not least I would like to appreciate VKN who has done a great job in hosting this event.Hats off to you!!! for conducting such a lovely event.....Hope there are many more events like this to come in the future!!! I request all voters to vote for the best and let the deserving win!!!Thankyou!!

The SPONSOR for the VCC Q1 2006 has been announced.

To know more please visit MyDhaba.

April 10, 2006

Asian Spring Rolls with Indian Mint Chutney


Vegetables part
Carrots - 2 (cut into strips)
Cabbage - 1/4 + 1/8 of a whole cabbage(thinly shredded)
Red Pepper- less than 3/4(diced into very small cubes)
Green Pepper-1/4th(diced into very small cubes)

Garlic - 7 cloves
Ginger- 1 inch
Crushed red pepper flakes - from 2 chillies
Green onions- 3 finely cut
salt - to taste
pepper - 1/4 tsp

Soy Sauce - 1/4 tsp
Hot chilli paste - 1 tsp
Pure sesame oil - 1/2 tsp
Ajinomotto - a pinch
Spring roll pastry- 18 sheets(I used 'Spring Home' brand bought from asian store)

eggwash-1(beat the egg nicely)


  1. Soak carrot strips and cabbage shreds in a bowl of salted hot water just for few min.Dice red bell pepper and green bell pepper into very small cubes.Cut green onions in thin round slices.
  2. In a kadai heat 3 tsps of oil.When the oil is heated add the cloves of garlic and ginger in whole..(Before adding them prick holes in garlic as well as ginger). Let it fry till the garlic and ginger turn golden brown.Now remove the garlic and ginger from the kadai and keep aside(u will need this in the end)
  3. Now add the crushed red pepper flakes to the oil.Fry about a min
  4. Add green onions and fry just about 2 min.
  5. Now add the peppers(red and green) and fry for about another 3 min.
  6. Now add the carrot and cabbage and fry till they get tender.
  7. Now add soy sauce,hot chilli paste,pure sesame oil,ajinomotto and give a good stir.Fry for another 3-4 min.Make a paste of the fried garlic and ginger you kept aside and just add less than half a tsp of this paste to the veggies and fry for a while. Now switch off and let the mixture cool.
  8. Well for the spring rolls, place the cooled down mixture onto one corner of the spring rolls and roll halfway.Now brush the edges with the eggwash and fold the edges and continue rolling the spring roll to enclose completely.
  9. Finally deep fry the spring rolls in hot oil.Let them drain on a paper towel and then transfer them to a container.
  10. Serve with home made spicy mint chutney.

I take immense pride in submitting my original creation to VCC - Q1 2006 by VKN of My Dhaba.

April 09, 2006

Hooray!!!!My very first meme!!!

My thanks to KitchenMate && Vineela for tagging me with my very first meme!!!!! Is sure feels great!!

1. Please list three recipes you have recently bookmarked from foodblogs to try:

Sailu's Palakayalu
Nupur's Chavli Amti (Black-eyed Peas)
Vaishali's Mulyachi Koshimbir

2. A foodblog in your vicinity:

I have already tried many many recipes from these food blogs and will definitely try in the future!!! Two of my very inspiring blogs!!!

KitchenMate(Karthi Kannan)
Sugar and Spice(Priya)

3. A foodblog (or more) located far from you:

Food,In the Main(Shyamala) in UK
Anthony's Kitchen in Mumbai
Pushpa's Culinary Studio in Switzerland

4. A foodblog (or several) you have discovered recently (where did you find it?):

It's just that I have left comments and they have too...so Iam not sure which happened first...LOL

Flavors of Indian Rasoi(Lakshmi)
Food Bytes(Veggie)
Happy Burp(Vaishali Kamath)
My Treasure..My Pleasure(Annita)
and many more....

5. Any people or bloggers you want to tag with this meme?

Food Bytes(Veggie)
Fragrance of Life(Anjali)
Myriad Tastes(Lera)

April 04, 2006

Pepper_Jeera Rasam with Eggplant-Potato Curry

Today I have a very simple menu for lunch that is packed with full of flavor, taste and aroma that is really soothing and unforgettable to the senses. Rasam is a South Indian dish, very common in Tamil Nadu. The spices that are present in the rasam have a very beneficial effect on your health. Rasam means Chaaru in Telugu and Saaru in Kannada. It is nothing but a soup flavored with tamarind, lentils and spices. There are different kinds of rasam made from different things like tomatoes, lemons, pineapples and spices..Well the list goes on but what I have today is a jumbo combination of spices,tomatoes,garlic,herbs...and wooh!!Lovely isnt't?

For the curry part, I have an unresistable eggplant and potato combination that is very much tempting .Well I love this combination more than plain eggplant.If you are more interested in knowing more about the good things of eggplant you could read the post on my Fennel Roasted Eggplants. Well here goes the recipes for both pepper jeera rasam and eggplant-potato curry.

Pepper Jeera Rasam


Toor Dhal - 1/4 cup
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
rasam powder - 2 tsp
garlic - 5 to 6 cloves
tomato - 1 finely diced
cilantro/coriander - few sprigs
curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Asafoetida -1/4 tsp
tamarind - lemon sized(soaked in water for couple of min)
salt - to taste
jaggery/sugar- 1 tsp
turmeric pdr - a pinch


  1. Cook toor dhal and keep it aside.
  2. Coarsely grind black pepper and jeera keep it aside.
  3. Add 400 ml. of water to Toor dhal, churn fine and heat it in a vessel to boil. Add salt and a pinch of turmeric powder along with extracted juice from tamarind. Boil the above for six to seven minutes till raw smell of tamarind goes off.
  4. Add garlic(crushed) at this stage. Add curry leaves and tomato. Boil the rasam on a medium flame for six to seven minutes.
  5. The water quantity should have reduced considerably.
  6. Add jaggery or sugar and enough salt to taste now.
  7. Temper now with jeera and two broken chillies along with 1/4 tsp of asafoetida.
  8. Add cilantro and close the vessel immediately until you have to serve so that the flavor is retained.

Eggplant-Potato Curry


potato - 1 large
onion - 1 big
garlic - 3 cloves
tomato - 1 diced
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
oil - 1 tblsp

  1. Saute chopped onion in oil until brown. Meanwhile puree peeled garlic cloves with a few grains of salt and enough fresh lime juice to form a paste. Add garlic and tomato to onions; stir to combine; Add red chilli powder (or flakes), garam masala and salt.
  2. Add eggplant and potato cubes; stir to coat. Add 1/2 cup water; reduce heat. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until done (about 20 minutes). Serve garnished with cilantro leaves.

TIP: The smaller the cubes, the faster they cook. Cut potatoes into 3/4-inch bites and eggplant into 1-inch bites so that they cook evenly.

I would love to contribute this dish to Anthony's Curry Mela.