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The Quintessential Sundal ~ Double Beans Sundal Recipe

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Double Beans Sundal

Double Beans Sundal

My friend Siri and I met on monday for a bloggers meet in Hyderabad. While the talk we attended per se was not much to talk about, it was a chance for us to meet many bloggers we had been reading or following but had never met, and for the two of us to meet after ages. We proceeded to have coffee and then went out for lunch. Severely missing the other conspirator Pree. Over some yummy chilli cheese toast and a pub lunch, we gossiped, checked out the other people at the pub, gossiped some more and shared notes on what has been happening in our lives.

In the middle of all the ideas for the blog and whooping my behind for not blogging regularly (really, I never learn!) I told her  I would be posting a recipe for Sundal. The must have during navratri, especially in homes which display the Indian style tableau of dolls called Bommalakoluvu /Gollu. Rolling her eyes, Siri asks me “but why Sundal? Isn’t it just boiled beans with a tempering and coconut?” I laughed and said “yes… but you can easily screw that up too!”

In my defence,  I did think the double beans sundal was better than most sundals. Purely because double beans is one of my favourite beans, I love its texture and it lends itself beautifully to any recipe.

this recipe needs a little of pre work in soaking dried beans for atleast 4-5 hours. Once pressure cooked, there is nothing really to do except temper it.

Double Beans Sundal (Serves 2)

Double Beans        1 cup dried beans, soaked for 5-6 hours and pressure cooked for 2 whistles, water drained

Ghee                       1 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds     1 teaspoon

Hing                        a pinch

Dried Red Chilli    1, broken into two pieces

Salt to taste

Grated Fresh Coconut ¼ cup

Curry Leaves        10

Drain the water off the boiled beans and set aside.

In a kadai, heat the ghee, add the mustard and splutter, add the curry leaves, dried red chillies and hing and turn off the heat. Add the grated coconut and toss.

Add the boiled beans to this, add salt and mix gently. Serve when still warm.

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu Recipe

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu is the perfect accompaniment to Paalappam. It is a classic breakfast dish. The vegetable ishtu is a medley of vegetables simmered in the naturally sweet coconut milk. There is no holy grail in recipes and each one does what they like best. I have blogged a recipe for Ishtu earlier when I wrote the recipe for another favourite of mine, Idiappam or String Hoppers. Here is the current favourite version of ishtu, the addition of caramelized onion on the top, adds a nice depth to the flavour of this dish.

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu (Serves 4)

Mixed vegetables – 2 ½ cups, cut into small square pieces (carrot, potato, cauliflower, beans, peas)

Onion – 2 medium, 1 to be chopped roughly, the other to be sliced in semi circles and set aside.

Green chilli – 1, slit lengthwise

Oil – 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon

Whole Garam Masala – 1 star anise, 2 one inch sticks of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 4-5 pepper corns, 1 cardamom split open

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Salt to taste

Coconut Milk (Thick) – 1 cup ( I used coconut milk from a carton)

1 tsp finely chopped / julienned fresh ginger

½ tsp sugar

Coconut Oil – 1/2 te


In a pan heat the oil and fry the sliced onions till golden brown on a gentle heat. Remove the onions onto a plate and set aside. Continue to add the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and pepper corns in the same oil, after a few seconds add the julienned ginger, chopped onion and green chilly.

When the onions turn transparent, add the vegetables, ½ a cup of water, salt and cover and steam for about 7-8 minutes till the vegetables are tender, cooked but not mushy.

Add the coconut milk, ½ cup of water (or adjust according to the consistency of gravy desired), simmer for a minute.  turn off the heat and let it stand for atleast 10 minutes before serving.

Heat the vegetable oil and coconut oil together, add curry leaves and allow them to sizzle, add the caramelized onion to this and take off the heat. pour this over the ishtu just before serving.  Serve with Idiappam or Paalappam

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Kerala Appam from Scratch ~ Easy Recipe

Kerala Paalappam

Kerala Paalappam

I’ve been fascinated by Kerala cuisine ever since I first discovered it. My juvenile self wanted to be adopted by Malayalees and for a while I pretended to be one! My cooking as readers of this blog may have noticed is nothing traditional. I have evolved my own mix and match way of arriving at a dish or replicating a recipe I’ve read or tasted.

Appam is something that has intrigued me for a very long time. A friend of mine once mentioned that she never makes dosa batter at home, only Appam batter as that is so much easier. I wanted to bow and kiss her hands and put her on a pedestal. I was that much in awe! Sometime ago, K’s family were coming over for lunch and I wanted to make Appam with Ishtu as my FIL loves it. I turned to twitter and asked a gorgeous friend S to give me a dummy proof recipe. She texted me the measurements and waited with bated breathe for me to report. I was happy to tell her that if I could make it at one shot, anyone could!

Kerala Paalappam

Kerala Paalappam

This is a classic breakfast, eaten best with a nice spicy curry  or vegetable stew (pronounced as Ishtu) or even this spicy mushroom curry.  I will be blogging another recipe for the vegetable stew next. In the meanwhile, try out this Appam, its delicate crisp edges and soft as a pillow middle will leave you wanting for more.

I was confused about yeast being allowed in Vegan food, a little research online said it was, so here is the recipe.

Kerala Paalappam (With Rice Flour) ~ Makes 7-8

Rice Flour – 2 cups

Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast – 1 tsp
Sugar – 3 tbsp
Rava (Semolina) – 2 tbsp
Thick Coconut Milk – 1/2 to 1 Cup (I use Canned Coconut Milk)
Water – As needed
Salt – to taste

Mix together the semolina and 1 cup water and cook on a low flame, stirring continuously till it thickens in a thick bottom pan. Set this aside to cool.

Mix together the rice flour, sugar, yeast and 2 cups of water to make a thick batter. Mix the cooked semolina mixture, cover and set aside for about 6 hours or overnight for the batter to ferment and rise.

When you are ready to make the appams, add the coconut milk, stir and add salt to taste.

there is a special kind of shallow pan that is available to make these appams, if you do not have it, use a regular non stick kadai and apply some oil, wipe and heat on medium heat.

pour one large Ladle of the batter into the pan, hold it on both sides and rotate to spread the batter. this should give you a thick center and thin sides. cover with a lid and cook for about 1 minute, check to see if the sides of the appam are turning golden and crisp. Check with a skewer if the middle is cooked. Ease it out of the pan and place on a plate.

Appams are best eaten hot, when the edges are crisp and the middle is soft.

{Vegan MoFo 2013} ~ Kiddie Lunch Box ~ Recipe for Vegetable Packed Idli

Vegetable Packed Idli

Vegetable Packed Idli

It cannot be easy to think about what to pack in multiple dabbas kids have to carry to school. Couple of snacks and one main meal which is easy to eat and will taste good even when cold. That is a Herculean task if I know one. With kids being as demanding as they are, it is a good thing to have a small pool of ideas. With the basic formula of variety, colour and balanced nutrition, these vegetable packed idlies can be easily made for those lunch boxes, or even breakfast for a fussy child or adult!

Vegetable Stuffed Idlies (Makes 5-6 medium sized idlies)

Idli Batter                                                       2 cups

Salt                                                                  to taste

Carrot                                                              1, Shredded

Peas                                                                 ¼ cup

Sweet Corn Kernels                                      ¼ cup

Spinach or any other greens                       ¼ cup

Boiled Potato                                                  ¼ cup, chopped

Coriander Leaves                                          a small bunch

Curry Leaves                                                  few

Green Chilli                                                     1, chopped fine (optional)


Add all the ingredients to the idli batter.

Add a cup of water to a steamer or a pressure cooker and heat till the water comes to a gentle boil.

Put the batter into the idli plates and steam (without the whistle) for 15 minutes, reduce the heat and steam for another 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Allow the idlies to cool, remove from the mould and pack into a lunch box with a little chutney or tomato ketchup.

Dosa Spring Roll

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Dosa Spring Roll

Dosa Spring Roll

A few weeks ago, I was browsing for recipes that use Dosa batter and found Dosa Spring Rolls. I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to giving food a Chinese makeover. For too many “items” including Chaat have gotten a Chinese makeover with disastrous results (according to me). I prefer mixing wheat or oat flour into leftover dosa batter and making dosas, or making appams with chopped vegetables and seasoning. The spring rolls looked easy enough to make and I am not one of those people who will talk without trying out something at least once. I had to try it. The fact that it made it to the blog means it got a thumbs up, for variety and ease of preparation.

I saw this on Nag’s blog and from what I see a lot of people have made and liked it. So if you are looking for a way to glam up your dosa, add vegetables and sneak them into the diets of unsuspecting or fussy eaters in your family, or just a nice light dinner option, make this.

Dosa Spring Roll

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Dosa Batter                             2 cups

Oil                                            2 teaspoons

Cabbage                                  ½ Cup, shredded fine

Green Capsicum                     ½ cup, cut into juliennes

Carrot                                      1, chopped fine

Onion                                       1 medium, sliced finely

Salt and Pepper to taste

Ginger Garlic paste                  ½ teaspoon (optional)

On a hot pan, add ½ teaspoon of oil and add the ginger garlic paste (if using) and sauté for a minute.

Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté on medium heat till the cabbage is just wilting. The vegetables should be crisp and retain their colour. Remove from the heat.

On a dosa pan, add one ladle of batter and spread as thin as possible to make a 6 inch dosa. Drizzle oil and fry till golden brown.

In the centre add 2 tablespoons of sautéed vegetables and roll like a spring roll. Remove onto a plate, cut using a sharp knife into 2-3 pieces.

Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Serve hot with sauce or chutney

Mangalore Style Potato Sukke

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Potato Sukke

Mangalore Style Potatoes with freshly ground masala

I made this for the weekly recipes I write for Hans India. It turned out fabulous even if I say so myself! I took inspiration from my dear namesake’s recipe. Who by the way, visited me last month from Singapore, baby A and husband in tow. We spent the whole day together, talking, shopping, talking, eating, talking and shopping some more! What can I say, apart from the fact that we share the same name, we apparently have a deep abiding love for our voices. After we were done with all the talking and other stuff in between, we headed to my place, to be joined by her child and our respective spouses for a lovely evening that ended too quickly at roughly 3 a.m. These are the things blogging has given me…friends…for life.

Here is the recipe. Make it on a day when you are bored of plain fried potatoes. The coconut and red chillies really jazz it up. Tastes best with hot rice and dal or rasam.

Potato Sukke (serves 2-3)

Sukke is a semi dry preparation made with freshly roasted masalas.

Potatoes                                              6 medium, boiled, peeled and cubed

For the Sukke Masala

Freshly Scraped Coconut            ¼ cup

Dry Red Chillies                               3-4

Tamarind Paste                                1 tablespoon

Whole Coriander Seeds                 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds                              ¼ teaspoon

Turmeric                                             ¼ teaspoon

For the tempering

Oil                                                          1 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds                                  1 teaspoon

Curry Leaves                                     a few

Asafetida                                             a pinch

Dry roast the fenugreek and coriander seeds in a pan. Grind them along with the coconut, red chillies, turmeric, tamarind paste and a little bit of water to a smooth paste.

  • Add the masala to the boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes and mix to coat them like a marinade

In a pan, heat the oil, splutter the mustard seeds, curry leaves, add the asafetid.

Add the potato mixture to this and a little water if needed. Cook this covered, stirring a couple of times for about 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and cook a few more minutes till it is almost dry. Serve hot with rice and sambhar, dal or rasam.

Accompaniment Suggestions

Pepper Rasam

Tomato Dal

Dosakaya Pappu (Lemon Cucumber Dal)


Masala Vada Curry ~ Paruppu Vadai Curry

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Vada Curry

Spicy curry of coconut and tomatoes, with lentil dumplings

This one is a firm favorite when we eat out at Tamizh or Chettinadu places (I know they are not interchangeable words, but I am trying to keep it simple here)

I always thought it was impossibly laborious to first make the vadais and then the curry. A few weeks ago, my MIL sent us some paruppu vadais that she made on some occasion. Being a mother, things like diet and restraint fall on deaf ears and she sent us a cartload of these. After setting aside a few to eat as snacks, I made this curry for lunch the next day.

Not all of you may be as lucky, so you will have to make the vadais first. The recipe is as follows.

Masala Vada Curry (Serves 4)


For the Masala Vadas

Chana Dal                                           – 1 cup (soak for 1 hr)

Green Chillis                                     – 2 (paste or chopped finely)

Curry leaves                                     – a few

a big pinch of asafetida

Salt and chilli powder as per taste

oil for frying

Grind the soaked channa dal with very little water to a coarse paste. Add the chopped green chillies,  asafetida, chopped curry leaves, salt and red chilli powder to taste and mix well.

  1. With wet hands, make into small balls and flatten them.
  2. Heat the oil and deep fry till golden brown.
  3. Remove and drain on paper towels.

For the Curry

Grated fresh coconut                          – 2 tablespoons

Whole Cumin Seeds                            – ¼ teaspoon

Whole black pepper                            – ½ teaspoon

Onion                                                        – 1 large, sliced

Green chillies                                         – 1

Ginger Garlic Paste                             – 1 teaspoon

Coconut Milk                                         1/3 cup

Tomatoes                                                 – 2

Tamarind extract                                 – ½ cup

Oil                                                               – 1 tablespoon

Curry leaves a few

Coriander leaves for garnishing

  1. Grind to a fine paste with a little water, the coconut, whole cumin, whole black pepper and green chilli.
  2. Heat the oil, add the curry leaves and onions and ginger garlic paste and fry till the onions are pink.
  3. Add the ground masala and sauté till it is beginning to stick to the pan.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook covered till it turns soft. Add ½ cup water and the tamarind extract and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the masala vadas and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste and mix to taste. Add the coconut milk, simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring.
  6. Check for seasoning and adjust. Serve hot with plain steamed rice.
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