Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Okra/Vendakka Piralan

Recipe  Taken From Mrs.K.M Matthew’s cook book      
Servings : 3

Okra : 30
Olive Oil : 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 tsp
Thinly Sliced Onions Cut Lengthwise : 1/4 cup
Coriander Powder : 2 tbsp
Chili Powder : 1 tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Water : 1/2 cup
Salt : 1/2 tsp



  1. Soak and make a paste of all the masala powders by adding some water.
  2. Remove the ends of okras, clean and cut them into small pieces as shown above.
  3. Heat the pan, add some oil and a few curry leaves, and sauté the okra pieces in it for a few minutes till the color changes into a darker green . Transfer it to a bowl and set aside. (Picture above)
  4. When the oil heats up , splutter mustard seeds, add the sliced onions and sauté for few minutes, now add the masala powders and sauté till the row smell disappears.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water into it and cook the onions in it . As the gravy starts to thicken, add salt and okra and cook for another few minutes.  Serve hot with rice.


Quick and Easy Black Beans Masala

Recipe: An improvised version from my mom’s  kitchen
Serving: 2

Black beans : 1/4 Cup
Water : 1 cup
Red Tomato : 1 Chopped(optional)
Chopped Onions : 1/2 cup
Garlic Pods : 2
Green Chilies : 3
Curry Leaves : a few
Salt : To taste
Olive Oil : 1 1/2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : a few
Thinly sliced pearl onions : 3
Coriander Powder : 1 tbsp
Garam Masala Powder :  1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
(make all the masalas into a paste by adding some water)



  1. Pressure cook black beans along with water, onions, chopped garlic pods, chilies, a few curry leaves, tomatoes,and salt. Normally 3 whistles should be sufficient on medium  heat.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, crack mustard seeds and add curry leaves and some chopped pearl onions. As it browns, add the masala paste and sauté till the row smell goes away.
  3. Add the black beans on to it and lower the heat,  let it cook a little more in the curry paste till it reaches your desired level of cooking.  Add more water if needed.



Black beans are rich in fiber.

Please know your pressure cooker well to avoid any accidents.

Some may choose to just cook black beans with salt and water and later on after seasoning add onions, and all the other ingredients and sauté in olive oil. May depends on individual preference.

This recipe used black beans that are not pre soaked or canned.

Presoaked beans might require just one whistle or less  in the pressure cooker.

If using canned beans, just sauté the ingredients in olive oil, add masalas, and then beans. Cook on low till it reaches desired consistency.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicken Sausage Pasta

Servings : 4

Pasta : 2 cups
Cooked chicken sausages : 5
Onions chopped : 1/2 cup
Shredded parmesan cheese : 1/2 cup
Baby spinach : 3 cups
Red potatoes cubed : 1
Yellow tomato : 1
Red tomato : 1
Orange tomato : 1
Olive oil : 1 tbsp
Italian seasoning : 1/4 tsp (optional)


  1. Remove the casings of the sausages and cut them crosswise into desired thickness. Sauté them in olive oil according to package direction. Transfer it to a bowl.
  2. Cook pasta according to package direction.Set aside.
  3. Sauté onions and cook potatoes in the same pan, as the potatoes are cooked add tomatoes, seasoning,spinach and parmesan cheese. Add the sausages back into the pan and mix.
  4. Add the pasta to this blend and serve with some chips and a little wine.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shallot Chicken Dry

Servings : 4

Boneless chicken thigh cut into small pieces : 1/2 Kg or 1lb. (or meat of your choice)
Pearl onions or shallots thinly sliced*: 280 gm or 10 oz.(see notes below)
Potato cut into cubes: 1
Coconut sliced in to small pieces : a few (optional)
Small green chilies: 4
Garlic pods: 2
Crushed ginger : 1tbsp
Curry leaves: A few
Lemon juice squeezed: 1 tbsp or more to taste 
Chopped cashew nuts : A handful (optional)
Olive oil or Coconut oil : 2tbsp plus a little more
Cardamom : 2
Cloves : 2
Cinnamon stick : one small piece
Pepper cones : a few
Black pepper powder: 1/4tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp

Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder : 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp or to taste



  1. Cut chicken into small pieces, pat dry it and marinate it. 
  2. Boil the potatoes along with enough water and salt and set aside.
  3. Prepare all the other ingredients as shown above.
  4. Heat the pan and add 2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil add 2 to 3 curry leaves for a nice aroma . Now add the chicken. Let one side cook for 5 minutes  and the other side for another 5. Transfer it to a bowl. (There will be a little bit of water content)
  5. Using the same pan on the stove, add the coconut slices and cashews till it changes color but not brown, now add crushed ginger, garlic slices, sliced green chilies, curry leaves, and sauté for 2 minutes. Put in sliced onions  and sauté it for 6 to 7 minutes on medium heat.
  6. While the onions are being cooked, crush and powder cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, and pepper cones and add it to the mix along with the garam masala powder, pepper powder and the remaining oil.   Mix it along with the chicken and potatoes .  Lower heat and add lemon juice. Let it sit for few minutes and enjoy!




Pearl onions or shallots can be prepared ahead of time for convenience or preferably while watching ‘Ice Age 3’ to laugh and cry at the same time and to save some time. Onions can be kept in the fridge in a plastic bag or a container for later use.

Those that are less tolerant to spices please bear in mind that this dish is spicy, please be discreet in the use of green chilies, red pepper powder, and pepper powder. Feel free to reduce the amount or even eliminate some if necessary.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spinach and Tomato Salad With Homemade Yogurt Dressing

Servings :2

Baby Spinach Leaves : 1 1/2 cup
Thinly Sliced Yellow Tomatoes : 1
Thinly Sliced Red Tomatoes : 1
Thinly Sliced Orange Tomatoes :1
Red or White Onions Sliced : 1/4 cup
Cucumber Slices : 1/2 of a cucumber



Gently toss all these together.  Add anything you want!

Homemade Salad Dressing

Yogurt :2 tbsp
Olive Oil :1 tbsp
Crushed Garlic :1 or 2
Lemon Juice and Zest : 1 tbsp
Salt and Pepper to taste


Beat it all together and Enjoy!

Tomato-Yogurt Curry or Thakkali Moru Charu


Chopped Tomatoes  :1
Garlic Pods : 2
Green Chilies : 3 or 4
Red Pearl Onions : 2 or 3
Red Chilies Dried : 3
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Curry Leaves : A few
Plain Yogurt : 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Water : 1 1/2 cup plus little bit more  to beat the yogurt



  1. Beat the plain yogurt briefly to lighten it to a medium consistency. Pour 2 tbsp of water into it to loosen it. Set it aside.
  2. Heat up 1 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pan, and add chopped tomatoes in it along with sliced garlic, green chilies, a few curry leaves, turmeric powder, and salt.
  3. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or more till the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked, and all the flavors are blended in with the water. Keep the heat on medium. Do a salt check. If needed, add some to the beaten yogurt or to the tomato water.
  4. Now add the beaten yogurt and keep stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon.  Do not take the hands off of it.
  5. Keep stirring for few minutes until you see steam coming out. Turn off the stove and remove it from the heat.
  6. In a separate pan add oil, splutter mustard seeds , chopped pearl onions , red chilies, and curry leaves. Fry it till it gets a nice brown color.
  7. Pour this seasoning over the yogurt tomato mixture and Yum!



Some may prefer a lighter consistency . If so, add more water to the yogurt mixture and loosen it.

This is a very quick and easy way of making a gravy for the rice without having to add a coconut spice mixture.

This goes best as a side with rice and, lamb or beef curry.

Left over can be kept in a tight jar in the fridge for a few days.

Grated Carrots and Potatoes Thoran Curry


Potato :1
Finely Chopped Onions :1
Green Chilies :3 or 4
Red pearl onions :3
Curry Leaves : A few
Coconut Oil : 1tbsp
Mustard Seeds :1 tsp
Salt: To taste



  1. Finely chop onions, green chilies,  red pearl onions and set aside. Set aside some curry leaves also.
  2. Finely grate the carrot and potato separately as shown in the picture above.
  3. Heat the pan on medium heat.
  4. When it gets hot, pour the oil.  Reduce the heat right away.
  5. Add mustard seeds, a few curry leaves, and the chopped pearl onions for seasoning.
  6. As the onion gets browned(see picture above), add the finely chopped onions and green chilies and  a few more curry leaves to it and sauté for a minute.
  7. Add potatoes along with some salt and cook for 10 minutes or more until it is almost cooked. Sprinkle some water around through the edges of the pan. At this point reduce the heat to medium low to prevent the potatoes from sticking at the bottom of the pan.
  8. Now add the grated carrots and the coconuts together. Make sure to check the seasoning.
  9. Carrots and coconut together cooks in another 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Mix them all together make it into a pile and cook it on low heat till it is well cooked.



This is a dry version that does not require water. If  potatoes need some water just sprinkle some around, but not adding too much.Keep checking the bottom of the pan to make sure that it is not burning. If it tends to burn, sprinkle a little bit of water as mentioned above through the edges of the pan and around the mixture.

This doesn’t need to be covered at any time.

Ensure that the potatoes are cooked well  before adding carrots.

Make sure the heat is on low while cooking potatoes and carrots.

The slower it cooks the better it tastes and it prevents burning.

Making this with a big handful of red pearl onions instead of the savala or big onions will give it a better flavor.

Adding some cooked green peas or edamame will give it a beautiful look. You may add it  along with the carrots or just 1 minute before you turn the stove off.  Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

My meal for this day was rose matta rice with thoran curry, Tomato yogurt curry and pappadam. Nice Vegetarian meal on a hot summer day. Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Strawberry Compote Dessert

Servings:4  Recipe Courtesy : Received from Jeff and Brigitte Clark  our dear friends

Fresh Strawberries : 1 pound
Granulated Sugar : 1 1/4 cups
Cinnamon Stick : 1 small
Pure Vanilla Extract and a few drops for the cream : 1/4 tsp
Whipping cream : 1/2 cup
Confectioners Sugar : 1 tbsp



  1. Quickly wash the strawberries under cold water, hull them, and put in a heavy 4-quart saucepan.
  2. With a wooden spoon, toss the strawberries with the granulated sugar, then add the cinnamon.
  3. Bring to a boil over low heat, shaking the pan constantly to prevent sticking.
  4. Make sure the sugar has dissolved before the strawberries come to a boil. The strawberries will release liquid as they cook.
  5. The strawberries should look firm.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool, then transfer to a jar with a tight screw top .Refrigerate until needed, up to 2 weeks.
  7. In a cold medium-size mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form.
  8. Add the confectioners sugar and a few drops of vanilla.
  9. To serve, divide the strawberries among 4 stemmed glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream. 

Notes:  Do not over cook the strawberries. Frozen strawberries   may be used, only in the absence of fresh fruits.Do not add water at any stage.  If strawberries are not available where you live, you may substitute the recipe with other locally available berries or fruits.Vanilla ice cream can be used as a substitute for whip cream. Try to get medium-size  strawberries and look for berries that are uniform in size. Confectioners sugar is simply powdered sugar.


Spicy Siracha Chicken Wings

Recipe Courtesy: Received from my friends Jeff and Brigette Clark.
10 servings

Chicken Wings : 10 Pounds
Crushed Coriander Seeds :1/4 Cup
Crushed Cumin Seeds : 1tsp
Cinnamon :1tsp
Kosher salt : 2tbsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil : 1/4 Cup
Siracha Chile Sauce : 3/4 Cup (see notes below)
Unsalted Butter Melted : 1 1/2 Sticks
Chopped Cilantro : 1/2 Cup
Lime Juice and Lime Zest: 3 lemons



  1. In a very large bowl, toss the wings with the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, kosher salt, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375degrees.
  3. Spread the wings on 3 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 75 to 90 minutes, until crispy and golden. Stir or turn occasionally to help the wings crisp.
  4. Wash out the bowl.
  5. Add the Siracha sauce, butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice.
  6. Add the wings to the sauce and toss well.
  7. Do so in small batches if necessary. Serve hot.


Notes: This can be a great party meal.

It can be made in small quantity also, just calculate the portion of all the ingredients needed.

Siracha sauce is available at almost all the grocery stores, especially at an oriental store for a much cheaper price. If unable to find it,  make your own by following the recipe here.

Wash and pat dry the wings before proceeding with the recipe, to help reduce the water content while cooking.

It tastes better eating warm.

This can be served with a simple coleslaw, and toasted whole grain bread and some white wine.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beet Greens Thoran with Grated Carrots

Beet Greens :  1 bunch finely chopped
Finely Chopped Onions : 1
Green Chilies:  3 or 4
Grated Carrots : 1 or 2 
Grated Coconuts :1/2 cup
Turmeric powder: 1tsp
Olive Oil :2tbsp
Shallots :2 or 3
Mustard Seeds : 1 or 2 tsp
Curry leaves : a few
Salt :For your taste

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  1. Wash and clean each leaves separately in cold water and pat dry it with a paper towel.
  2. Separate the leaves and stems and keep the stem part aside for later.
  3. Finely chop the leaves as shown above.
  4. Finely grate the carrots  and the stem as shown in the picture. Do not mix it with the leaves.
  5. Turn on the pan on medium heat and pour the olive oil into it.
  6. Splutter the mustard seeds and add the chopped shallots and curry leaves. Check the heat to prevent burning.
  7. Add the turmeric powder and stir.Don't burn it.
  8. Add onions green chilies and sauté  for 2 minutes.
  9. Now add the grated carrots and the beet stems.
  10. Sauté till it is almost cooked but not fully.
  11. Now add the leaves and along with salt.
  12. Reduce the heat to medium law.
  13. Do not cover, and let it steam till the leaves are wilted may be 4 minutes.
  14. Add grated coconut and toss the leaves around so the other side is also cooked. May be another 2 to 3 minutes.
  15. Take it out of the heat and serve it with rice. It should look like this.


Notes: Beet Greens are high in Vitamin K and A along with a large amounts of anti oxidants like  beta carotene.

Available in stores all year around.

Try to pick greens that are not wilted or yellowing.

May not taste as good as spinach or ‘cheera curry’ from home. It is a wonderful substitute for those who have a craze for cheera curry.

Same  recipe may be used for cooking cabbage leaves or spinach leaves.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lazy Spicy Broiled Fish

Serves 2

Tilapia fillets:      2
Chili powder :      1tbsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Olive oil :    1tbsp
lemon juice :1tbsp
salt: 1/2 tsp 


  1. Thoroughly mix all the listed ingredients to a paste.
  2. Turn on the oven  to the broiler mode to preheat
  3. If patience allows, let the fish marinate in the spice for a few minutes.
  4. Lay the fish pieces flat on an oil coated oven proof dish.
  5. Cook one side for 6 minutes  or more depends on your preference.
  6. Flip the fish over to the other side and cook for another 5 to 6mins.
  7. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes  before serving.


Notes:-- you can taste the spice paste a bit and see if it lacks anything. 
Cooking time can be varied as per individual preference and oven setting. 
Broiler gives you a more drier version while baking it for 30 or 20 minutes may give you a very moist version of the fish. 
The same recipe may be used for the frying version of it, if so marinate for few hours.  You may try this same recipe on other types of fish as well.
Nothing fancy about this, except it is quick and easy.     

My combination meal for this day was fish served with rice, butter milk curry, moongdal thoran, and a piece of lemon pickle. 


I am Subeena.

An ordinary woman with a passion for cooking and feeding. I believe in the art of cooking. It is a colorfully crafted art where you mix the elements with balance and attention. Love is another factor that makes it all the more tastier.  Putting my whole heart filled with love into it, I cook, We eat, and I enjoy the smile it puts on the face of others. Although not at all professional in cooking, through error and terror I am still learning. This is a live recipe book for my own reference where I keep my every day meals and combos. My apologies  in advance for any listed dishes that are not palatable to your tongue. Most recipes are of personal origin while others are borrowed from family, friends, and the web. My sincere thanks to my dear husband who has been an inspiration and aspiration all through the years. Eating with an open mind allows me to welcome other cuisines whenever possible and to enjoy the awakening of my taste buds.