Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Spanish Tapas

29 Jun

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Aioli

We wanted to try our first Tapa in Spain, but had no idea before about tapas. There were lot of small retaurants in Barcelona on the road side which were named as Bars. We tried our first tapas in one of these Restaurant. Tapas is a small sized snack and can be had before meal or along with meal.  Tapas can be had as  starter or an appetizer. Spanish Omelette and Garlic shrimp is among  the popular Tapas .

The two dishes which I have posted here is nearly same, only the sauce topping is different. Patatas Bravas is topped with tomato puree sauce and Patatas alioli is topped with Mayonnaise sauce. Bravas and Alioli  where tasting great with the fried potatoes.

Ingredients for the potato base:

  1. Potato – 3 medium, peeled and cut in to bite size pieces
  2. Olive oil – 5 Tbs
  3. Garlic – 5 cloves, minced
  4. Salt for the potatoes

For Bravas sauce :

  1. Olive oil – 1tsp
  2. Tomato puree – 1/2 cup
  3. Chilli flakes – 1/2 tsp
  4. Salt a little
  5. Oregano – 1/2  tsp, dried

For Aioli sauce: Mayonnaise sauce

  1. Egg yolk – 1
  2. Olive oil – 1/2 cup or any vegetable oil
  3. Lemon juice – 1 Tbs
  4. Salt – 1/4 tsp

Method for potato base:

1. Add the oil to the hot pan and shallow fry the potatoes. Add salt and garlic and cook till the potatoes are soft. approx 15 – 20 min.

( You can also serve the potatoes at this point. It tastes wonderful.)

Method for Bravas sauce:

1. Add oil to the hot pan and add tomato puree, chili flakes and salt and let it cook for 15 minutes. Cover it with lid and cook.

2. Add the oregano when it is done.

Method for Aioli sauce : Mayonnaise sauce

1. Add the egg yolk and start whisking, slowly add the oil and continue. Add the lemon juice and salt and do whisking .

you can see the sauce gets thickening . you can also refrigerate it and use it later.

Tip: Adding more olive oil may sometimes makes the sauce bitter. So it is better to add few spoons of olive oil and remaining with vegetable oil.


Cucumber Kootu (Cucumber Lentils Curry)

25 May

The best way to consume Cucumber is to eat it raw and having it in salad. As it contains 90 % of water content and helps reducing the heat from the body. During rainy cold season, I would like to always make warm food (or) When I have abundant quantity of Cucumber,  I prefer to go for this Cucumber kootu. Kootu is a semi solid curry made by combination of lentils and vegetables. This recipe is influenced from my mother.


  1. Cucumber – 1, medium size peeled and cut in to small chunks, remove the seeds if it not tender and soft
  2. Onion – 1, medium size finely shopped
  3. Lentils – 1/4 cup (Moong dhal, can be tried with other lentils too)
  4. Oil – 1 Tbs
  5. Mustard – 1 tsp
  6. Cumin – 1/2 tsp
  7. Urad dhal – 1 Tbs
  8. Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  9. Turmeric –  1/4 tsp
  10. Dry Red chilli – 3 nos
  11. Curry leaves – 1 strand
  12. Salt for taste


1. In a vessel add the lentils, cucumber, onion, turmeric, salt  and 1 cup of water and pressure cook it and transfer it to a bowl.

2. Do the seasoning.In a hot pan add oil, Mustard and wait to crackle. Add urad dhal, cumin , dry red chilli, asafoetida  and curry leaves and stir for 2 minutes in a medium heat.

3. Now add the seasoning to the cucumber kootu and mix it up. It is ready to be served with Rice or as an side dish.

Tip : 1. A spoon of clarified butter and Rice mixed with this Cucumber kootu would give a wonderful taste.

2. Also good combo with Indian bread

3. If the Cucumber skin is tender, use it in the recipe as it also contains nutrients.


Crispy & Spicy Okra / Ladies finger and Mathematics

16 May

Ladies finger is also called as Okra or Bhindi or Vendaikai. It has got even different names in other countries. It has been long time since I made this dish. Try this dish with someone who hates to eat this vegetable, they can became fan of it. Crispy and juicy taste of okra may attract even children. As everyone in my home liked it so much, I had to make two batches one after the other from scratch.

A Story of Okra and me—Some incidents are unforgettable even though we have crossed so many years. I still remember my school days paintings with vegetables. The teacher asked the children to  draw some shapes using the vegetables as a homework. My Mother is very creative and she has lots of interest in Embroidery ,Handicrafts and artworks.  She helped me in collecting Onion, Potato ,Tomato and this okra . We did painting by dipping the cut vegetable (horizontally  or vertically)with colors and then to the paper to make colored vegetable shapes. I liked okra shapes than other veggies. May be this is the reason, I get remembered of this when I see this vegetable.

Ladies finger and Mathematics In India Grandparents, Parents and elders say that, children and students can be good in mathematics when they consume ladies finger(okra). Though this veggie contains good amount of nutrients, I do not know how much of this story is scientifically true?


  1. Okra(Ladies Finger) – 250 gm
  2. Oil – 5 Tsp
  3. Chilli Powder – 1/4 Tsp
  4. Pepper – 1/4 Tsp
  5. Corn starch – 2 Tsp
  6. Rice Flour – 3 Tsp
  7. Salt for taste


1. Wash the vegetable and then cut both the ends and make a long slit in the middle without separating into 2 pieces.

2. Mix all the ingredients together with okra except the oil. Sprinkle few drops of  water such that the masala stick with the okra.

3. Heat a pan, add little  oil and arrange the okras one by one. Shallow fry the okras for 5 minutes by turning to the sides. Fry in batches.

Tip: If you are not diet conscious okras can be also deep fried to become more crisp .


Garlic Rasam – with fresh ground spices

14 May


The  South Indian traditional meal would contain many varieties of food items served in a Banana leaf. The Vegetarian Platter would contain side dishes like Poriyal, Kootu ,varuval(sauted vegetables, veggies with lentils ,fried veggies), Papads (fryums)and a sweet. The first round of main course would start with Rice and Sambhar, the second with Rice and RASAM and the third with Rice and yoghurt. Dessert would be Payasam made with milk.

I cook this traditional meal only in festivals and in some occassions . Rasam is my all time favorite, and it can be made in 15 minutes. I stopped using instant Rasam powder a long back, though it is very easy to make Rasam with instant ready mix, the taste of fresh ground Rasam is uncomparable. Atleast once in a week, I used to make it as everyone in my home loves it. Rasam can be had as a soup or with Rice.


  1. Oil – 1/2 Tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 Tsp
  3. Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  4. Turmeric –  a pinch
  5. Garlic – 5 cloves,  roughly crushed with skin
  6. Tamarind- 1 lemon size,  mix with 1 cup of warm water and make juice of it
  7. Tomato -1  riped, squeeze it in a bowl roughly
  8. Salt for taste
  9. Corriander – 2 strands
  10. Curry leaves – 1 strand

For grinding

  1. Cumin – 1 Tsp
  2. Pepper – 1 Tsp
  3. Green Chilli – 1


1. Heat the oil in a Kadai. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.

2. Add the crushed garlic and stir it for couple of seconds. Add Asafoetida powder , freshly ground spices and stir for a minute in a low flame.

3. Add the squeezed tomatoes and tamarind water. Add 2 more cups of water, salt, turmeric and let it cook in a medium flame.

4. Once the Rasam starts boiling, switch of the heat and add curry leaves and corriander leaves.

5. Serve it with Rice.

Tip:  Simple garlic Rasam is very good in taste. Add 1/4 cup of cooked dhal, to get a rich taste and to mild the Rasam if it is spicy.


Roasted Egg Plant with Bulgarian spicy salt

12 May

Bulgaria is one of the good holiday destination in Europe.  My hubby had been there for a Business Trip and become fond of Bulgarian salads and steaks. One of the common spice they use is Balkan Salt. It is normally taken with bread or bacon. He got few packs to try it at home. I have used this salt on steamed vegetables it was tasting superb. So I tried it with Egg plant,  the end result was really good.


  1. Egg Plant  – 1
  2. Balkan Salt to season egg plant. (Balcon salt is a mix of Salt, Red pepper, Corn flour, Fenugreek, Balkan Savory)
  3. Oil – 2 Tsp


1. Cut the Egg plant in to 0.5 cm – 1 cm thick slices length wise. Apply the balkan salt on both the sides.

2. Add oil to the pan and shallow fry the slices for approximately 2-3 minutes on both sides.

Tip : Serve it warm as a starter or side dish.