Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Gutti Vonkaya Kura (Stuffed Brinjals Gravy - Andhra Style)

Hi Friends!! 

My next recipe is a Andhra speciality dish... it is much spicy compared to earlier dishes that I have prepared.

Gutti Vonkaya Kura is an authentic Andhra Recipe made with small Brinjals stuffed and cooked with some spices. Any way I got this recipe from a magazine... I also checked with one of my friends who is a Telugu.. I thought let me try this out too... :)

Vonkaya curry final
Brinjal sliced


  • Brinjal- 6 nos (sliced vertically till half)
  • Oil - To fry the brinjals, 4-5 tsbsp for gravy
  • Onion - 1 no
  • Fried Brinjals
  • Tomato-1 no

  • Cinnamon - 1 stalk
  • Cloves - 8nos
  • Cardamoms - 5 nos
  • Green chillies - 3 nos, chopped
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • CuminPowder - 1 tsp
  • Chilly powder - 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves -10-12 nos
  • Coriander powder - 3 tsp
  • Coconut paste - 1 cup
  • Tamarind - 2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • Salt to taste


1. Take a pan and deep fry the brinjals. Keep aside.

2. Chop the onions and tomatoes and keep aside.

3. Grind the coconut into a paste and keep it aside

after putting coconut gravy

4. Take a pan and pour 4-5 tablespoons of oil. Add Cardamoms, Cloves and Cinnamons and sauté.

5. Then add the green chillies, Cumin, Mustard seeds and garlic.  Once  the Garlic becomes brownish, add the chopped onions.

6. Add the curry leaves and turmeric powder. Mix and saute these for some time.

6. Add the tomatoes and let it to sauté for some time.
boiling gravy

7. Add the red chilly powder, Coriander powder, and cumin powder.

8. Add the coconut paste and put  salt and mix it well.

9. Once the masala gets cooked and reaches a slightly dry consistency add some tamarind extract.

Add the brinjal in the gravy
10. Check for the amount of water in the gravy. If required you can add some more water for consistency.

11. Now add the fried brinjals into the gravy. Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes till the gravy becomes a bit think and consistent.

Garnish with coriander leaves… Gutti Vonkaya Kura is ready!!

It will good to serve with rice. Around 4 members in a family can be served...

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Pavakka Sambaar ( Bitter Gourd Sambaar)

Sambaar is a staple dish of South indian states especially Tamilnadu and Kerala. It is an excellent combination for Idli, Dosa, Vada etc. apart from Rice for which its the default combination :)

The uniqueness of Sambaar is that it is one of the rare dishes that contains 5 of the 6 tastes that human beings can feel - Sweet, Spicy, Sour, Bitter and Salty. 
The sixth taste is Astringent. 

For details refer

There are different types of Sambaar depending upon the vegetables used to make them. We had earlier written about Onion sambaar (Click Here to view that post) and Vegetable Sambaar (Click here to view that post).

This sambaar is one made with Bitter Gourd or Pavakka as one of the main ingredients. This Sambaar is mostly prepared in Tamilnadu...

Ingredients of Pavakka Sambaar:

  • Bitter Guard-2 nos
  • Shallots- 20-25 nos
  • Jaggrey- 1 table spoon
  • Tomatoes - 2 nos
  • Corriander leaves-2-3 springs
  • Red chilly flakes-1/4 teaspoon
  • Green chilies - 2 nos.
  • Curry leaves - 6-8 Nos.
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder-1/2 teaspoon
  • Tamarind - lemon size
  • Sambar powder- 2 teaspoons
  • Asafoetida (kayapodi\ hing\ perunkayam) -1/4 teaspoon
  • Dry red chillies-2-3
  • Salt to taste


Put the dal into a cooker, add 2 glasses of water (approximately 300-350 ml) and cook well.
Clean and soak the tamarind into 50 ml of warm water.
Normal water can also be used to soak tamarind but the advantage with warm water is that helps in complete extraction of the tamarind pulp in less time. Keep the soaked tamarind aside.

Chop the Bitter Guard into small semicircular pieces as shown. Cut the green chillies vertical. Chop and add shallots into it.

Add three glasses of water (approximately 500 ml). Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, red chilly flakes and salt to taste and cook it in low flame. Once these vegetables - esp. bitter gourd is cooked, put the chopped tomatoes into the it.

After the tomatoes are half  cooked, add the cooked dal into it and mix thoroughly.

Extract tamarind pulp from the soaked tamarind by squeezing it with your hands. Pour the extracted tamarind pulp into the cooked Bitter Gourd-dal mixture.

Add Jaggrey into the mixture. 
At last put the sambaar powder, Asafoetida etc. Add salt to taste. Allow it to boil in low flame. Keep aside.Check for consistency. 
In case this looks too thick, pour additional water.

Sambaar must NOT be a semisolid. It must be free flowing (through not as free flowing as water)


Take a small frying pan and pour 2 tablespoons of oil into it. Once the oil is hot, put one teaspoon of mustard. 
Wait till  the mustard splutters. 
Immediately after all the mustard splutters, add the broken red chillies ,curry leaves into it and mix it with the mustard for it to get fried.
Pour the contents of the pan with the Bitter Gourd - dal mix that was kept aside. Mix thoroughly.You can add corriander leaves at the end if required...

Sambaar is ready…

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Lauki Kofta Curry (Deep fried balls of grated Bottle Gourd in tomatoes onion gravy)

We all have heard about Malai Koftas which is a very famous Punjabi dish and is served in almost all North Indian feasts... 
I saw the lauki kofta recipe in one of the websites when I was searching for the health benefits of the bottle gourd or Lauki as it is called in Hindi. I am told its a very good vegetable in reducing cholesterol...Not sure :) Need to study more about it... 

I anyways decided to go ahead and prepare the Lauki Kofta. This is the first time I am preparing a dish using bottle gourd / lauki. So pl. excuse if it doesnot look the way it should. Anyways, it tasted well  :)

Ingredients - 

For preparing the Koftas

  • Lauki /Bottle gourd – one big grated
  • Besan/Bengal Gram flour/ Kadala Mavu - 2 big table spoons
  • Ginger- one teaspoon (chopped  small)
  • Green chilly - one teaspoon (chopped  small)
  • Coriander leaves – one big spoon (chopped in small size)
  • Oil For frying
  • Salt as needed

For preparing Gravy for koftas

  • Tomato-2 big (chopped small size)
  • Onion (big)-2 nos chopped
  • Green chillies -2 nos chopped
  • Cumin seeds-1/4 teaspoon
  • Ginger-Garlic paste-1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chilly powder-1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder-1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam masala-1/2 teaspoon


For preparing the Koftas

  • Peel the skin of the bottle guard  and remove the seeds.
  • Grate the bottle guard, pour some salt in the grated bottle gourd, keep aside for 10 minutes 
  • After 10 min, squeeze out all  the water from the grated bottle gourd.  Keep the water aside.
  • In a bowl add, grated bottle gourd, Besan, chopped ginger, chopped green chillies, salt  and make a firm
    dough. You can add more besan/Bengal gram flour if there is moisture.
  • Now we can make small balls out of it 
  • Deep fry the balls in low flame till brown colour. 
  • The koftas are ready... keep them aside.

Process - to prepare the Gravy

  • Chop onions and tomatoes into small sizes and keep it aside. 

  • Take a pan and pour 2 table spoons oil, pour ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds and fry it lightly. 
  • Then add chopped onions and sauté it till it turns brown 
  • Then add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chillies, Turmeric powder, Coriander powder, Cummin powder, Red chillies etc and sauté for some time.
  • Pour the tomatoes into it and sauté it for 2 minutes. Add the juice of the grated bottle gourd into it. 
  • Allow it come to a thick gravy. 
  • Pour Garam masala, let it boil for some time.
  • Put the kofta balls into the gravy and bring into boil. And Garnish with coriander leaves.

It can be served with chapathi, parathas, pulav etc…
It serves around 7-8 members in a family...

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Unniyappam / Neiappam (Rice-Jaggrey-Banana batter fried as dumplings

Unniyappam - a small Appam… :)

When  any body tells me about the unniappam, I immediately remember about the unniyappams that my father bought from Edappally  Ganapathi temple. Thats Unniyappam!!Very tasty...

Unniyappam Ingredients

Rice powder-2 cups
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Sesame seeds - 1/2 tablespoon 
Water -1 cup
Coconut bits - 1/4 cup
Banana-1 no (poovan pazham is best here. However, i used robasta here since poovan was not available)
Baking soda - 1 pinch 
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Oil –for frying

Unniyappam Process

Preparing the batter

Rinse and soak rice in water around 4-5 hours. Drain the water and grind it into a semi coarse flour. 

Melt the Jaggery and keep aside. 

Crush/Grind the banana into a fine paste. 
Mix together the rice flour, banana, Jaggery paste well. Add water little by little, ensure that the batter is semi-thick (just enough to drop/flow consistently).

You can adjust the jaggery  according to your taste.

Fry the coconut bits in ghee and keep it aside. Add the fried coconut bits, sesame seeds, a pinch of baking soda to the batter. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

Frying process

Fill the oil in the unniyappa kara. 

When the oil is hot, lower the flame to a medium one.

Drop tablespoons of batter to the pan to fill the pits with the batter. 

Allow to fry in medium flame.

When the portion in the oil gets brown, turn the unniyappam with the spoon and cook the other side too. 

We can make around 30 unniyappams with the batter...

#unniappam, #neiappam, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian, #riceflour

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Cheera Parippu Kootaan (Green Amaranth - Dal curry)

Green amaranth is one of the most widely used green leafy vegetables in our country after spinach. It contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and is high on fibre which helps control cholesterol. 

One of the most popular combinations of the green cheera is with parippu (dal) to make Cheera Parrippu Kootan. Lets see how to make this.


Toor Dal - 100 grams One bunch of Green Cheera plants - around 250 gms
One Tomato - chopped
Coconut - half, grated
Green Chilly - 1
Chilly Powder - 1 tea spoon
Turmeric - 1 tea spoon
Salt to taste

Chop off the roots of the plants. Clean the leaves thoroughly multiple times in tap water to ensure the mud in the stem, leaves etc are removed. 
Its is good practice to soak the leaves in salt water for an hour prior to chopping. This minimizes the effect of chemicals/pesticides attached to the leaves. This practice can be followed for most of the vegetables and fruits that we buy.

Once cleaned thoroughly, chop the leaves into small pieces.

Add 1 tea spoon each of chilly powder (Kashmiri chilly powder is good) and turmeric into the chopped leaves along with 200 ml. of water. Add salt to taste and cook well. 

Separately, add 300 ml into the dal and cook it in a cooker. Keep it aside. 
Grind the grated coconut thoroughly. If required add one green chilly while grinding. In case  you don't want the curry to be spicy at all, the green chilly can be avoided.

Once the leaves are cooked, add the the chopped tomato into it. When the chopped tomato is  half cooked, add the dal and coconut paste into it and mix it thoroughly. Add salt if required.


In a small frying pan, pour one tablespoon of oil. Add one teaspoon mustard into it. After the mustard splutters, put 2 red chillies and curry leaves into it and allow it to get fried in the oil. Pour this into the cooked leaves-dal-cocunut mixture and mix well.

Cheera Parippu Kootan is ready.

This serves a family of 4.

#cheera, #amaranthleaves, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Friday, 5 June 2015

Thazhuthama (Punarnava / Mukkarattai) Thoran (Hogweed stir fried with grated coconut)

Thazhuthama Thoran recipe

Have you heard about Thazhuthama? Most of us born and brought up in Kerala know this plant. But few of us know about its immense medicinal values and its extensive use in Ayurveda. 
Its uses include lowering cholesterol, improving eyesight, excellent in iron and hence great to cure anemia etc.

Similar to the amaranth leaves with which we prepared thoran (click here to view that recipe), thoran is prepared using these thazhuthama leaves too and they have a great taste.

Lets get into the recipe now.
Thazhuthama Plant


Thazhuthama leaves - one bunch (around 500 gms)
Coconut-1/2 grated 
Onions or Small onions (shallots) chopped - 6-8 nos (shallots are prefered since they enhance the taste in a big way)
Green chillies - 4, sliced long
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chillies - 4-6 nos
Thazhuthama leaves
Oil - 2 table spoon
White rice (raw, uncooked) - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste


Pluck the leaves of the plant. 
Clean the leaves thoroughly multiple times in tap water for removing mud in the leaves. Putting a spoon of salt in the cleaning water helps to remove the mud easily. Once cleaned thoroughly, chop the leaves into small pieces.
Thazhuthama Leaves chopped

Pour two table spoon of coconut oil into a thava (frying pan).
Once the oil is hot, put one teaspoon mustard into it. 
Once the mustard seeds splutter, put the raw white rice into it and a couple of red chillies into it. Stir till the white rice turns light brown and put the chopped leaves into it. 

Add  Turmeric powder, salt and sliced green chillies into it.
Mix these and close the pan for the leaves to cook. 

It takes approx.10 minutes for the leaves to cook. Always cook in low flame. 
Thazhuthama getting
cooked in a frying pan
Then add the chopped onions/shallots into the cooked leaves and again close the lid. 

After a minute, add the grated coconut and mix it thoroughly with the cooked leaves.

Thazhuthama Thoran is ready. Serves 3-4

#thazhuthama, #hogweed, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian