All posts by deepasekhar

Hello Reader, This is Deepa Sekhar. I do cookery shows for DOORDHARSHAN for the past four years. I've done several live cookery programs. Theneer neram is a live program which brings out best dishes of different varieties. Asathal samayal is also a live program where a dish has to be prepared, at the same time viewer's queries will have to be answered. I have authored a cook book, "CHAAT VARIETIES" and have continuously written bi-monthly cookbooks for KUMUDHAM SNEHIDHI, a prestigious woman's magazine. Also, few recipes of mine have been published in the Kumudam Health magazine and JFW(Just for women) magazine. I've started this blog with my viewers requests and encouragement. I will be sharing recipes from various cuisines using fresh produce. For now, two dishes will be posted every month. I appreciate all the support and encouragement from you viewers, readers and fellow bloggers. Feel free to share my recipes with your family and friends. Please do send in your suggestions. Like.Comment.Share! Thank you, Deepa Sekhar.

Kappu Banna Haagala Kaayi Gojju ( Black Colour Bittergourd Gojju)

Kappu Banna Haagala Kaayi Gojju

Kappu Banna is Black Colour and Haagala Kaayi is Bittergourd in Kannada. The first time I tasted this dish was at Hotel Chalukya in Bangalore. I really fell in love with the taste of the Gojju. We were driving to Chennai, I did not have the time to find out the preparation of this dish. All along my way, I was trying to figure out what was in the dish. I had conceived the recipe. I came home and made a Gojju Pudi ( Gojju Powder). Next when I prepared the Gojju, I came very, very close, both in taste and the colour.

This gojju is black in colour. The taste is just, just amazing. I love to have this Gojju with curd rice. Goes well with plain hot rice and ghee,   crisp dosas with curd and dhal rice. Also goes well with Ven Pongal, Rice Upma( Arisi Upma ), Adai   and Pidi Kozhukattai. Do try and enjoy.

Before starting the preparation for this Gojju, we have to make the Gojju Pudi. Can store this Gojju Pudi in the fridge. Keeps well for 1 month.

Ingredients for making the Gojju Pudi ( Gojju Powder )

Channa dhal – 2 tablespoons

Urad dhal – 2 tablespoons

Methi seeds – 1 /2 teaspoon

Mustard seeds – 3/4 teaspoon

Black sesame seeds – 2 tablespoons

Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon

Jeera – 1 tablespoon

Coriander seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Raw rice – 1 tablespoon

Dry red chillies ( I have used Kashmiri chillies ) – 4

Solid hing (asafoetida) – 1 small piece

Method

Heat a pan. Keep on sim flame. Add in all the above mentioned ingredients. Dry roast on sim flame till golden. Switch off the stove. Transfer the contents to a plate. Cool. Blend to a fine powder in a blender. Transfer the powdered contents to an air tight container.

Ingredients for making the Gojju

Bittergourd chopped to bite  sized pieces – 1 and 1/2 cups ( de seed and chop the bittergourd, transfer the chopped bittergourd pieces to a bowl. Sprinkle little salt. Mix with your hands. Cover and leave aside for 1 hour. Squeeze the water from the bittergourd. Cover and keep it aside till the time of use.)

Tamarind paste – 1 heaped teaspoon

Salt to taste

Grated jaggery – 2 tablespoon

Sugar – 5 teaspoons

Sambar powder – 2 teaspoons

Turmeric powder- 2 pinches

Water – 4 cups

Gojju Pudi – 2 tablespoons

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

To Season

Gingelly ( sesame ) oil – 4 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Broken dry red chillies – 2

To Garnish

Curry leaves – little ( fried in little oil to a deep green colour and fry it crisp. Cool. Crush with your hands slightly )

Gojju served with Curd Rice

Method 

Heat a thick bottomed broad pan. Season. First fry the squeezed bittergourd pieces on sim flame. Cover and  fry for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric powder.Saute on simflame for 5 minutes. Add the salt to taste, Add the grated jaggery, sugar, asafoetida powder and mix well. Cover and cook on sim flame for 3 minutes. Add the sambar powder, tamarind paste and water. Boil on medium flame for 5 minutes. Add the gojju pudi. Mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. By now the Gojju would have thickened. Switch off the stove. Garnish. Serve hot.

Chef’s  Tips

1) The consistency of the Gojju has to be like dosa batter. Do not make it very runny.

2) Store the Gojju in an air tight container in the normal fridge compartment. Keeps good for 3 to 4 days.

3) Ihave used both sugar and jaggery which further enhances the taste of the Gojju.

4) If the Gojju becomes thick, dilute it with little boiling hot water.

 

 

 

 

Caramel Almond Milk Shake

Caramel Almond Milk Shake

Really loved this shake. Quick to make and has a lingering flavour. Made this shake for breakfast today. I have split this recipe into 2 parts, so that it will be easy to follow. Do try and enjoy with your family.

Ingredients ( To make the sugar caramel)  Part 1 ( Caramel Syrup )

Sugar – 6 tablespoons

Water – 1/4 cup

Method

Heat a thick bottomed metal ( Hindalium ) pan. Add the sugar. Keep the pan on the small gas burner. Do not stir the sugar. Leave it. Slowly the sugar will melt and caramelise to a golden colour. Now sim the  flame and pour the water slowly from the side of the pan. Hold the water cup with a tong to avoid the heat from the burner. After pouring the water stir gently with a long handled stainless steel ladle. Let the sugar mix boil for 3 minutes on high flame. Switch off the stove. Transfer the caramel to a bowl. Cool.

Ingredients ( To make the shake ) Part – 2

Boiled, chilled thick milk – 6 cups

Condensed milk – 1 tablespoon

Milk powder – 1 tablespoon

Powdered almonds – 2 tablespoons( powder with the skin )

Caramel syrup – the quantity mentioned above

Method

Take a big mixie jar ( blender jar ). Pour in all the above mentioned ingredients. Cover the blender. Blend it on high speed for 3 minutes. Pour the Almond Caramel Milkshake in  tall glasses or  glass jars and serve.

Chef’s Tips

1) Can store the caramel syrup in the normal fridge compartment for 3 to 4 days.

2) If using a non stick pan to make the caramel, use a wooden spatula to mix the sugar. Do not use a plastic spatula. It will melt.

3) Do not stir the sugar in the pan. It will become crumbly and will be difficult to melt. Once it melts fully and bubbles, then pour the water very, very carefully from the sides of the pan. Take care not to burn your hands. Use oven mitts while stirring the sugar.

 

 

Black Bean Paneer Chilli

Black Bean Paneer Chilli

Was wanting to try out this dish from a long time. I had formulated this recipe which became a super duper Hit In My Home. I am very happy to share this recipe with you All.

Can make it just like that. Goes well with plain rice, veg fried rice and noodles.

Ingredients

Chopped paneer – 1 cup ( soak chopped paneer in boiling hot water. Cover and leave it aside till the time of use. Drain the paneer and use. )

Boiled black beans – 1 cup ( Black beans is available in all big super markets )

Chopped spinach – 1 handful

Diced onions – 1 cup

Chopped garlic – 6 flakes

Diced green capsicum – 1 cup

Chopped green chillies – 2

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

To make cornflour slurry ( slurry is a thick mix mixed with water )

Water – 2 cups

Soya sauce – 1  teaspoon

Cornflour – 1 tablespoon

Coarsely crushed black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon

Tomato paste – 2 tablespoons

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Mix all the above mentioned cornflour slurry ingredients to a smooth mixture

To Season

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Seasme oil – 1 tablespoon

Torn dry red chillies – 2 ( I have used Kashmiri dry red chilli )

To Garnish 

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Ginger juliennes – little

Black Bean Paneer Chilli served with Plain Steamed Rice

Method

Heat a big pan. Season. First fry the chopped garlic flakes on high flame till light golden. Next, add the diced onions. Sauté on high flame till transparent. Add the chopped spinach and the diced green capsicum. Sauté on high flame for 3 minutes. Add the salt to taste. Add the sugar. Add the chopped green chillies. Add the cornflour slurry mix. Cook on medium flame till thick. Add the boiled black beans and the paneer. Cook on high flame for 2 minutes. Switch off the stove. Garnish and serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Do not worry, if black beans is not available, you can use rajma instead.

2) Chinese cooking is usually done on high flame. The cooking will be very fast and the veggies will be  little crunchy, which further enhances the taste of the dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subhadra Amma Potato Sambhar

Subhadra Amma Potato Sambhar

A very delicious Sambhar that can be made when your pressed for time. I learnt this recipe from my mother’s very good friend    Subhadra Amma. I am very happy to share this recipe with you. Goes well with plain rice, dosas, hot bread toast and hot, hot phulkas.

Ingredients

Peeled and chopped potatoes – 2 cups

Chopped onions – 1 cup

Chopped tomatoes – 2 cups

Broken yellow moong dhal ( paasi paruppu) – 2 tablespoons

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Sambhar powder – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon

Water – 4 cups

Rice flour – 1 teaspoon ( mix the rice flour with 1/4 cup of water to a smooth mix )

To Season

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Finely chopped green coriander leaves and curry leaves – little

Method

Heat a pressure cooker. Season. First fry the onions. Keep on sim flame. Fry till golden. Next, add the chopped tomatoes. Add the turmeric powder. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Add the chopped potatoes. Add the broken moong dhal. Mix well. Add the Sambhar powder and sugar. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add 4 cups of water. Cover the cooker with the cooker lid and put the weight. Keep the flame on high. After 4 whistles, sim the flame. Leave it for 10 minutes. Switch off the stove. After the pressure subsides, open the cooker lid. Mix gently.  Add the tamarind paste. Add the rice flour mix and salt to taste. Keep the cooker on the stove. Switch on the stove. Cook on  sim flame for 5 minutes. By now the sambhar would have become thick. Switch off the stove. Garnish and serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) If the Sambhar thickens too much dilute it slightly with boiling hot water.

2) The sambhar tastes nice if it is a little thick. Do not make it runny. The taste will change.

3) After adding the tamarind paste, do not boil the sambhar for a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tender Coconut and Cashew Sukke

Tender Coconut and Cashew Sukke

Sukke is a dry curry. A speciality of Goa. The Cashew and tender coconut pieces gives a nutty subtle flavour. Goes well with plain rice, phulkas, puri and a plain toasted bread.

Ingredients

Tender coconut pieces ( sliced to long pieces) –  3 cups

Whole Cashew nuts – 1 big handful ( soaked in hot water for 1/2 an hour and drained and cover it and keep it aside till the time of use )

Grated onion – 1/2 cup

Grated tomato – 1 cup

Pounded garlic – 4 flakes

Peeled and pounded ginger – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Jeera powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Tomato ketchup – 1 teaspoon

To Season

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Finely chopped spring onion greens – little

Method

Heat  a pan. Season. First, fry the grated onion. When the onion turns golden, add the turmeric powder, sauté for 2 minutes on sim flame. Add the pounded ginger and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes on sim flame. Add the grated tomatoes. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Add the chilli powder, garam masala powder, jeera powder and the coriander powder. Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Add the salt to taste. Add the sliced tender coconut pieces and the drained cashew nuts. Mix  gently. Add the tomato ketchup. Mix gently. Switch off the stove. Garnish and serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) The tender coconut has to be little thick. Only then you can cut it to slices.

2) After adding the sliced tender coconut pieces, mix it gently. Let the coconut pieces be intact.

3) Can also garnish with little chopped green coriander leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bajji Milagai Chutney (Bajji Chilli Chutney)

Bajji Milagai Chutney 

Had some Bajji Chilli at home. Tried out this Chutney. Was a great hit. Simple ingredients available at home. Do try this Chutney. This Chutney goes well with Dosas, Idli, Mixed rice Varieties and curd rice. Also goes well with plain steamed rice.

Ingredients

Chopped Bajji chillies -2 ( de-seeded )

Chopped onion -1

Chopped garlic – 3 flakes

Chopped tomato – 1

Chopped green chilli – 1

Grated coconut – 2 tablespoons

Tamarind paste – 1 /2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Grated jaggery – 1 teaspoon

Channa dhal – 1 teaspoon

Urad dhal- 1 teaspoon

Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Chopped mint leaves – 1 teaspoon

Chopped green coriander leaves – 1 teaspoon

Chopped curry leaves – 1 teaspoon

oil – 1 tablespoon

To Season 

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon

Method

Heat a pan. Add oil. Fry the channa dhal, urad dhal, coriander seeds, jeera to a golden colour on medium flame. Transfer it to a plate. In the remaining oil, fry the chopped onions, garlic, chopped bajji chilli, tomatoes, coconut and the chopped green chilli on sim flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Transfer the mixture to a plate. Cool. Take a big blender jar. Add in all the fried ingredient, salt to taste, jaggery, chopped mint, coriander, curry leaves, tamarind paste. Blend well. Transfer the ground Chutney to a bowl. Season. Serve with Bun Dosas.

Chef’s Tips

1) Store this Chutney in an air tight container. Leave it in the fridge compartment. Keeps good for 2 days.

2) De- seed the bajji chilli and use, or else it will be very spicy.

 

Bun Dosa with Bajji Milagai(Bajji Chilli) Chutney

Bun Dosa

A super soft spongy dosa, an ideal breakfast dish, good for lunch box.

I have been debating about this recipe from a long time. Finally I made it for breakfast today. The dosa was melt in the mouth. The Bajji Chilli Chutney was an extremely good side dish for the dosa. This dosa goes well with any chutney variety, sambar and chutney pudi.

Ingredients

Idli rice – 3 cups

Raw rice – 2 tablespoons

Urad dhal – 1 cup

Thick poha – 1 handful

Methi seeds – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Oil to drizzle around the dosas

Method

Wash and soak the idli rice, raw rice, urad dhal and the methi seeds together in sufficient water for 4 hours. Wash the poha and soak in water for 2 hours. Drain the water from the rice and urad dhal and grind in a wet grinder. Add the soaked poha and grind adding required amount of water to a smooth batter. Add salt to taste. Mix well and cover and leave the batter to ferment. Mix the batter well and make small thick dosas using a dosa tava. Drizzle oil  all around. Cover and cook on sim flame till golden. Flip the dosa and cook on the other side till golden. Serve hot with Bajji Chilli Chutney.

Chef’s Tips

1) If the dosa batter is little thick, dilute it with little water and make the dosas.

2) As an option mix into the dosa batter little finely chopped onions, finely chopped green chillies, chopped green coriander leaves and finely chopped tomatoes .

3) Can also add finely chopped Cabbage, beans, grated carrot and grated ginger to the dosa batter. Season the dosa batter with little mustard seeds in oil.

 

 

 

Saffron Coco Punch

Saffron Coco Punch

Had lots of tender coconut and tender coconut water. Quickly I decided to make this Punch. A good cooler. Very few ingredients , an awesome breakfast drink. Can make it just like that.

Ingredients

Tender coconut water – 6 cups

Tender coconut flesh ( chopped) – 2 cups

Honey – 1 tablespoon

Sugar – 3 tablespoons

Salt – 1 pinch

Cardamom powder – 1 pinch

Saffron – 1 big pinch

Lime juice – 1 teaspoon

Method

Take a big blender jar. Add in all the above mentioned ingredients. Blend  well. Chill and serve

Chef’s Tips

1) The tender coconut has to be really tender. Only then you will get the best result. It will be a smooth drink.

2) Can also add little crushed ice to the Punch.

 

 

 

 

Vandikaran Thuvaiyal

VandikaranThuvaiyal 

Ah! this name sounds different. Vandikaran in Tamil means Cartman.   My grand mother Kamali taught me this dish. She would tell stories about the cartman to me and my brother. The cartman will come home after a long day and make this thuvaiyal and enjoy it with plain rice. A super delicious thuvaiyal. Very easy and can be made just like that. Very few ingredients, the taste is wonderful. Goes well with plain hot rice and chips, hot phulkas, puri and soft dosas.

Ingredients

Grated fresh coconut – 2 cups

Salt to taste

Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon

Water – little

To roast in ghee

Ghee – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Broken green chilli – 2

Heat a pan. Add ghee. Add the asafoetida powder and the green chillies. Sauté for a second. Switch off the stove. Transfer to a plate. Cool.

Method

Take a big blender jar. Add in the grated coconut, salt to taste, tamarind paste, the roasted ingredients and blend it. Add very little water. Blend well. Transfer the ground Vandikaran Thuvaiyal to an air tight container. Serve with hot rice.

Chef’s Tips

1) Can store the thuvaiyal in the fridge. Keeps well for a day or two.

2) Do not add much water to grind the thuvaiyal. The thuvaiyal has to be thick.

3) While serving this thuvaiyal for dosas, make it slightly runny.

Goan Caldo Verde (Potato and Spinach Soup)

Goan Caldo Verde

You might be wondering what is this dish. It is a Goan Famous Soup Caldo Verde. It is a hearty Potato and Spinach Soup. 

I made this Soup for breakfast today. A very creamy, subtle flavoured Soup. A meal by itself. Very soothing and nice to taste. You can serve the Soup by itself or serve it with toasted bread. I did not add butter, instead I have used olive oil.

Make this Soup for parties or get togethers. I am sure that all your guests will enjoy it thoroughly and compliment you. Happy Soup Making. 

In Portuguese Caldo is Broth ( Soup ) and Verde is Green Colour.

Ingredients

Boiled and peeled potato( grated ) – 2 cups

Chopped spinach – 1 cup

Finely minced onion – 1

Finely minced garlic – 6 flakes

Boiled milk – 1 and 1/4 cups

Vegetable stock or water – 1 cup

Vegetable stock cubes – 2 ( I have used Maggi  Vegetable Stock Cubes )

Salt to taste

Cumin seed powder( jeera powder ) – 1/2 teaspoon

White pepper powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Maida – 1 teaspoon ( Heaped )

Olive oil – 3 tablespoons

Topping

Boiled green peas – little (optional)

Goan Caldo Verde topped with some boiled green peas.

Method

Heat a pan. Add the olive oil. Keep the flame on sim. First, add the minced garlic. Sauté on sim flame till light golden. Next,  add the minced onion. Sauté on sim flame till light golden. Add the chopped spinach. Add the grated potatoes. Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Add the maida, salt to taste. Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Add the boiled milk, stock water , crumbled stock cubes. Mix well. Allow the Soup to boil. It will thicken. Add the white pepper powder and jeera powder.  Mix. Switch off the stove. Serve hot topped with boiled green peas.

Chef’s Tips

1) Since the stock cubes have salt, add the salt carefully.

2) Try to retain the colour of the spinach.

3) Can also add butter while sautéing onion and garlic instead of olive oil.