June 29, 2011

Lauki Peas Tikki

Today is the last day of the blogging marathon. For the last, the participating bloggers are paired and has to choose from the paired blog. I had to choose from Suma's Veggie Platter. Suma has posted quite a few recipes using Lauki and her Lauki-Oats tikki interested me. I tweaked the recipe to suit the ingredients available with me. Now I have another interesting recipe to include lauki. Thanks Suma. Here is how I made it.

You need

  • Grated bottle gourd/lauki - 1 cup
  • Sprouted white peas - 1 cup
  • Aval/poha - 1 cup
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tspn
  • salt to taste
  • Saunf - 1 tspn
  • Kitchen king masala - 1/4 tspn

Cook the sprouted  peas in MW for 7 minutes. The peas will be cooked and will not be soft to touch. Pulse it coarsely in the mixer. Toast the aval/poha for few minutes till  you see few flakes starts browning. Powder it coarsely like rava/sooji and not too fine.

Squeeze the grated bottle gourd and collect the juice in a bowl.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  The dough will be very soft. If it is not moist enough, add few drops of the juice. I pinched off a small ball from the dough and while shaping into tikkis, I brushed little water to moisten it and proceeded. 

Heat a dosa tawa and shallow fry the tikkis. Drizzle oil around the tikkis and cook both sides till they are brown.

The tikkis were spicy on its own. It had a crisp exterior and soft interior. The coarse peas gave the feel of paruppu vada. This makes a good, guilt free snack to go with a cup of hot tea/coffee.

Check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked for the blogging marathon.

June 28, 2011

Lauki Kootu -Bottle Gourd and Chana dal in spiced coconut paste

Today is the 6th day of the blogging marathon. I made a simple kootu using bottle gourd/lauki.  Its a simple recipe and with pressure cooking, it gets done relatively easier.

You need

  • Bottle gourd, chopped into bite size - 2 cups
  • Chana dal - 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • salt to taste

To grind

  • Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Red chilly - 1 no
  • Cumin - 1/2 tspn

To temper

  • Oil - 1 tspn
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tspn

  • Curry leaves - 1 stalk.

Cook chana dal, chopped bottle gourd and turmeric with just enough water to cover the ingredients. The chana dal should be cooked soft and not mushy. Drain the excess water after cooking.

Take a kadai. Add the ingredients for tempering. When the mustard seeds crackle, add the cooked lauki and chana dal. Add salt and let it cook for 5 minutes or so. 

Grind coconut, red chilly and cumin to paste with out adding water. Add the ground paste to the cooked lauki and dal. Mix well and let it cook so that the excess water dries up.  Finally add the curry leaves and remove from fire. This goes very well with sambhar or morkootan.

Don't miss out the treats dished out by my fellow marathoners.

June 27, 2011

Lauki Kheer - Sorakkai Payasam

Blogging marathon is pushing my limits. The recipes I post as part this edition of marathon is prepared the day it is posted except the first recipe.  And today I decided to make kheer using bottle gourd and planned it for dessert post dinner. One or the other things came by and it was time for dinner. I cook all three meals separately. Most of the days I start my cooking for dinner around 8:00 and it will be ready on the table by 8:30 p.m, our dinner time. I started the kheer post dinner and it got done in 20 minutes. 

You need

Grated bottle gourd - 1 cup, tightly packed
Milk - half litre
Ghee - 1 tblspn + 2 tspn
Sugar - 1/3 cup (increase to 1/2 cup if you want it very sweet)
Cashew & Raisins - 1 tblspn


Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a kadai or thick bottomed vessel. Add the grated bottle gourd. Saute till the raw smell disappears. Add the milk and continue to cook till the bottle gourd absorbs the flavor of milk.  Add sugar. Let it dissolve and let it simmer for few minutes till it thickens to the desired consistency.

Heat 2 teaspoon of ghee in another kadai. Add cashews to it. When cashews start browning, add raisins. Add the roasted cashews and raisins to the kheer. Serve warm or cold as desired. Since the weather is cold here, we had it warm. 

Do check out what my fellow marathoners are cooking for BM#6

June 26, 2011

Lauki Whole Moong Curry

Today, I decided to make a gravy with bottle gourd. As I wrote before, I have been including bottle gourd in gravies as substitute veggie. For the first time, I cooked with kokum. I liked the subtle tanginess of kokum. I was hesistant to add more kokum since I did not have much idea about the sourness level of this.

You need
  • Bottle gourd/Lauki/Sorakkai - cubed, around 1 cup
  • Cooked whole moong - 1 cup
  • Kokum rind - 1 whole
  • Coriander powder - 2 tspn
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tspn
  • Salt to taste
  • tumeric - 1/4 tspn
  • Hing 1/4 tspn
  • Tomato - 1 no, grated

  • Oil - 1 tspn
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tspn
  • Red chilli - 2nos, broken into two

  • Curry leaves
  • Coriander leaves

Pressure cook whole moong till it is cooked and not too mushy. Peel, de-seed the bottle gourd. Cut the gourd into bite sized cubes. Take the chopped gourd in a vessel. Add two cups of water. Add turmeric, salt, red chilly powder, coriander powder and kokum. When the veggie is cooked, add the cooked whole moong.  Grate a tomato and add to the cooking gravy. I added tomato to give a body to the gravy.Simmer for few minutes. Add curry leaves and coriander leaves.

Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add the tempering ingredients. When the mustard seeds crackle and urad dal starts browning, tip it to the gravy. 

The gravy is not very thick. If you want it to make it slightly thicker, add a teaspoon of rice flour to half cup of water and mix well. Add this to the gravy when it starts simmering.  I did not add this. The gravy was not too thin like rasam. 

Check out what my fellow marathoners are cooking today.

June 25, 2011

Doodhi Muthia ~ Steamed Savoury Snack

Today is the third day of the blogging marathon. Today it is a snack made using bottle gourd. Muthia is a savory snack which is steam cooked with ingredients that are healthy. I have adapted the recipe from Tarla Dalal. I halved the recipe and  have made few changes since I did not have them in my pantry. The healthy savoury snack makes a perfect accompaniment with hot tea especially on rainy day.

You need
  • Grated bottle gourd - 1 cup
  • Onion - 1, grated ( A small one will do)
  • Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
  • Semolina - 1/2 cup (I used rice rava)
  • Besan - 1/4 cup
  • Green chilly, ginger paste - 1 tblspn
  • Turmeric powder, Garam masala, cumin seeds, fennel seeds - 1/4 tspn, each
  • Juice of  1 1/2  lemon (I used amchoor powder)
  • Chopped coriander - 2 tblspn
  • Baking soda - 1/4 tspn
  • Hing - 1/4 tspn

To temper
  • Oil - 2 tblspn
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
  • Sesame seeds - 1 tspn
  • Hing - 1/4 tspn


Grate bottle gourd and onion into a bowl. Squeeze and extract the juice from the grated bottle gourd. Add the rest of the ingredients to the grated bottle gourd and onion.  Knead it into a soft dough and use the squeezed water if required. I did not use it.  

Oil your hands and divide the dough into two. Shape the dough into two logs and place in a greased bowl. Steam cook in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  

The logs slightly expand on steaming. when cool, slice it into 1/2 inch slices. 

Heat a shallow kadai with oil. Add mustard seeds, sesame seeds and hing. When the seeds crackle, add the sliced muthias and toss well and cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Serve with a chutney of your choice of tomato ketchup. 

Check out what my fellow marathoners are cooking.

June 24, 2011

Doodhi Thepla

Thepla is  spiced paratha from the state of Gujarat. Curd is used in the preparation of the dough. Adding curd makes the parathas soft. This is also a good travel food too. The popular thepla is methi. Another one is Doodhi. And it satisfies my theme for the blogging marathon. 

Recipe adapted from Tarla Dalal
Yields - Around 12 nos, depending on the size

You need

  • Wheat flour - 1 cup
  • Grated Lauki/BottleGourd - 1/2 cup
  • Curd - 1/4 cup
  • Salt -1/4 tspn
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4 tspn
  • Turmeric - a big pinch
  • Oil to cook the theplas


Mix all the ingredients, except oil in a bowl. Make a soft dough by adding very little water. You will need not more than a tablespoon of water to make the dough. Curd and the juice from lauki is almost enough.  Rest the dough for 15 minutes. Pinch lemon sized dough and roll like paratha.

Heat tawa and cook the parathas, both sides till you find brown spots. Smear little oil while you flip the thepla.   The theplas remain soft even on cooling. I served with a simple aloo-gobi curry. 

Check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked for the day.

June 23, 2011

Low Fat Lauki Kofta Curry

I am part of the Blogging Marathon#6, organised by Srivalli.  I chose to blog recipes staring a main ingredient for 7 days. My choice is Bottle Gourd/Sorakkai/Lauki. Lauki is one vegetable, which was not used in my day-to-day cooking. During my hostel days, when this veggie was served, I never tasted it. And we were not allowed to waste any food, that is served on our plate. My room-mate was more than happy to take the lauki curry from my plate. She used to tell so much about the health benefits of lauki and somehow I could not bring myself to like this vegetable.  After moving to Pune, ash gourd/elavan was rarely found with the vegetable vendors in my area. And ash gourd is one of the inevitable veggie when it comes to Palakkad Iyer cuisine. So I started buying lauki to be used in place of elavan for molagootal, avial, morkootan- to name few dishes. So with the blogging marathon, I will try some new recipes where lauki is not used as replacement. 

You need

For Kofta
  • Grated lauki - 1 cup
  • Besan/Kadalamavu - 2 tspn heaped
  • Rice flour - 1 tspn
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Salt
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Amchoor powder -  a big pinch
  • Oil - 1 tblspn

For Gravy

  • Onion - 2 nos, chopped
  • Ginger- 1 "
  • Red chilly - 2 nos
  • Coriander powder - 1 tspn
  • Khus Khus/Poppu seeds - 1/2 tspn
  • Tomato - 1, grated
  • Oil - 1 tblspn
  • Cumin - 1 tspn
  • Curd - 2 tblspn, whipped.
  • Kitchen King Masala - 1 tspn

Mix all the ingredients under kofta in a bowl except oil. I did not squeeze the grated lauki to remove some juice. Divide the lauki mix into 12 balls. If you find it difficult to shape, can add some more besan.  Take the shaped balls on a greased thali and steam cook in pressure cooker for 10 minutes. Remove and cool the koftas. Take a broad based kadai and add a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, place the steamed koftas. Shallow fry till the koftas turn golden brown. Remove the fried koftas. 

In the same kadai, add chopped onion and red chilly. When the onions turn translucent, remove. Grind the onion, red chilly, khus khus, ginger to a coarse paste.  Heat oil in the kadai. Add cumin seeds and when it crackles, add the ground paste. Add coriander powder, salt and grated tomato. Add half cup of water. Let it simmer and turn chick. Stir in the whipped curd and kitchen king masala. Boil for 2 minutes. 

Add koftas just before you serve. Heat the gravy and drop the koftas and serve hot.

Do check out what my fellow marathoners are cooking at the blogging marathon page.

June 15, 2011

Khara Biscuits ~Indian Cooking Challenge

Indian Cooking Challengers are into baking for the May Challenge. Srivalli chose Khara biscuits and gave us Champa's recipe. The recipe is very simple with easily available ingredients.  It makes a great snack to go with tea. The recipe is a versatile one that you can add any spice of your choice and come out with various flavors. 

You need

  • Maida/All Purpose Flour - 2 cups
  • Butter - 1/3 cup softened 
  • Sugar - 4 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies - 6, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves - 2 tblspn, chopped fine
  • Curd -  3 tblspn


Measure flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk well. Cream butter and sugar in another bowl.  Add 2 tblspn of curd to it and beat well. Add the flour mix to it and incorporate into the cream mixture. Just bring together the dough and don't knead it. Add chopped chillies and curry leaves.  If you feel the dough is too crumbly, add little more curd. The dough need not be wet, but you should be able to roll it. 

Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Bake in a preheated oven at 160 C for 25 minutes. These cookies doesn't brown on top.  The bottom will be golden brown. You can bake it for few more minutes to get crisp cookies. The cookies when removed will be soft to touch and they firm up on cooling. 

Note: You can add crushed pepper for the heat in place of chillies. Mint/coriander leaves can be used.
The baking time may vary depending up on your dough and oven.

June 1, 2011

Eggless Banana, Date and Walnut Loaf

My baking escapades scores  more in number than the sweets I have been making. I don't miss celebrating any festival and all our festivals are associated with some kind of sweet. And it gets done as part of it. So I go for baking to satisfy the sweet cravings. During our Palakkad trip, we had various sweets and savories. That's another reason which pushed me to bake, yesterday. I had a bottle of  dates syrup and wanted to use in baking. I googled for a date loaf and found  a suitable recipe at JoyOfBaking. I tweaked the original recipe a lot that my recipe may look entirely different from the original one. Anyways, I started with that recipe as the base and modified to suit the ingredients at hand and to make it egg less. Hence this Banana, Date and walnut loaf. 

I replaced the nutmeg with cardamom to give an Indian flavor. Believe me the combo of banana, date and cardamom was outstanding. The aroma while it was baking filled the entire house. I couldn't wait to cool and slice. Before I was done with the slicing, I polished off two slices. It was so tempting that I was afraid I might finish off the whole loaf  before my husband is back from office. My loaf tin is small, so I halved the original recipe. I felt the date syrup and banana would have been enough for the sweetness. The 1/4 cup of sugar did make it more sweet but not the cloyingly sweet kind.  I liked it.  But if you intend to serve along your evening tea/coffee, you may omit the sugar altogether or reduce it. In case you are using the dates, then the amount of sugar is required.

You need

Whole wheat flour -1 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tspn
Baking powder - 1/2 tspn
Salt - a pinch
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tspn
Walnuts - 1/4 cup, toasted and chopped
Banana - 1, small
Date syrup - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom powder and salt. Add the toasted and chopped walnuts. In a blender jar, take chopped  bananas, sugar, and oil. Blend to make a homogeneous paste. Fold in the flour mixture into the wet mix. Stir to mix it completely. Transfer to a greased and dusted loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 55 minutes or till  tooth pick inserted comes out clean.