Friday, July 6, 2012

Aloo Palak

Aloo Palak is boiled potato slices cooked in spinach gravy. Tastes good with Chapathi and Roti.


Potatoes - 2 to 3
Spinach - 1 bunch (approx 1 bowl of chopped spinach leaves)
Onion - 1 med size
Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp
Cashew nuts - 10
Oil - 1 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 2 to 3
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chopped coriander - for garnish
Salt to taste


Boil the potatoes and peel their skin. Make small pieces using a knife and keep aside.

Heat sufficient water in a pan and put spinach into it allow it to simmer for 5 minutes or till the spinach leaves turn soft. Remove the spinach leaves from pan and put them in ice cold  water for few seconds. This retains the colour of the spinach leaves.

Chop the onion into large chunks and grind it along with the spinach and cashew nuts. Add little water while grinding.

Add ghee and oil to a pan and heat. When hot, add jeera, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
Also add ginger-garlic paste and saute for few seconds.  

Now add the blended paste to this. Cook on med flame for 2 mins. Add the potato chunks to this and also the garam masala, coriander and cumin powder. Add enough water to get gravy consistency. Add salt and mix well. Cook for some more time till the oil starts to separate.

Remove from flame and garnish with coriander. Serve hot.


This process of placing the leaves in hot water for some time and then adding them to ice cold water is called Blanching.

Blanching is done:
1. To retain the colour of the vegetables as in Spinach, Beans etc.
2. To halt the cooking process so that the vegetables are not overcooked.
3.  Also to remove strong odour from vegetables as in onions.
4. When you blanch nuts like almonds and pistachios, it becomes easy to peel their skin.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mavinkayi Bisi Uppinkayi (Instant Mango Pickle)

All time favourite food in my family and frequently cooked during the summer season. You can store this for a week if you refrigerate it or it lasts for two days outside.


Raw Mango - 2 (diced)
Chilli powder - 1tsp
Salt to taste
Jaggery - 1/4 cup (or 1/2 if the Mangoes are too sour)
Uppinkayi (Pickle)  powder - 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 5 to 6

For tempering:

Oil - 4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Bengal Gram - 1 tsp
Black  gram - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp


To prepare the Powder:

Take equal quantities of Urad dal, Mustard Seeds and Methi seeds and shallow fry till the urad dal become brown and the mustard seeds splutter.  Cool the ingredients and powder them in the grinder. You can store this powder in an airtight container and use it for later use.

For the Bisi Uppinkayi:

Take a pan and heat oil in it. Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to splutter add the bengal and the black gram. Also add turmeric and curry leaves. 

Now add the mango pieces and saute it for few seconds. Now add around 3 to 4 cups of water to it and allow the mangoes to cook. 

Once the mangoes are cooked, add the salt and chilli powder. Add the powdered jaggery and also the grounded powder. Cook it for few more minutes on low flame. 

Add little oil to the pan once you switch off the stove.This enhances its taste.

This is a similar recipe to my previous post Tomato Bisi Uppinkayi. Its only that you need to add more water while cooking than for the tomatoes.