Posts Tagged ‘Kurma’

Steaming idlis and ‘my’ kari kuzhambhu

I was preserving one of my mom’s best dish  for the new year . Oh ,what a pity, my modem went wrong on the new year day , just 10 days after its warranty period.  Can you imagine? I  spent 9 full days without browsing the blogs .  mmm mm ….. That was good in a way. I could look at my daily routines in a different way.

Coming to the treasured recipe , this kurma (but we call it kuzhambhu) is perfect for Idlis. My brothers call it ‘duplicate kari kuzhambhu’, as it  is much spicy and the taste immitates mutton kurma. (They eat meat.)  For a vegetarian  like  me , it is like a feast to have it with steaming idlis.


Though, almost every one of  the Indian bloggers has posted this, I feel it is good to share my  mom’s secret for a ‘malli poo idly’. Yes, my daughter used to describe my mom’s idly this way , meaning it is as soft and white as jasmine flower.


Idly rice- 4 and 1/2 cups

Urad dall- 1 cup

Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp


Wash the rice twice and soak it with fenugreek seeds  for 2-3 hours. 

Wash the dall twice and soak it separartely for half an hour to one hour.

Grind the dall first. Add minimum water and sprinkle ice cold water for better frothing. The right consistency of the batterThe grinder should run for atleast 30 min. Take the dall out and grind the rice next. When the rice is little coarse, add enough salt , unload and mix well with your hands. Make sure the batter has the right consistency  before fermenting. If you pour the batter from your hands, it should run down smoothly and slowly. After a thorough mixing, let it stand for 10- 12 hours. The batter would have risen good if it was in right consistency and  had the right amount of salt.

Mix again well and pour in the idly molds and steam cook for 15 minutes. To check the doneness, just touch the idlis and they should not stick to your hands. Take out  the molds from the stand and let it cool a while. Dip a spoon in water and use it to unmold the idlis. Hot and soft idlis are  ready to be served with chutney, sambhar or kurma.


Please note :

* The ratio for rice and urad dall varies with the variety we use.

* Also it is true that if it is an aged dall and rice , it yeilds more batter.

* My mom has the conventional idli steamer, in which she covers the mold plates with a wet white cotton cloth instead of greasing with oil. It is my belief that it is the cloth that  gives the ultra softness to the  idlis.

* You can  store this batter even for a week in the refrigerator, but always bring the batter to the room temperature  before steaming for better results.

* The consistency and salt are the key factors for a  perfect idli. If  the batter is watery,  the idli will not rise on steaming, on the other hand, if it is thick, the idli will be hard. 

* You can store  the cooked idlis in the refrigerator. When  needed, steam it again in the cooker for hot and refreshed idlis. To reheat the idlis in the microwave oven,  simply wet the idlis in running water, place them as a layer on a microwavable  plate and cover with a wet paper towel and heat them for a couple of minutes.

* For a different redo of the idlis,  crumble them and do upma . Find here a lemony version of idli upma .

Idli batter - gracefully risen

Peppery potato kurma:


Potato- 2 number

Oil – 1/2 cup

Fennel seeds- 1 tsp

To grind:

Chana dall /Gram dall- 1/4 cup 

Medium sized onion-1 number

Medium sized tomato – 1 number

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp


Pepper corns- ½ tsp


Ginger- 2 inch  piece


Red chilli powder- 2 tsp


Coriander powder – 1/8 tsp


Turmeric powder- few pinches




Finely chop the potato. Take the ingredients in the ‘to grind’ list and grind with little water and make as a coarse paste. Stop stirring when all the oil oozes outHeat oil in a non stick skillet, sputter fennel seeds, add the ground paste, keep stirring continuously  till the raw smells fades away. Once the masala is sauted well and oil oozes out, add the chopped potato and stir slightly. Add  enough water and salt according to taste. You can test the spice level at this point.


Transfer the contents to a pressure cooker and cook  till you hear the first whistle. The curry thickens very well after cooking . If it is too thick , dilute with water and bring it  to another boil.


Idly and peppery potato kurma

Note: If you hesitate to use the liberal amount of oil asked for, the chana dal will stick (even)  to the (non stick) pan  and get burnt , spoiling the whole taste. Also stirring continously is  as  important  as the oil.

Go ahead and try this, I am sure this will be in your favourite list soon.

Updated on  Jan 21st :

Illustrating the cloth lining method

As Gini  wanted to know, I am  adding a picture to illustrate how to line the idli mold with damp  cotton cloth.

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Cauliflower kurma

1 tb G dall + 1 tsp U dall + 1/4 coco – fry in oil –> grind–> onion + tom + paste–>boil….

 Oops , Sorry for the scribble, but it was the way my recipe notes used to be before I started this blog. Can you understand? Of course , you can’t. But now , I have all my treasured recipes safe in the virtual cook book, I need not worry of losing any good recipes in the last pages of my last year dairy!

 Thanks for the great bloggers who inspired me to start a blog, in particular, Indira. It started  as a hobby and now is more like a place for communicating with my friends and relatives. Moreover, I have earned a good number of friends in the blogosphere. Lots of sharing, learning  new recipes everyday, and it is a wide variety of recipes at  my home almost everyday!

This particular recipe was in my notebook ,scribbled as said before but indeed a treasured recipe given Mrs.Kandhimathi from Naperville (An expert cook , needless to say) through Mrs Lakshmi Mohan, our common friend (Yet another expert!).  A word in advance, keep off your diet consciuosness when you cook this dish. Only when you go by the measures given (especially for the coconut and oil), you get the exact excellent taste!

Cauliflower kurma


Cauliflower florets – 2 cups

Pearl onion- 1/2 cup

Medium sized tomato – 1 number

Oil – 2 tbsp

Coconut- grated from 1/4 shell

For masala:

Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp

Dry red chillies- 8 number

Gram dall/chana dall – 1 tbsp

Urad dall- 1/2  tsp

Garlic – 2 cloves

Ginger- 2 inch piece

Kuskus- 1/4 tsp

Pepper corns- 3 number

Fennel  seeds- 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1inch stick

Cloves- 3 number

Cardamom- 2 number

Fry  the ingredients for masala  in oil separately  and grind with freah grated coconut .  Drop the cauliflower florets in boiling hot water for 10 minutes.. This cleans cauliflower without doubt.

Heat oil in a skillet, sputter mustard seeds, add pearl onions and saute well.  Drop in the chopped tomatoes , stir a bit till it gets mushed. Add the ground masala , adequate salt and finally cauliflowers. Cook on slow heat. Serve with idlis,  chapathis  , parathas, or naans.

This is my entry for JFI-Coconut hosted by the thotful Ashwini

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Spicy red potato stew

A simple dish but with a lot of flavors. It tastes so good for appam, dosa, chapathi or anything you would imagine. I learnt this from my beloved friend and everytime I make it, I thank her in my heart for  giving this great recipe.                                                                             

Spicy potato stew


Red potatoes- 6 no

Onion  -1

Green chillies – 4 no

Coconut milk- as needed

Garam masala powder- 1 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1 pinch

Coriander powder- 1 tbsp

Salt- to taste

Cilantro for garnishing

For seasoning:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

Urad dall – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 8-10

Wash the potatoes and brush clean their skin. Dice them into large cubes. Chop the onion and green chillies into tiny pieces. Add salt, turmeric powder,onion and chillies to potatoes and cook them with adequate water  . Cook them on low heat for  a long time in an open vessel. When they are well cooked the water would have thickened,  gathering all the starch from the potatoes.

In another pan, heat oil, sputter mustard seeds, urad dall,  curry leaves in order said. Add  coriander powder, garam masala powder  and the stew. Add coconut milk  and adjust the  spice level  and thickness according to your need. When  the stew comes to a boil, switch off the heat. Garnish with cilantro.

This is my entry to Super Souper Challenge hosted by Tami of  Running with tweezers.

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