Category Archives: Side Dishes

String Beans and Mushroom Curry

Last thanksgiving I made string bean casserole for a family dinner party.  Since it came out so good, it inspired me to transform it into an Indian style curry.  I omitted those specific ingredients and herbs that were used in the string bean casserole.  Instead I used the curry powder and chili powder to spice it up.  This goes well with either white/basmati rice or with naan or roti or even pita bread.

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz string beans
  • 6 oz white/button mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon canola or cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash and snip off both ends of string beans and split lengthwise. Cut diagonally into about 1 inch pieces
  • Brush to clean mushrooms and slice them thickly.
  • In a covered saucepan add oil and once hot add onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown
  • Add cut string bean and add water, chili powder and salt and cover and cook for about 10 minutes
  • Add cut mushrooms, curry powder, turmeric, and cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add almond milk and uncover and cook until the gravy thickens into curry consistency.
  • Yields: 3 – 4 side dishes

Vegetable Korma in Almond-Coconut Sauce

vegetable_inAlmond1

Lately I have been trying dishes that are way out of our traditional Sri Lankan method.  This is one of the recipes that I made over the weekend.  Traditionally we make mixed vegetable curries simmered in thick coconut milk.  For this recipe, I reduced the amount of coconut milk and added ground almonds which gives extra flavor.  Also I sautéed onion in coconut oil which gives a nice aroma.  But you can use any other regular cooking oil.  Enjoy this lightly spiced and fragrant dish with rice, Naan, Chappati or any other variety of Rotis.

Vegetable_inAlmond

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed
  • ½ inch piece ginger finely chopped or crushed
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 cup cut green beans
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup ground almond
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste

Method:

  • Wash and split green beans length wise as much as possible. Then cut them diagonally into about 1 inch pieces.
  • Brush carrots and cut off the top and bottom ends. Split lengthwise and slice them diagonally
  • Separate cauliflower florets
  • Add oil to a covered saucepan and once hot, add onion and sauté for about 7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.  Sautéing must be done in very low flame to avoid any burning/charring.
  • Add ground coriander, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric and sauté for one minute
  • Now add ground almond, carrots, beans, water, coconut milk and salt and cover and cook for about 7 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower florets to the saucepan and mix with the rest of the vegetables and cook for further 5 minutes.
  • Let stand covered for 10 minutes. Just before serving add lemon juice.
  • Serve as a side dish with rice, or Roti.

 

Potato and Cauliflower with Green Peas

MethiCauliflower

It was last Friday I made this curry which I did not get the time to post it.  Since it was a Friday night, I wanted to post something simple, quick but delicious which would go well with Naan bread.  I have tried many varieties of potato and cauliflower curry.  But I have been thinking of posting a cauliflower recipe with green peas since I have seen this kind of recipe in many Indian restaurants.  But I went ahead and gave a little more twist to make it a little more flavorful.  I added some fenugreek leaves just before removing from stove and it came out pretty good.  Hope you all get to make this and enjoy as well.

MethiCauliflower1

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ inch piece ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
  • 12 oz potatoes cubed
  • 8 oz cauliflower florets
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon Tandoori powder
  • ¼ cup chopped Fenugreek leaves
  • ¼ cup green frozen peas
  • Strand of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Few drops of lemon juice (optional)

 

Method:

  • Add oil to a covered saucepan and once hot add mustard seed, garlic, and ginger and fry until garlic and ginger are golden brown
  • Add potatoes and mixed well
  • Add water, coconut milk, chili powder, and salt and cover and cook on medium flame for about 8-10 minutes
  • Add cauliflower florets, curry leaves and Tandoori powder and cover and cook for 5 minutes
  • Now add Fenugreek leaves, and green peas and cook for another 2 minutes and let stand covered for 10 minutes
  • Season with salt
  • Serve warm with rice, Naan bread or Roti.
  • Add lemon juice just before serving.

Note: You can find Fenugreek leaves in Asian/Indian stores.  They come in small bunches.  They have a bit of bitter taste with strong flavor.  Make sure you don’t add too much of these leaves since it will completely change the flavor of the curry and give you bitter taste.  Fenugreek leaves are usually sold in the name of Methi leaves (Hindi) or “Venthaya Keerai” (Tamil)

fenugreekleaves

Cauliflower and Mushroom Curry

I have been cooking cauliflower curry in the traditional way – simple cauliflower or cauliflower and potatoes.  I thought to try something totally different today.  I had a big head of cauliflower and was wondering what I can make with this cauliflower that is totally different.  Checked my fridge and there it is – a big box of white mushroom.  This recipe came out of this combination – cauliflower and mushroom.

mushroomCauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cauliflower florets
  • about 2-3 oz sliced white mushroom
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • about 1/4 cup or less soy milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Method:

  • Dry roast cumin and coriander and once cool grind into powder.  Set aside
  • Add oil to a large saucepan and once hot add onion and garlic and saute until lightly browned
  • Add chopped tomato, chili powder, water, and salt and cook on low flame until it becomes sauce consistency
  • Add cauliflower and mushroom and cover and cook on low flame for about 10 minutes.  Check frequently to make sure it does not get too dry.  If it becomes, add a little water at a time.
  • After 10 minutes, add the ground cumin-coriander powder, and soy milk and combine to mix and cook on medium flame for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and sauce/gravy is thickened.
  • Serve with rice or roti

Navy Beans and Beet Curry

navybeanBeets

This is a delicious and very simple dish.  It only takes 15 minutes to cook plus the extra time to cut the beets.  You can use either dried navy beans or canned ones.  If using dried navy beans, soak them in water overnight and cook until three quarters done.

navybeanBeets1

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb beets
  • 1 cup cooked navy beans
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Salt
  • ½ of a small onion thinly sliced
  • Strand of curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2-3 dried red chili broken into 2 pieces

 

Method:

  • Peel beets and cut lengthwise into two half.  Place the cut side on a cutting board and thinly slice them.  Cur each slice into about half an inch cube.
  • Add beets, water, coconut milk, and salt to a covered saucepan and cover and cook on medium flame for about 10 minutes
  • Add cooked navy beans to beets and reduce flame and simmer for another 5 minutes. If the curry becomes too dry, add a little water or coconut milk to make some gravy.
  • In a small skillet add cooking oil and add onion and sauté until golden brown. Now add curry leaves with onion and fry for another minute.   Add fried onions and curry leaves to beet curry and mix well.
  • Add dried red chili to the skillet and fry in the rest of the oil until red chili becomes very dark deep brown and crunch
  • Pour dried red chili and oil over beet curry and serve warm with rice.

Bottle Gourd White Curry

gourdWhiteCurry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cut bottle gourd
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3-4 shallots
  • 1-2 small green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dhal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Slit bottle gourd length wise and remove seeds.  Cut bottle gourd into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Add oil to a saucepan and add mustard seeds
  • Once mustard seed start splattering, add urad dhal, and cumin seed and fry until urad dhal is lightly browned
  • Add curry leaves and fry for another minute.
  • Add cut bottle gourd, shallots, green chilies, water, coconut milk, and salt and cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice.

 

 

Gourd in Tomato Coconut Sauce

bottlegourdcurry

I have posted a gourd recipe earlier – Bottle Gourd in Almond Sauce.  But this earlier recipe was with “bottle gourd”. The one I am using for this recipe is slightly different from bottle gourd.  The flesh of bottle gourd is softer and has bigger seeds.  I came across this vegetable for the first time when I visited my friend’s house last summer.  He took me to his garden and for my amazement these gourds can grow quite long.  Believe it or not, some of them are almost my height.

bottlegourdGarden

He gave me one gourd which I kept in the refrigerator and when needed I cut a portion and cooked.  They stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week or two. When you store them make sure they are dry and add some holes in the plastic bag you are storing.  Otherwise the skin will become black.  One of the dishes I cooked was “gourd in coconut tomato sauce” which became a hit in my house hold.  I started cooking this dish almost every week since this dish can be consumed with either rice, roti/chapati or even freshly baked crisp bread.

bottlegourdroti

I had always thought of posting this recipe but some how I missed taking the photo of the dish.  So this time I promised myself to take photos so that I can post it here.  For the following recipe I bought a small gourd (small compared to those from my friend’s garden).

bottlegourdIndividual

 

bottlegourdChopped

Ingredients:

  • 1 small gourd (which yields 12 oz after peeling and removing the seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons chana dhal
  • 1 teaspoon urad dhal
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • ½ inch piece ginger
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • Salt to taste

 

Method:

  • Peel gourd and slit length wise in to 2 pieces. Remove pith/seeds.  Chop into about one inch cubes.
  • In a skillet dry roast chana dhal and urad dhal until lightly golden. Transfer to a dish.  Now add dried red chilies and dry roast for about a minute (do not over roast since it will start burning and emit strong smell – which will definitely irritate nose and eyes).  Let them cool to room temperature
  • Add roasted dhals, red chilies, coconut, and ½ cup water and puree in to a thick sauce consistency. Set aside.
  • Peel garlic and ginger and chop them into very fine pieces
  • Add oil to a saucepan and add chopped garlic, ginger and mustard seed. Sauté/fry until garlic is lightly golden.  Now add the curry leaves and fry for another minute
  • Add chopped gourd and mix well and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the coconut dhal sauce to the saucepan with 1 ¼ cups water, chili powder, and salt. Cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile chop tomato into big chunks
  • Add chopped tomato to the saucepan and mix well. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  • Serve warm with rice or chapatti/roti.

Note: If you want the dish to be mild, you can omit the chili powder

Yields: 3-4 as a side dish

Source: Chelvi’s Original