Raw Jackfruit (Kathal) Kebabs


Jackfruit

 

I love raw as well as ripe Jackfruit and apart from being full of vitamin, minerals, electrolytes, phytonutrients,carbohydrate, fiber, fat and protein, it  is not only a good source of calorie but contains no cholesterol or saturated fats. Jackfruit flesh, when ripe , has a distinct sweet aroma and is delicious in taste. It is called Kathal in Hindi and Phanas in Marathi.

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Today we will use raw jackfruit for this recipe. We make Jackfruit vegetable in variety of ways and one of them id Jackfruit Koftas Curry which can be as delicious as the Keema Kofta curry. Many people refer to it as vegetarian mutton because of the resemblance of their texture. Will post the recipe one of these days.

Jackfruit kebabs if done nicely can put any shammi kebab to shame or let me say it is difficult to distinguish between the two. This is my personal recipe and I would love your comments once you have tried it. I am sure you will love this preparation.

To make Kathal (Jackfruit) kebabs you will need

 

Ingredients:

Raw tender jackfruit (diced with seeds) – 2 cups

Bengal gram Split (chana dal)  Soaked – 1 cup

Onion -2

Ginger – 1 inch

Garlic – 4-5 pods

Green chilies – 2 (according to taste)

Clove – 3-4

Green cardamom -3

Black cardamom -2

Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Mace  a small piece

Black peppercorns 5-6

cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch

Salts- to taste

Garam masala- 1/2 teaspoon

Amchur (dry mango power) – 1 teaspoon

Boiled potato – 1 (mashed)

Oil – to  shallow fry the kebabs (they can be grilled in the oven too)

Fresh green Coriander – 1/4 cup

Method:

Jackfruit Kebab Ingredients

 

 

First peel and dice the raw jackfruit into equal size pieces. Soak Chana Dal for at least 3040 min after washing.  Once the dal is soaked  drain the water.

In a pressure cooker  put the jackfruit pieces, dry spices, green chilis and soaked chana dal, one onion peeled and roughly chopped, garlic and ginger pieces, a little water and salt. Let it cooker under pressure on medium flame. ( two whistles is enough) .

Let he pressure cooker cool. Once done, remove the content to cool completely.

In a food processor add half of the content and give a few  turns. Then add the rest to give a rough texture. (Too smooth won’t taste or look good)

Take the mixture out in a mixing bowl once everything is blended nicely.  Add chopped coriander, dry mango power, red chilli power, finely chopped green chili and test the salt. Add more if necessary. At this stage add the previously boiled and mashed potato for binding. You can use a raw egg also instead of boiled potato. Add home-made garam masala.

At this point keep a small pan on flame and in a tablespoon of oil brown finely chopped onions. Add those to the mixture.

Mix everything nicely and make small balls. Flatten the balls a little with fingers to give them a cutlet shape.

Heat a non stick pan and put a little oil for browning the kebabs. place the raw kebabs in the pan and let them brown nicely on slow flame from both sides.

Once the kebabs  brown nicely take them out on a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.

In a plate arrange the well done kebabs and serve them with Green mint and amla chutney .

Jackfruit kebab

 

 

You can mix tomato ketchup in the mint chutney to make Pakistan sauce (someone gave the chutney this name, can’t remember who)

Serve the kebabs hot. You can half cook the kebabs and freeze them for a day or two. When you want to use them you can thaw the kebabs and shallow fry or grill them till they brown from both sides equally.

 

Do let me know your experience if you try this recipe.

You can make kebabs with raw banana  or Yam in the same way. They too taste fantastic.

Enjoy !

 

Pan Grilled Spiced Pineapple


I love pineapple in any form. Sweet, juicy, delicious, it is one of the many nutritious tropical fruits. Pineapples are packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is also rich in fiber and  and is low in fat and cholesterol too.

Apart from munching on the exotic ripe pineapple one can always indulge in the grilled version. I love to flavor it with minimal spices and toss in dark rum to jazz it up.

A perfect desert after a sumptuous meal or in breakfast or maybe as an evening snack. You can toss the grilled pineapple in a salsa or a salad too.

The trick is to pick up a fragrant, ripe golden color pineapple.  If the fruit is just a little soft to touch then that is what you are looking for. Anything green is under ripe and spotty browns are over ripe.

Now that we have picked the right fruit, lay it on a chopping board and cut off both the ends. Make it stand and cut the skin in strips. Once the fruit is skinned, remove the eyes and dice it in circles or make wedges. It is up to you whether you want to remove the core or not. This time I did not but usually I do and make wedges instead of circles.

Now, to grill the fruit you can either use the traditional outdoor grill or oven grill and grill for 2-3 minutes or till the grill marks appear and both sides are nicely browned or use a non stick pan if you don’t not have the other.

 

Ingredients

Fresh Ripe Pineapple Slices – 6

Organic Honey –  3 table-spoon

Cinnamon – I/4 teaspoon

Lemon zest – I/4 teaspoon

Lemon Juice – 2-3 tbsp

Dark Rum (Old Monk) – 4 table-spoon (Optional)

Black Pepper powder – as desired

Red chili powder – as desired

Method 

Prepare  the fruit as described above and collect all the ingredients at one place

Take honey in a mixing bowl, add cinnamon and other spices. Add lemon juice and dark rum to it and mix. Place the pineapple slices or wedges  in it so they are fully covered with the marinade.

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Pineapple in Marinade

Heat the grill or oven (Preheat the grill at 400 degree Fahrenheit ). I used a non stick pan here. Heat the pan and glaze it with a little olive oil. Arrange the pineapple slices once the pan is hot. Keep the flame at low- medium as the slices will tend to burn easily as the honey caramelizes.

If you are using grill or oven arrange the pieces on grill tray and close the lid. Check  in sometime and if  both sides have a gorgeous deep golden brown tan,  remove in a serving plate.

grill in a pan

This is how it should look from both sides when grilling  in a pan.

Do not throw the remaining marinade , brush it on the top of grilled slices.

Once done, arranged the slices in a serving plate. Serve hot as it is or with vanilla ice-cream or frozen yogurt.

Variations 

Tip 1– You can use brown sugar, maple syrup, golden syrup or if you are adventurous then toss the pieces in marmalade with a little salt sprinkled over them  instead of honey and it will blow your mind. I hate chocolate syrup with it but folks do use that too. (Too overpowering for me. Kills the natural sensuousness of the fruit)   🙂

You can top up the grilled pineapple with Vanilla ice cream and dulce deleche for a quick dessert.

Tip 2 –  Try using  fresh cracked black peppercorn and vodka instead of the above ingredients. It will tickle your senses like anything.  Trust me, there is nothing like a spiced up juicy sweet pineapple straight from the grill.

 Tip 3 –  You can also try just the salt and cayenne pepper too.  It rocks.

Tip 4 – Try just sugar and cinnamon for that quick treat.

Tip – 5 They go well in a margarita and on a Hawaiian Pizza.

Tip 6 –  Try using wooden skewers or chopsticks for each wedge /slice. Makes it easy to eat and looks neat on a party table.

Enjoy this tropical delight and let me know your experience.

Bon Appétit

Instant Carrot Pickle – Recipe


Winters are here and the market is flooded with red sweet carrots. One can do so much with them- toss in salads, pickle them, make kanji, carrot preserve or mouth watering gajar halwa, mix with potato, fresh green peas or any seasonal vegetable to make a healthy veggie, blend in soups or just wash, peel and munch on them. Full of healthy nutrients carrots are everyone’s favorites. They are packed with Vitamin A,  Vitamins C & B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium.

This instant pickle can be had within a day of making it. One can add a few slit fresh green chilies to it if desired. It would give the pickle a beautiful red and green texture.

Usually this pickle can stay up to a week in the fridge. I make small quantity of fresh pickle as the carrots are cheap and easily available all through winter months.

So, let us embark on this tangy spicy carroty journey 😀

Ingredients :

1/2 kg Medium Size Carrots

1 1/2 teaspoon salt ( to taste)

2 teaspoon full coarsely ground mustard seeds

1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/8 teaspoon asafitida

2 table-spoon lemon juice

2 table-spoon Mustard

Method:

Wash and peel the carrots under fresh running water. Pat dry them and cut into 2 inch long thin julienne.  Place a kitchen napkin or kitchen towel on a tray and arrange the carrot julienne on it to dry. Make sure that not a single drop of water remains or the pickle will go bad. I sometimes pat them with damp cloth to clean instead of washing.

You can leave it over night or for instant pickle just keep in sun for two hours or so. Cover it with thin muslin cloth to prevent any dust particles settling on the carrots.

 

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Once the carrots are absolutely dry put them in a glass bowl. Add all the ingredients one by one except the oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix well.

Mix properly. (At each stage make sure your hands and the utensils you use are clean and dry.)

Heat mustard oil in a heavy bottom pan till it begins to smoke. Turn off the flame and let it come to a warm temperature.

(if you are using Olive Oil then there is no need to heat it. Just add it along with other ingredients in the bowl and mix well).

Add all the ingredients to it and stir well.

 

Let the pickle cool properly.

Take a glass or stone jar. Wipe it clean and spoon the pickle in it.

 

Keep the pickle in the sun for a day and it is ready to eat.

This mustard spiked carrot pickle goes well with anything from curd rice to parathas and even sandwiches or almost anything. You can make it fresh and toss it in the salad too but use only olive oil dressing for it then.

Preserve the colors of winter in the jar and open the lid to brighten any dull morning.

Diwali Special – Roasted Whole Wheat And Green Gram (Moong) Ladoos


No Indian festival is complete without sweets. There is a tradition to make special sweets for each festival but on Diwali one can indulge in a whole variety of them. Winter is time for healthy ladoos made from either whole wheat or gram flour. There are many varieties to make Whole wheat flour (atta) ladoos. I prefer to make them as healthy as possible with just enough clarified butter (pure ghee) to hold everything together so people of all ages can enjoy it. One can use shakkar, boora cheeni or khandsari to make these. I prefer boora cheeni because it is less sweet than normal granular sugar and healthier too.

These ladoos can be stored in air tight box for a long time and can be eaten everyday. The dry fruits and the goodness of green gram adds to the flavor of these balls of good nutrition. Green Gram is low fat protein, high fiber, low Gly-Cemic bean which helps in stabilizing sugar in blood stream. It is also a rich source of iron, vitamin B6/ B1, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin C and E and also calcium which makes it a super food. One can give these to children as snacks everyday.

Now, for the recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup whole green gram beans

1/2 cup mixed dry fruits ( raisins, shredded walnut, blanched and shredded almonds)

Clarified butter 9 pure ghee) – enough to hold everything together ( usually 1/4 cup)

1/2 cup (according to taste) Boora cheeni or powder sugar or castor sugar

1 tea spoon cardamom powder

Method :

In a heavy bottom cast iron wok dry roast the moong beans till slightly golden brown. Keep the flame very low.

Grind the roasted beans very fine in a grinder. (I used the grinding stone)

Keep the dry fruit mixture , boora cheeni and ground moong beans ready.

Now put the wok back on low flame and add whole wheat flour to it. Dry roast it slowly. This is a tedious job and one needs to constantly keep stirring the flour especially in the middle or else it will start burning. Always keep the flame very low. Roasting atta is like a sensuous passionate love making. No Indian sweet can be made without complete devotion and love. These are the ingredients which make them so mouth watering. Once the aroma of roasted atta begins to fill your senses and the color is nice and brown add the ground moong bean powder to it. Roast a little more till you get a warm light brown color.

Atta is always dry roasted unlike gram flour.

Once the wheat flour is done, remove from heat and quickly add boora cheeni. It will begin to stick to the wok so keep stirring constantly and make sure there are no lumps. Add clarified butter (pure ghee) at this stage and keep mixing.

After the mixture is nicely done add the dry fruits.

One has to make the ladoos when the mixture is warm otherwise it will start solidifying.  Make medium size balls by rolling them in your palm. Make sure there are no cracks and the balls are smooth. put a raisin on top as garnish. Place all ladoos in a thali / plate and let them cool.

Enjoy these wonderful nutritious low fat ladoos and store the rest of them in air tight box.

Have a wonderful healthy happy Deepawali. Stay blessed.

Simple Baked Apple -Recipe


I love to cook with apples and winter brings a variety of apples from Golden and green to delicious red. Apart from eating them raw I bake a variety of dishes with them like apple crumble, apple pie etc.  Some other favorites are Apple chutney and apple jam.

On a daily basis apple stew or baked apples with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are hot favorites.

Here is a simple recipe for baked apples with spices, dry fruits, brown sugar and all.

It a quick no nonsense recipe , tried and tested in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

Apples – 2 ( I use whichever variety is available. Here I have used Golden apples)

Brown sugar-  4 table spoon (firmly packed)

Dry Fruits for filling – raisins, walnuts, dried apricots, sultanas, almond shavings

Nutmeg powder-  2 pinches

Cinnamon powder – 2 pinches

Warm water -(enough to cover the bottom of dish

Butter- I dollop for each apple

Dark rum or Whiskey- 2 table spoon (optional)

Method:

Wash and core the apples with the help of  apple corer  or with the help of knife. remove the seeds and keep the hollow approximately 1/2 to 1 inch wide. Remove the top peel for about an inch.

(Select apples which ae firm and ripe with no damage to the skin and no brown spots)

Mix all the crushed nuts , brown sugar, nutmeg powder and cinnamon powder in a bowl .

Once the filling is ready, stuff the hollow of apple with the mixture tightly and slowly pour a little whiskey or dark rum over it.

Preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

Prepare an oven proof dish and line the stuffed apples in it.

Top the apples with a dollop of butter and add a little warm water just enough to cover the base of the apples.

I sprinkle some brown sugar and nutmeg/ cinnamon powder mix  in it.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 min or till the apples become tender.

Remove once done and serve in a plate with vanilla ice cream on side

This is what it will look when sliced half . If you like it a bit sweet add maple syrup or honey as per your liking.

Enjoy and let me know your experience with this delicious recipe.

BON APPETIT

Recipes – Two Easy Coconut Chutneys


I love coconut in all forms for its nutritive values. The coconut tree is called”Tree of life”  because of its medicinal qualities. Coconut is used  in traditional as well as modern medicines to treat various ailments. Full of fibers, minerals and vitamins which include B, B2, C, niacin and iron it is called “functional food” and either eaten raw or used in various preparations across India and in many parts of the world.

Chutney is a popular condiment  in India and is now served around the world today with all kind of cuisine. Chutneys are made using fruits, spices, herbs and vegetables and compliment the flavor of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. Here we will learn to make two simple yet delicious chutneys using coconut. Each has a distinct flavor.  Ingredients used to make basic coconut chutney include grated coconut, fresh green chilies, ginger, salt, mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. I have used mint and corriander in one and fenugreek seeds in the other.

Coconut Green Chutney 

Green chutney is made using fresh cilantro (coriander), cumin seeds, fresh green chillies, lemon juice, mint leaves, onions and salt. The vitamin benefits of the fresh mint and lemon juice used to make the green chutney include Vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6, E, folate and niacin.

To make coconut chutneys first we need to select a fresh mature coconut. Crack it open and remove the water in a glass. Then the next step is to scrape the tender fragrant flesh.

Method of  making Green Chutney :

Ingredients :

Grated Fresh Coconut – 250 grams

I large bunch of Fresh Coriander leaves – cleaned, washed and chopped. (I use tender stalks also as they contain a lot of nutrients)

I large bunch of fresh Mint leaves –  Cleaned, washed and roughly chopped

4-5 green chilies ( number depends on taste and size of the green chilies )

5-6 Garlic pods – crushed

Cumin seeds – I teaspoon

Sugar – I Teaspoon

Salt – according to taste

Juice of one large lime ( according to taste)

To Temper :

Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Urad dal (white) – 1/4 teaspoon

Curry leaves – A few

Method :

 Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend coarsely until you have a thick paste, adding a little water if necessary.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Take it out in a bowl and add lime juice.

Heat a teaspoon of oil and let he ingredients for tempering splutter. Pour it over the chutney and serve.

You can keep the chutney in the fridge and even freeze it but I prefer to make it fresh every time. I keep the fresh grated coconut in freezer and use it when needed.

 Coconut Fenugreek  Seed Chutney  

This recipe was handed over to me by a relative who perfected it in his kitchen.

 Ingredients: 

1/2 Medium size coconut grated

Raw green mango – medium size

Jaggery – 1/2 cup crushed

Dry Red Chilies – according to taste

Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Warm water – 1/4 cup

Method : 

Take the grated coconut in a bowl and keep aside.

Peel and slice/ grate  raw mango

pond and break Jaggery in small pieces

In a small seasoning pan take one tablespoon of oil and stir fry red chilies and fenugreek seeds till slightly reddish-brown. Make sure they do not burn or get over roasted.

Coarsely grind these with the salt and keep aside

Place all ingredients in a plate . The heaps of numbers 2,3,4 should be of  equal quantity.

Now, grind all the ingredients in a grinder placing ground fenugreek- chilies, jaggery, mango and coconut in that order.. ( It is always best to use a traditional grinding slab made of stone to bring out the right flavors and consistency but now a days an electric grinder will do. Make use to keep the paste coarse ) .

The order in which ingredients are added to any dish is very important to bring out the right taste.

Add warm water and salt while grinding.

Water is added according to the desired consistency.

Once the chutney is ready , take it out in a ceramic or glass bowl and serve.

          Note : Never use steel or any other metallic utensil for keeping sour things.

Recipe : Fun with Stuffed Capsicum


Stuff yourself silly with this delicious recipe.

Stuffings add colour and life to any vegetable and bell peppers are a favourite choice, be it Green, Red, Yellow or Orange. They look gorgeous and each stuffing has its own special flavor and aroma. Here I have used the basic boiled potato stuffing. You can bring a healthy twist to bell peppers in your own creative way.

Ingredients:

4 medium-sized Green Capsicum (bell pepper)

4 medium-sized potatoes

6 table spoon cooking oil

3/4 tsp cumin seeds

¾ teaspoon whole coriander deeds

¾ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 large onion finely chopped

1 green chilli finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp raw mango powder

Freshly chopped coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Wash the green peppers well and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the top off about 1″ from where the stem is attached. Remove all the seeds and pith and discard.

Boil water with salt and blanch the peppers for 5 minutes. Take them out in a colander to cool.

( Sometimes I do not blanch especially hen putting on grill/ oven and never with the Red and Yellow peppers)

Wash and boil the potatoes. Peel and cut into small cubes (or mash) and keep aside for later use.

For the stuffing:

Heat 3 tbsps of cooking oil in a pan on medium flame, till hot.

Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds till they splutter. Put fenugreek seeds. Turn them golden brown.

Now add the green chillies and garlic and fry till the chillies turn whitish and the garlic turns light golden.

Add the onion and fry till soft and golden.

Now add all the powdered spices and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cubed potatoes and mix well to blend with all the spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the flame; add salt to taste and mix well.

Add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Method to prepare the vegetable:

Fill each green pepper to the top with the mashed potato mix. Press down and top up to make sure they are well filled.

Heat the remaining cooking oil in a shallow pan (I use non stick flying pan so that the peppers can be lined up nicely and turned without breaking) on a low flame. When hot add the peppers (face down) and fry till golden. (Keeping the peepers this way will ensure sealing of the stuffing.)

Keep turning them in the pan so that they brown from all sides.

Once done, take them off the flame and place them on a plate lined with paper towel to allow excess oil to be soaked up. Add remaining fresh coriander leaves.

Serve hot.

Note:

There is so much variation one can do with the stuffing. You can use cooked masala Keema( minced goat meat) , sausages, lean ground beef, brown rice, scrambled Cottage cheese veggie, Mixed veggies ( carrots, tomato, beans, potatoes, soya granules, mushrooms chopped finely and cooked) etc. The options are endless.

You can also bake/ grill the peppers. Preheat oven to 225º C and once the peppers are ready to bake, do them at 225º C for 15 min. Or till done nicely.

You can top it up with any processed cheese (I like Cheddar)

You can use any colour bell pepper and turn the dish into summer carnival of colours.

So flirt with these beauties and enjoy a healthy meal.

Recipe – Sprouted Fenugreek and Potato Vegetable


Sangeeta khanna is one of the best Food Bloggers in Delhi and a friend. Over a phone conversation I asked her about healthy vegetarian food that could help me get over my Iron deficiency among other things.  I make all sorts of sprouts at home and use them in various ways like in salads, pulao, vegetable combinations and as stuffing for sandwiches etc.

I knew about roasted fenugreek being used for making ladoos mixed with whole wheat flour but had never used them as sprouts.

Usually I use it as seasoning in veggies, dal etc. Fenugreek is very nutritious herb both as a leafy vegetable and as seeds. It contains protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, copper, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and diosgenin (which is a compound that has properties similar to estrogen) among other active ingredients.

The herb which is a rich source of anti oxidant, minerals and photo nutrients  is a store house of nutrients is highly beneficial to cure many ailments like high cholesterol, Diabetes (do not eat without consulting the physician), appetite loss, heart burn, constipation, inflammation, muscle and joint pain, erectile dysfunction , baldness etc. It helps in production of milk in lactating mothers. Pregnant women should not use Fenugreek  as it  increase uterine contractions.

Sprouting fenugreek seeds crates enzymatic reaction which produces easily digested proteins.

To make Fenugreek sprouts and other sprouts with no contamination read this  Making sprouts at home by Sangeeta Khanna.

I used her recipe to make this vegetable and did some changes to it according to my taste.

 

 

I prepared a large bowl of sprouted fenugreek and kept the unused part in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make the Potato fenugreek ( methi) vegetable you need ;

Ingredients :

2 large Potatoes

I cup Fenugreek Sprouts

I Medium Onion

2  Fresh Green Chilies

4 table-spoon chopped Fresh Coriander

1 table spoon mustard oil or any other oil to cook

A pinch of asafoetida

Pinch of cumin seeds

Salt to taste

Red chili powder

Dry mango powder – 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon lime juice

Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon (optional)

 

Method : 

Make the sprouts as given in the link above. (I don’t throw the water in which the seeds were soaked, I drink it usually. Also I do not wash them so often if hygienically prepared. )

Wash and boil potatoes ( I steam them in a steamer) and cut into small cubes.

Chop onion lengthwise or in rough pieces

Chop green chilies in small pieces

 

In a non stick pan add mustard oil and let it smoke. If you are using any other oil let it heat and turn the flame low.

Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add chopped onions , grated ginger, green chilies and sprinkle asafoetida powder over it. Putting it early will burn it.

Saute the onion till light golden and then add potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes and also 1/2 of the fresh coriander leaves.

Stir and add salt, turmeric powder, toss well till done . Add the sprouts after this step. Cooking sprouts too much destroys its goodness. Add dry mango powder.

Toss for a few minutes and take out in a bowl .

 

 

The other variation with kasoori methi is in the link I provided earlier in the post.

Add rest of the freshly chopped coriander and a green chili split into half . Add lime juice while serving  if you don’t use dry mango powder.

Eat hot with Rotis, Indian flat bread or any other bread. Use it as a stuffing for grilled or plain sandwich if you like)

So eat healthy and stay well.

Enjoy!

Recipe – Avial ( South Indian Vegetable Stew)


Avial is a specialty of Kerala, Tamil and Udipi cuisine. Rich with nutrients of fresh seasonal vegetables, this stew has added flavors of coconut, curry leaves and spices. The dish is usually eaten with steamed rice. One can make it either dry or with slight gravy.  Avial is made in a variety of ways with a range of ingredients  and is considered essential part of Onam Sadya.

I used local seasonal veggies available in North India. It turned out to be delicious.

Ingredients : 

Vegetables :

Ash Gourd – 100 gms
Pumpkin – 100 gms
French Beans – 10
plantain- 2
Snake Gourd – 1/2
Potato – 1, small
Brinjal – 1, small
Drumstick – 1
Yam – 1/2 cup

Don’t use veggies that contain excess water or get mushy when cooked.

For the paste :

Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup

cumin seeds –  1 teaspoon

Garlic clove- 4

Green chilies – 4

Onion- I small

Other ingredients :

Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon

Salt – according to taste

Sour Curd- 3-4 tablespoon

Fresh Curry leaves –  a few (1 spring)

Method :

Prepare the paste :

Add all the ingredients listed above for making the paste in a mixer and coarsely grind them to a thick paste. Add just a little water if you find it difficult to grind.  Keep aside.

Prepare the veggies :

In a heavy bottom pan put all the listed veggies which are peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch long pieces. Add green chilies slit in half. Also add enough water to cover the vegetables. Add salt and turmeric powder and simmer on slow heat till  half cooked. Make sure the vegetables do not get overcooked. I use a fork to check if they are done. The fork should easily go in but veggies should remain intact and crisp.

Make a well in the middle of vegetables and add the already prepared coconut paste.

Stir well and cook on low heat for another five minutes. Keep it covered.

Take a teaspoon of coconut oil or any other cooking oil. Heat it a little and add curry leaves to it till they crackle. Pour those curry leaves in the mixture and cover.

Take beaten curd and add this too to the vegetable stew and remove from heat.  Do not cook after adding curd as it may curdle and ruin the dish.

Watch the colorful carnival come alive with exotic aromas as an added bonus. I kept a little with gravy and rest without it so that it caters to everyone’s wants.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

Recipe – Lauki Ki Barfi ( Bottle Gourd Fudge )


In Indian Ayurvedic medical system Bottle Gourd/ doodhi/ lauki holds a special place due to its health benefits. This is a recipe perfected by me over the years. Traditional Indian sweets require a lot of love and patience. They are time consuming but the end result is delicious. I usually avoid using Khoa which is base for many Indian sweets. I prefer to use full cream milk and reduce it on slow flame to get the same texture and the taste is much better than khoa.

Bottle Gourd is used for making kheer, halwa and barfi and here we will learn to make Bottle gourd barfi or fudge.

Ingredients :

Bottle Gourd – 2 cup grated.  Choose fresh lime green bottle gourd with a round bottom and no blemishes.

Sugar- 200 grams

Milk- 1 liter

Green cardamon powder –  1teaspoon

Almonds- Blanched and finely chopped 1/4 cup

Clarified Butter – 1/3 cup

Method :

Wash peel and grate the bottle gourd. Keep aside. Some people remove the pulp and seeds but I keep it all. One needs to take tender bottle gourd.

Heat full cream milk. Add the grated bottle gourd to it. I don’t fry the vegetable before adding milk. I feel all the juices should remain in the dish.

Keep the heavy bottom pan full of milk and bottle gourd mixture on low flame and let it simmer till the milk completely evaporates.

Add the clarified butter and keep the flame on medium. Keep stirring to avoid burning.

Let the mixture leave  sides and turn a beautiful golden brown.

A this point add sugar. I usually add sugar at later stage.

Dry up the water content after adding sugar.

Stir it till it gets a nice shade of brown.

Add almonds and remove from heat. Add cardamon powder. This should always be added in the end.

Grease a high edged plate covered with foil paper.

Pour the mixture and flatten it to form a smooth texture.

Let it cool. Once cool cut into squares or diamonds.

Garnish with almond shredding. I have skipped the garnish as mom doesn’t like it much. 😉

Serve as a dessert.