Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ridge Gourd Curry

I think that one person who was my inspiration to start my own blog was Saffron Hut. She has this most interesting blog with amazing photographs and to top it off, she has a very nice take on life and writes very well.
Her recipes are easy, simple and taste good. I have tried a few, but ridge gourd being one of my favorite vegetables, this is one from her blog ended up being a staple on my table. It is a dish which can be cooked with very little oil, which makes it the perfect food for me. But nowhere does it compromise on the taste.

Ridge gourd ( aka Beerkaya, Beerkanga) has a rather bland taste like zucchini and lends itself very well to the taste of the spices added. Here the potatoes, carrots and ridge gourd come together to make a curry which will go well with either rice or chapatis. The kids also enjoyed this with chapatis.

Here is the recipe exactly as in her blog.


1 medium ridgegourd diced
2 potatoes diced
1 carrot diced
2 ripe tomatoes chopped
1 onion chopped
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
3 tsp sambhar powder or curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 small lump of jaggery
salt to taste


Chop all the vegetables into medium cubes

Heat 1 tsp oil in a wide pan and add the cumin seeds when the oil is hot.

When the cumin seeds start sizzling, add the chopped onions
Saute the onions well.

Add the sambhar powder and turmeric powder. Fry well till well roasted and aromas waft all through the kichen.

Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes turn pulpy.

Add the carrots, potatoes, ridge gourd pieces and stir well.

Cover and let simmer in its own juices till all the vegetables are done.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boorelu - Andhra Food Series

This post has been long on the back burner. I uploaded the pictures and then promptly forgot about it. For some reason, it simply never came to mind. The other day reading about a blog about old memories, the penny dropped and I remembered that I had not finished this particular post.

Boorelu are a very typical Andhra sweet served at most functions and festivals.
I have absolutely no recollection of when I first ate this sweet but the memory of the taste stayed with me for many years. I always imagined that it was this oh-so-complicated dish that I could never aspire to make. Mom never made it ever, so this was something I could only get to taste when I went for a wedding or back home to someone's place for an occasion. I insisted on having it as a part of my wedding lunch menu. Eating one of these balls of yumminess was only a once in a way treat so I made the most of it. I could never stop with one. I had to eat at least 5-6 before I was truly satisfied. (Actually my tummy protested more than my tongue).

Once after I got married I was invited to an aunt's house for dinner. To my pleasant surprise, she served Boorelu as the sweet at the end of the meal. I had no idea that she even knew how to make it. I caught her immediately to come home the next day and teach me.
It was so simple to make. I guess in my mind I had this idea that this was very complicated to make so ... Those were the days before I started a real love for cooking.

It was so simple and the ingredients easily available in all Indian pantries.
Now I do make it though not as often as I would like.

Do try it out and let me know what you think.


1 cup moong dal
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup grated coconut
20 raisins
1 teaspoon coarse cardamom powder
1/2 cup urad dal
1 cup raw rice
Oil to deep fry


Soak the urad dal and rice in water about 8 hours before making the boorelu.
When well soaked, grind to a smooth batter using very little water. Keep aside.

Soak the moong dal for about an hour and grind coarsely in the blender.

Steam for 10 minutes till it is cooked through like an idly/dhokla.

When it cools down crumble the cooked moong dal till it resembles bread crumbs. ( see picture below)

Now put a pan on medium heat. Gently roast the coconut till it gets to be a light brown colour and very aromatic. Keep aside. ( See below)

In the same pan, heat the sugar with about 2 tablespoons for water till it dissolves and becomes a liquid.
Add the crumbled moong dal and roasted coconut and mix well. Take off the heat and add the cardamom powder.
When cool enough to handle, make into lime sized balls putting 1 or 2 raisins into each.

Heat oil to deep fry.
Dip into the rice/urad dal batter. Drop into the hot oil and fry till it is a golden brown.

Serve hot or cold.