29 September, 2006

Rava Uppittu/Upma

Uppittu is a very common breakfast item in south India. They are usually prepared with semolina. Mom always used to make Upma with Avalakki.They are like ever bonded twins.
There are various ways of making upma and ofcourse im posting the recipe which I learnt from my mom. You can use couscous or vermicelli instead of semolina.

Rava Uppittu

2 cups Rava
4-5 cups water
2 medium onion chopped
2 large ttomatoes,  chopped
2-4 green chilies sliced
1 inch piece of grated ginger
1 cup vegetables (carrots, green peas, green beans)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dal
3 tsp oil
1 lemon
Salt to taste

Dry roast the rava with little ghee or oil until you can smell the aroma but don't let it burn.
Heat the oil in a thick saucepan.
Add the mustard seeds and after they pop add the urad dal.
When it turns slightly brown add green chilies and onion and saute till it softens.
Next add the chopped tomtomatoes and cook them for 3 minutes.
mix in the vegetables and saute for 3 minutes.
Add 4 cups of water, salt and hing.
When the water boils add the rava while stirring constantly.
After 2 or 3 min, cover the pan and cook over a low flame for 7 minutes.
Serve hot or warm.

Use couscous/vermicelli instead of Rava as shown above

28 September, 2006

Quick Tomato Rasam

Rasam normally forms the second course in a traditional South Indian menu. There are various ways of preparing it. It is normally mixed with plain cooked rice and eaten with different curries for sidedish. It makes for a very good appetizer or soup also when taken all by itself.

This is one of my favourite recipe as its very simple and quick to prepare. And tastes really good too...
1 Medium Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2-3 sliced Tomatoes or 1 tin/can Chopped Tomato,
1 medium sized Raw Mango, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes (optional)
1-2 Green Chillies, sliced
1 inch Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup of Red Lentils
2 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp of Turmaric Powder
1-2 Tbsp of Rasam Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
1 tsp Jaggary
Salt to taste

26 September, 2006

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Aam: Mango. The name 'mango' is from the the Tamil/Malayalam word "Manga", which was popularized by the Portuguese after their Indian exploration.
Achar: Achar/Indian Pickles are mainly made with vegetables and fruits like mango, lime, green chilies etc. Made mostly during the summer in India, they are a spicy and delightful addition to the Indian meal.
/Udrak/Shunti: Ginger.
Akki: Kannada word meaning Rice.
Aloo: Potato.
Aloo Chole: Aloo Chole is a vegetarian dish cooked using chickpeas, potatoes, and tamarind.
Amchur: Mango powder. A sour flavoring agent using in North Indian cooking.
Appam: Appam is the traditional recipe from Kerala are usually made out of rice and/or various lentil flours.
Atta: Chapatti flour. Fine whole meal flour used in most Indian breads.
Avial/Aviyal: Avial is a mixed vegetable curry from the south of India.
It is a thick mixture of a lot vegetables, curd and coconut.It is seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves.


Bandai: Star Anise.
Badam: Almonds.
Barfi/Burfi is an Indian sweet. A dessert made from milk that has been cooked slowly and reduced to a fudge-like consistency. This sweet is flavored with either saffron, vanilla essence, cocoa, rose water, etc. Sometimes nuts and fresh coconut is added. Eaten and served in bite-sized pieces "Barfi" is a very popular after dinner dessert. Just like bringing a bottle fine wine when you visit someone for the first time, a decorative box filled with different kinds of "Barfi" is a traditional gift in India.
Basmati Rice: Basmati rice is authentic Indian long grained white rice, which has unique nutty flavor. A wide variety of rice dishes are made with Basmati rice. They are: plain steamed rice, pulaos, pilafs, biryanis or just different types of fried rice – which include meat, vegetables, nuts, and even fruits sometimes. Gourmet cooks prefer to use Basmati rice for its fragrant flavor. Special occasion rice dishes are mostly made with Basmati rice.
Besan: Chickpea flour.
Bhaaji/Sabji: Deep-fried vegetable dipped in a seasoned batter – usually made with onion.
Bahare: Stuffed.
Bharta: A spicy vegetable dish, with a pulp like consistency. A commonly made bharta is a "baingan" (eggplant) bharta.
Bhel Puri: Bhel Puri is one of India’s favorite snack’s. It is a mixture of puffed rice, "sev", "puri", lentils, finely chopped onions, chopped coriander topped with two kinds of chutneys; one is the sweet tamarind-date chutney and the other is the spicy cilantro-chilly chutney.
Bhuna or Bhunao: Bhuna is to sauté or stir-fry. Usually onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies are fried in oil, but to make sure that this doesn’t stick, burn or cook unevenly, a small amount of liquid is added, repeatedly. After the oil separates from the mixture, the main ingredient (meat or vegetable) is added and cooked.
Biryani: Biriyani is an elaborate dish made from spiced saffron rice cooked with pieces of lamb, chicken or vegetables. It is usually made on special occasions since it takes a long time to make a biryani, but it is surely worth the effort. It always tastes better the next day since the spices marinate and flavor the meat and rice.
Bondas or Vadas: Round deep-fried savory snack made in different varieties usually from lentils, potatoes etc. and served with a chutney.
Brinjal: Eggplant.


Cassia Bark: Cassia is a corky bark with a sweet fragrance similar to cinnamon and is used extensively in Northern Indian cookery.
Cayenne pepper:
The Cayenne is a hot red chili pepper used to flavor dishes, and for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and others.
Chaamp: Chop.
Chakla Belan: A special rolling pin and board.
Chamcha: Spoon or ladle.
Channa: Chickpea.
Chaat (Hindi: चाट, Urdu: چاٹ) is a word used across India, Pakistan and the rest of South Asia to refer to small plates of savory snacks, typically served at the side of the road from stalls or carts. Most chaat originated in Gujurat, but they are now eaten across the country.
Chai: Indian tea.
Chapatti: Unleavened Indian flatbread made with wheat flour, water, oil and salt. Usually cooked on a "tava" or thick griddle and brushed with "ghee".
Chaval/Chawal/Akki: Rice.
Chhalni: Sieve.
Chili: There are a great many species of chilies, which are the fleshy pods of shrub-like bushes of the capsicum family. Chilies range from large to small and colors include green, white, purple, pink, and red. Chilies are the most important heat agent in Indian cooking. They vary in hotness from mild to incendiary-like potency. Most commonly used are the small, fresh green or red chilies. Red chilies can be dried and used whole, and chili powder is made from grinding dried chilies.
Chimta: Tongs
Chutney: Chutney is a fresh relishes made with fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Curry: To Indians, the term curry means gravy or sauce, Curries are what made Indian cuisine famous all over the world, the most famous of all is the Chicken Curry. Residents of the rest of the world, however, have come to think of "curry" as simply a thick creamy yellow sauce or any dish seasoned with a curry-powder blend, whether it has a sauce or not. An authentic Indian curry is an intricate combination of a stir-fried wet masala (mixture of onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes), various spices and seasonings with which meat, poultry, vegetables or fish is prepared to produce a stew-type dish.
Curry leaves: (Not to be confused with the curry spice blend) The curry leaf plant is a tropical tree of the citrus family. The long slender leaflets that look a little like bay leaves are dark green on top and paler underside. The leaves have a strong, warm curry (combination of nuts and lemons) aroma when bruised or rubbed.


Dahi: Strained yoghurt, yoghurt cheese, labneh (also labaneh, lebnah; Arabic لبنة), or Greek yoghurt (in northern Europe and the U.S.) is a type of yoghurt which is strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter, traditionally made of muslin, to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yoghurt and cheese, while preserving yoghurt's distinctive sour taste. It is a traditional food in the Middle East and South Asia, where it is often used in cooking, as it is high enough in fat not to curdle at higher temperatures.
Dal: Dal is an Indian word, which includes dried peas, beans, and lentils that are red, yellow orange, or pink, plus split peas and other legumes. Dal can also be used to describe a soup like dish prepared with lentils. Dals are the primary source of protein in a vegetarian diet. Dals are cooked whole or pureed, depending on the dish. Ground powdered dal is used in unleavened breads and crackers, and even in spice mixtures
Dalchini or Darchim: Cinnamon.
Dewa: Lentils. There are over sixty types of lentils. The most common types are masoor, channa, and urid.
Dhania: Coriander.
Dhansak: Traditional chicken or meat dish cooked in lentil and vegetable puree.
Doroo: Celery.
Dosa: Dosa is a popular delicacy from southern India made from rice and "urad" dal. They are usually made very thin and pancake-like and sometimes filled with a spiced potato mixture. Served with chutney and "sambar".
Dum: A way to steam foods in a pot with a tightly covered lid or a sealed pot. A popular spiced vegetable dish is "Dum Aloo". In the olden days, the utensil was sealed with atta (dough) to capture the moisture within the food as it cooked slowly over a charcoal fire. Some coal was placed on the lid to ensure even cooking. The food continued to cook in its own steam, retaining all its flavor and aroma. Dum means, "to steam" or "mature" a dish.


Ekuri: Indian version of scrambled eggs, which obviously means the addition of onions and spices.
Elaichi: Cardamom.


Feni/Fenny: Fenny is an Indian liquor made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple. Fenny (also feni) originated in Goa, and the Goan fenny is generally considered superior.


Gajar: Carrot.
Garam Masala: A North Indian spice blend, literally meaning, "hot mixture".
There are many variants: most traditional mixes use just cinnamon, roasted cumin, cloves, nutmeg (and/or mace) and green cardamom seed or black cardamom pods. Many commercial mixtures may include more of other less expensive spices and may contain dried red chili peppers, dried garlic, ginger powder, sesame, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, bay leaves, cumin, and fennel.
Ghee: Clarified butter.
Gobhi: Cauliflower.
Goor or Gur: Jaggery (palm sugar) or molasses.
Gram flour: Chickpea flour.
Gulab Jamun: Gulab Jamun is a deep-fried cake balls served with aromatic syrups.


Haldi/Huldi: Turmeric. Haldi is a very important Indian spice. It is the basis for all Indian curry spice blends.
Halvah/Halwa: Indian sweet made from a variety of finely grated vegetables, milk, and sugar and flavored with cardamom. The consistency is that of a thick pudding. Among the popular halwa is the "Gajar ka Halwa".
Hing: Asafetida is the dried gum resin of an East Indian plant. It has a strong odor and the flavor is a little like "spicy garlic. Usually just a pinch is used for cooking mainly fish, vegetables and making "Indian pickles". It is available in a yellow powdered form.


Idli: South Indian steamed rice cakes: a very popular snack from the south of India. Generally eaten with "sambar" and "chutney".
Imli: Tamarind.


Jaifal/Taifal/Jaikai: Nutmeg.
Jalfrezi: Sauté or stir-fry.
Jalebi: These sweet crisp round whirls, made from plain flour and water deep-fried and then dipped in sugar syrup, served hot or cold, make a favorite Indian dessert.
Javatri: Mace.
Jeera/Zeera: Cumin.


Kachumber: Indian salad usually made with cucumber, tomatoes, and onions flavored with salt, sugar and lemon juice.
Kabuli Channa: Chickpeas.
The chickpea, chick pea, garbanzo bean, Indian pea, ceci bean, bengal gram, hummus, chana or channa (Cicer arietinum) is an edible legume (English "pulse") of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.
Kadhi: Yogurt soup.
Gujarati Kadhi, one of the dishes of North India, differs from its northern cousins in the level of sweetness. Gujarati Kadhi tends to be much sweeter than the other variants, because of addition of a sweetener like sugar or jaggery.
Kaju/Kajoo: Cashew nut.
Kala Jeera: Black cumin seeds.
Kala Namak: Black salt.
Kalongi: Nigella seeds, similar to wild onion seeds.
Karanji: Karanji is a
Maharashtrian Pastries made out of whole-wheat flour and filled with a cooked mixture of freshly grated coconut and sugar.
Karela: Karela is a Bitter gourd/Melon and is small, dark green, knobby vegetable of the gourd family.
Katori: Small serving bowls which go on a thaali (tray).
Kebabs/Kababs: Marinated and spiced small pieces of any meat, poultry, fish, ground meat, vegetables, skewered and grilled in a tandoor/oven or over a grill. Kebabs can also be shallow fried over a pan.
Keema: Ground meat, raw or cooked.
Kheer: Essentially a rice pudding, made with rice, milk and sugar flavored with cardamom. Sometimes nuts are added. Served either hot or cold.
Khoya: Also known as "mawa" is made by bringing milk to a boil in a pot and stirring continuously thereafter on a low flame. It is then reduced and thickened to the consistency of soft cream cheese. Used widely in the making of many Indian desserts especially in Gulab Jamun.
Kishmish: Sultanas.
Koftas: Spiced meat or vegetable balls deep-fried and served with a curry sauce.
Kokum: A variety of plum, pitted and dried. They are very sour.
Korma: Rich sauce thickened with yogurt, nuts or poppy seeds, fragrantly seasoned with aromatic spices.
Kulcha: Flatbread often stuffed with onion or potatoes and seasoned with cilantro.
Kulfi: Sweet, aromatic ice cream made from cream, milk, and sugar flavored with mango, pistachios, saffron etc.


Lasan/Lassun/Lassan: Garlic
Lassi: A tall cool drink made from yogurt and water and made either sweet or salty.
Lavang: Cloves.


Macchi or macchli: Fish
Makhani: A traditional dish. Tandoori chicken is cooked in ghee and tomato sauce.
Makke: Corn flour.
Malai: Cream.
Masala: Spices, herbs and other seasonings ground or pounded together. When wet ingredients like water, vinegar, yogurt etc. are added to the spice mixture it is appropriately called a "wet masala". Dry spice mixtures are also called "Garam masala" or commonly known in the world as "Curry powder". Indian cooks generally don't use pre-prepared curry powder (originally a British invention to approximate Indian seasoning) but prefer making their own ever-changing blends.
Malaya: The curries of Malaya are traditionally cooked with coconut, chili, and ginger.
Mamra/Mumra: Puffed rice.
Masala Dabba: Spice box containing the commonly used dry spices and is always kept near the cooking range for easy and quick access. A spoon is included for ease of use.
Masoor Dal: Red lentil with a green skin.
Mattar or Mutter: Green peas.
Mattar Paneer or Mutter Paneer: Curried peas with cubes of fried homemade cheese.
Methi: Fenugreek.
Mirch: Pepper. For centuries the most important spice, gaining the title king of spices. It grows on vines that flower triennially and produce clusters of berries, which are picked and dried which then become peppercorns. Green, black, and white are not different varieties. All peppercorns are green when picked and must be bottled or freeze-dried at once to retain the color. Black pepper is the dried berry. White pepper is obtained by soaking off the black skin of the berry. Peppercorns are a heat agent and can be used whole or ground.
Moong: One of the more commonly used lentils. It has a green skin and can be used whole, split or polished to make various dals.


Naan: Indian flat bread made from wheat and baked in a tandoor.
Naan Keema: Baked naan bread, stuffed with a thin layer of minced meat curry.
Naan Peshwari: Baked naan bread stuffed with almonds and or cashews and or raisins.
Namak: Salt.
Namkeen: Salty.
Naryal/Nariyal: Coconut.
Neem: Curry leaf.
Nimboo/Nimbu: Lime.


Paan: Betel leaf stuffed with supari (betel nut), quick lime paste, kathechu paste, gulukand (rose petal preserve), fennel seeds and dried grated coconut. Paan is eaten usually after a meal and has known to aid in digestion. Paan connoisseurs always add tobacco in their paan. The paan is garnished with edible thin silver foil called "Varak".
Pakoras/Pakodas: Popular Indian crispy and spicy snack served usually hot out of the frying pot along with coriander chutney. A popular teatime snack served with Indian tea. Slices of different vegetables like potatoes, onion, chilies, spinach leaves, eggplant etc dipped in a batter made out of chickpea flour and a few dry spices and deep-fried.
Palak/Sag: Spinach or green leafy vegetable
Paneer: Cheese (Indian cottage cheese) made from bottled milk that can be fried and curried.
Papdams (Papad): Thin wafer like discs about 4 to 8 inches in diameter made from a variety of lentils, potato, shrimp, rice etc. The discs are deep-fried or dry roasted on an open flame and served as a crispy savory appetizer. Served in many Indian restaurants complimentary before a meal.
Paratha: Whole-wheat unleavened flatbread. It is sometimes filled with cooked ground meat or a vegetable mixture. Slightly larger than a Chapatti and shallow fried to perfection.
Pasanda: Meat, usually lamb, beaten and cooked in one piece.
Piaz/Peeaz/Pyaz: Onion.
Pista Magaz: Pistachio nut.
Poha: Pounded rice.
Pooris: Deep-fried whole-wheat flatbreads. They are usually around 4 inches in diameter and puff up when deep-fried.
Pudina: Mint leaves or powder.
Pulao: Delicately flavored rice, sautéed in ghee and flavored with whole spices like cumin, cloves etc.
Pulses: Types of lentils.


Quas chawal/Kesar chaval: Rice fried in ghee, flavored and colored with saffron.


Rai: Mustard seed.
Raita: A cooling chutney of vegetables and yogurt.
Rajma: Red kidney beans.
Rasgulla: One of the most famous Indian sweets that originated from east India. The walnut-size balls of semolina and milk are cooked in a light sugar syrup, flavored with cardamom.
Rogan Josh Gosht: Rich lamb curry, literally meaning "red juice lamb". It is a traditional Northern Indian dish of lamb that is marinated in yogurt, then cooked with ghee and spices and tomato. It should be creamy and spicy – but not too hot.
Roti: Bread in Hindi. "Tandoori roti" is bread that is baked in a tandoor, "Rumali Roti" or literally meaning handkerchief bread is a kind of a thin and flaky partha made up of many layers.
Ruh Gulab: Rose water


Sag/Saag: Spinach
Sabzi: The generic term for vegetables.
Sambhar/Sambar: Lentil curry from the south of India. Served as an accompaniment with "idli"and "dosa".
Samosas: The celebrated triangular deep-fried pastry appetizers filled with vegetable or meat mixtures.
Sarson ka sag: Mustard leaves
Seekh Kebab/Sheek Kabab: The word "Seekh" in Hindi means skewer. Seekh kebab simply means kebabs on a skewer. Kebabs are usually made out of ground lamb mixed with various spices, cooked in a "tandoor".
Seenl: Allspice. Related to the clove family.
Sev: Thin string-like fried snack preparation made out of gram flour. Used in the preparation of "Sev puri" and "Bhel Puri" or can be enjoyed just plain. Nowadays there are many spicy and non-spicy varieties of "sev" available in specialty Indian stores.
Shahi: means "Royal" in Hindi
Shami kebab: Round minced meat rissoles.

Cubes of skewered lamb.
Fennel seed.
Sont or Sonth:
Dried ginger.

Mixture of seeds and sweeteners for chewing after a meal. It usually includes aniseed or fennel, shredded betel nut, sugar balls, marrow seeds, etc.


Tadka/Tarka/Chaunk: A Tadka/Chaunk (sometimes spelled chounk or chonk or pronounced chawnce; also called tarka or baghar; and often translated as "tempering") is a garnish and/or cooking technique used in the cuisines of India, in which whole spices (and sometimes also other ingredients such as minced ginger root or sugar) are fried briefly in oil or ghee to enhance their flavors, before being poured, together with the oil, into a dish. A chaunk may be added at the end of cooking, just before serving (as with a dal soup or stew), or else prepared at the beginning of cooking, before adding the ingredients to a curry or similar dish.
Tandoor: Tandoor is the traditional Indian clay oven. A Tandoor is a clay pot usually sunken neck deep in the ground. Charcoal is put on the flat bottom of the pot. The heat generated by the hot charcoal in and on the sides of the clay pot is used for cooking. Long iron rods, long enough to reach the bottom of the pot, are used in the cooking process. It is probably the most versatile kitchen equipment in the Indian kitchen. Barbecues, breads, dal, gravies made in them acquire a unique taste, very different from the food cooked on the regular kitchen oven.
Tej Patta: Tej Patta is an Indian name for Bay leaf.
Thaali/Thali: Thali is a tray that holds the complete meal served in individual bowls (katori).
Tikka: Tikka is skewered boneless meat cubes cooked in a tandoor.
The Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan, syn. Cajanus indicus ) is a member of the family Fabaceae. Other common names are Arhar, Red Gram, Toovar/Toor (Hindi/Gujarati/Marathi/Punjabi), Togari (Kannada), Kandi (Telugu), Gandul, Guandul, Congo pea, Gungo pea, Gunga pea, and no-eye pea.
Tulsi: Ocimum tenuifolium (known as Holy basil in English, and Tulasi in Sanskrit), is a well known aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae. Apart from its culinary uses, for which it is known across the world, it is also used as a medicinal plant, and has an important role within many traditions of Hinduism, wherein devotees perform worship involving Tulasi plants or leaves.


Urad, also referred to as urad dal, urd bean, urd, urid, black gram, black lentil or white lentil (Vigna mungo) is a bean grown in southern Asia. It is largely used to make dal from the whole or split, dehusked seeds.


Varak/Vark/Varakh: Varak is a fine thin edible silver foil used to decorate or garnish Indian desserts and "Paan". It has been known to aid in digestion.
Vindaloo also called Vindalho or Vindallo is a very popular Indian dish. It was first brought to Goa by the Portuguese and soon became a Goan meal often served during very special occasions. Historically this was a pork dish cooked with plenty of red wine and garlic, known in Portuguese as Vinha d'Alho (from "vinho" wine and "alho" garlic), but it soon received the Goan treatment of adding plentiful amounts of spice and chili.


Xacutti: A Goan dish which is made using chicken/vegetables and coconut.


Yakni: Mutton.
Yams are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchytubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. They are used in a fashion similar to potatoes and sweet potatoes.


Zafron/Kesar: Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. Saffron is the stamen of the crocus flower.
Approximately 150 flowers yield 1 gram of dry saffron threads.

(Source: divinecuisines.com & Wiki)

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Most of the Recipes blogged in Monsoon Spice are the one’s which we cook regularly at home or whatever we fancy eating. If it is simple Rasam/Dal Rice one day then other day it is something I learned from my Amma, Relatives and Friends, Web, Cookbook or TV show. There is no particular rule I follow while posting these recipes. The recipes blogged are something which we ate, loved and want to replicate the same in future. Monsoon Spice is our treasure box of recipes which satisfies both our tummy and soul which I am sharing with you now.

I am more than happy to get your feedback and suggestion to make it more interactive and interesting place for you. There are few recipes which I am not too fond of or haven’t got the right ingredients or just forgot about it all together or just don’t have enough time to cook. So if you are looking for a particular Vegetarian Recipe in Monsoon Spice please mail me a request, or respond by commenting to this post. Please do look through the "Search" box and the Monsoon Spice's Recipe Index to see if the recipe is already blogged. I will try my best to find out the recipes and post the recipe along with photoes for you. Blogging is my hobby so please be warned that I may not be able to respond to your request right away.

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