Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Flavors I love ~ Peppers with Potatoes

Peppers with Potatoes
Green, Yellow and Red ~ For Jihva Bell Pepper Celebration

This is what I used to prepare and take in a lunch box during my 8 to ? job days. The ingredients are common and the cooking process is basic. But the taste somehow exceeds the expectations. I used to like it a lot and still do, though I rarely prepare this “curry in a hurry” now. See if this is per your taste.

Peppers with Potatoes
(makes 2 to 4 meals for 4 to 2 people)

3 bell peppers (green or any color)
8 small, new crop potatoes or 3 regular sized ones
4 tomatoes
1 onion
1-tablespoon ginger-garlic-cilantro paste
1-tablespoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon each - chilli powder and salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
oil or ghee to taste and tadka ingredients

Coarsely chop the listed vegetable to chunks. When I say coarsely, I mean really coarse, about one-inch sized pieces. Onions, tomatoes everything. The size matters here in this dish and adds extra special flavor.

Add oil to a kadai or wide skillet and heat. Add and toast cumin and mustard seeds. Add onion and sauté them to translucent. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook for about five minutes. Moisture from tomatoes creates steamy environment for potatoes to become tender. When they are halfway done, add the bell peppers. Also the listed seasoning. Mix and cover the skillet with a tight lid. Keep the heat medium and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Do not add water. When you lift the lid, what you see is soft vegetables in semi-moist consistency. (nothing should be in puddles of water). At this point you are ready to serve.

Tastes wonderful with warm chapatis or rotis and also with steamed rice.

Matta Rice with Pepper and Potatoes

Peppers and Potatoes with Rosematta Rice ~ Meal Today and for Pooja’s Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Bell Pepper, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Peppers, Baby Potatoes, Jihva For Ingredients (Wednesday May 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm- permalink)
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Baby Brinjals and Potatoes

Vankaya~Urlagadda Vepudu:


Brinjals and Red Potatoes ~ Babies Dressed up in Kobbari Kaaram

Last weekend, I purchased these baby brinjals and tiny red potatoes at an Asian grocery shop. Tender and cute, they are about one to one and half inches in size, like small night bulbs. I pressure-cooked the potatoes but for brinjals, following my mother’s philosophy of “less we do, the more the brinjal’s delicate flavor comes through”, I just made two small slits in plus shape and steam-sautéed them. Within ten minutes, the lavender colored brinjals turned to beige and fork-tender. Once the brinjals were done, I just added the potatoes and the kobbari kaaram podi. That’s it, a nice side dish was ready for our meal today.


Small Night-bulb Sized Baby Brinjals and Baby Red Potatoes

Recipe:

Peanut oil - 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves 6, cumin and mustard seeds - Pinch each
Onion, thinly sliced lengthwise - half cup
Baby brinjals (1-2 inches long) - 10, cut in plus shape
Baby red potatoes - 10, pressure-cook or boil to fork-tender
Kobbari kaaram podi - 4 tablespoons
Turmeric and salt - ½ teaspoon each or to taste

In a wide skillet, heat peanut oil. Add and toast curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds. Add onion and fry to soft.

Add the brinjals. Sprinkle about two tablespoons of water. Cover the skillet and steam-saute the brinjals to tender, stirring in-between. The young brinjals turn to fork-tender quickly, in about 10-15 minutes.

Add baby potatoes. Sprinkle kobbari kaaram podi, turmeric and salt. Gently mix and cook another 5-10 minutes on low heat. Serve hot. It’s a good side dish to have with rice and sambar or pappu chaaru.


Brinjal-Potato Saute with Kobbari Kaaram and Tomato Pappucharu mixed with Rice ~ Brunch today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Vankaya (Brinjal), Baby Potatoes (Monday August 20, 2007 at 11:38 am- permalink)
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Scrumptious Sabjis ~ Methi Matar Malai

Here is an easy meal idea that will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen, when in reality all you would need to do is pluck few leaves, open few packets and grind some masala paste. 10 minutes in front of the stove, the result would be a very comforting creamy curry that is appropriate for family meal or a gathering of friends.

Speaking of friends get-togethers, we were invited a potluck party yesterday and I prepared some sweets with homemade malai. I kept a small cup of malai to the side to prepare this scrumptious sabji today. Store bought evaporated milk or concentrated almond milk/rice milk also works for this recipe. Give it a try.


from Hindi to English - Methi (Fenugreek), Matar (Peas) and Malai (Cream)

Recipe:

Fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) - 1 cup
Fresh peas (matar) - 1 cup
Malai (cream) - half cup
(homemade or store-bought evaporated milk - unsweetened variety)
2 red potatoes - peeled and cubed to bite sized pieces
Salt and turmeric to taste or half teaspoon each
Peanut oil or ghee - one teaspoon

Masala paste: One small red onion or shallot, one inch size ginger, six green chillies, two cloves, one inch piece of cinnamon stick, one teaspoon cumin and quarter cup of fresh peas (peas are added to thicken the sauce) - Grind to smooth consistency by adding half cup of water in a blender.

Heat oil in a wide skillet.

Add and saute the masala paste for 5 minutes on medium heat until the paste starts to turn red.

Now add one after another, first potatoes, then fenugreek leaves and finally peas. Do a quick stir-fry until the leaves wilt.

Add malai (evaporated milk). Stir in salt and turmeric and about 1 cup of water. (I also added a half teaspoon of jaggery which helps to bring out the sweetness of peas. But this is optional.) Cover and cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat until potatoes and peas are cooked to tender and the sauce thickens. Serve warm. Tastes superb with chapatis or with naans.

My latest find is garlic naan from frozen section of Trader Joe’s. One packet is priced at 2 dollars and contains 4 good sized naans which are prepared in India and vacuum packed. We just have to heat them on stove-top or in oven. The flour, the layers, the garlic topping - very flavorful and quality stuff. Well, they are from India. Need I say more?

Methi Matar Malai with Garlic Naan
Methi Matar Malai with Garlic Naan ~ Our Meal Today

Recipe adapted from Vee’s Past, Present and Me

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Milk, Menthi Kura(Fenugreek), Baby Potatoes, Peas (Bataani) (Thursday February 15, 2007 at 2:31 pm- permalink)
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Chayote Curry (Bengaluru Vankaya Kura)

Chayote (Bengaluru Vankaya or Cho Cho)

Cho Cho, Christophen, Mirliton, Xuxu - the vegetable Chayote has more names than any other vegetable, I think. The name changes with ethnicity of grocery shop. In Nandyala, my hometown in India, chayote is sold as ‘Bengaluru Vankaya’. Our tiny town imports this vegetable from Bengaluru (Karnataka) region, so the name. The kind we get has more prominent ridges, unlike the very smooth surfaced ones that’s common here. Pale green and pleasantly sweet, chayotes are favored in curry and sambar preparations in our area.

Although available year round, this is the season, where you would see the prices come down for this vegetable here in US. We can buy 2, or sometimes 3 chayotes for a dollar. And 2 are needed to make a decent portioned curry to eat with chapatis for two people. Often I combine the chayotes with potatoes and carrots to make it more substantial and to last at least two meals for us.

Mild flavored chayotes dressed up in coconut-chilli seasoning and little bit of turmeric, together with potatoes and carrots make a delicious curry and a welcome addition to the meal at any time of the day.

Choyate cut to half, seed removed and diced to cubes
Choyate cut to half, seed discarded and diced to cubes

Recipe:

2 each - chayotes, small red potatoes and carrots - lightly peeled and cubed to bite sized pieces. I usually remove and discard the seed from chayote (see the photo above) following the traditional method. Reason given by elders is that seeds are not good for health. I am not sure how true that saying is but still I follow.

1 tablespoon of fresh grated coconut and 6 small green chillies - grind finely in a spice grinder or in a mortar.

½ cup of fresh green chickpeas (green garbanzos/Hara chana or Choleye)
½ teaspoon each - salt and turmeric

popu or tadka ingredients - 1 tsp each - peanut oil, cumin, mustard seeds and 4-6 curry leaves.

———-

In a wide skillet, heat peanut oil on medium heat. Add and toast curry leaves, cumin and then mustard seeds. When seeds start to jump around, add the green chickpeas. Saut? them for few minutes.

Add the chayote, potato and carrot cubes. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring in-between. Just when they are getting tender, stir in the green chilli - coconut paste, salt and turmeric. Mix thoroughly and cook for few more minutes, covered until the vegetables reach the tenderness you desire. Chayote releases water on cooking and this water helps to tenderize the potatoes and carrots.

Serve warm with chapatis or with naans.


Chayote curry wrapped in chapatis with a cup of yogurt on the side ~ Our afternoon meal

Fresh, green chickpeas purchased from - Indian grocery & and also at Trader Joe?s Frozen section.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Carrots, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Baby Potatoes, Hara Chana(Green Chickpeas), Chayote (Cho Cho) (Wednesday January 3, 2007 at 2:02 pm- permalink)
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Ravish the Radish-2 (Radish-Potato Curry)

Yesterday, I was browsing through the nutritional guidebook - Wellness Foods AtoZ of UC Berkeley. The authors mentioned in that book, that radish-the root vegetable, has less than 25 calories per cup and supplies impressive amount of vitamin-C: 29 percent of the daily requirement in 1 cup of red radish slices. Not bad, right.

When it comes to cooking these red ping-pong ball sized beauties of spring, I have a strict dietary preferences. I don’t like them overcooked or raw. Overcooking usually results in no flavor and raw means the smell. Simple 5-minute stir-fry is a perfect way to enjoy their crisp flavor without the loss of nutrients and is the most common way I prefer. Because I do buy them almost every weekend during springtime from local farmers market, I had to come up with different ways to prepare this completely new vegetable (We don’t get this veggie at Nandyala). One way I make it more enticing is stir-frying it with baby potatoes and baby lima beans. Good and easy recipe with delicious crunchy results.

Recipe:

12 to 15 fresh red radishes - ends trimmed and sliced into medium thick rounds
6 to 8 baby potatoes - Boiled in water until just tender and quartered into 4 chunks
½ cup of baby lima beans - or any kind of beans like chickpeas/nuts of your liking
1 onion - finely chopped
seasoning
1 teaspoon of red chilli-garlic powder
½ teaspoon of each - turmeric and salt (or to taste)
For popu or tadka
1 teaspoon of peanut oil
½ teaspoon of cumin, mustard seeds, minced garlic and few curry leaves.

1 Do the tadka - Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil and add and toast tadka ingredients - cumin, mustard seeds, minced garlic and curry leaves.

2 Add and sauté onions, radishes and baby lima beans for few minutes on medium heat, stirring in-between, until they reach the crunchy/soft consistency you desire.

3 Stir in quartered potatoes and the seasoning (chilli-garlic powder, turmeric and salt). Cook for a further couple of minutes.

4 Serve hot with chapatis or with rice and dal.


Radish-Potato Curry Salad with chapatis and tomato dal


Ravish the radish - One

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Radish, Baby Potatoes (Thursday May 18, 2006 at 1:30 pm- permalink)
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Banana Pepper - Baby Potato Curry

Vegetables which are at normal prices at our local grocery store now are banana peppers and baby red potatoes. Banana peppers are mildly hot and the new crop, baby red potatoes are mildly sweet. These two are cooked in tomato gravy thickened by the addition of creamy-white, rich poppy seed (khus-khus, gasa gasalu) paste. The taste of the curry is like that of made with almond paste.

Banana Pepper, Baby Potato and Khus khus (gasa gasalu)
Banana Pepper, Baby Red Potato, Poppy Seeds(Khus Khus, Gasa Gasaalu)

Recipe:

Heat in a big saucepan, over medium-low heat:
1 teaspoon of peanut oil

Toast to do the popu or tadka:
1 teaspoon each of cumin, mustard seeds, minced garlic and few curry leaves

Add and Saut�: (listed in order)
1 onion - chopped
4 juicy tomatoes- chopped
8 baby red potatoes -peeled and cubed
4 banana peppers - cut into small rings crosswise

Stir in:
¼ cup poppy seeds(gasa gasalu)-finely powdered using a spicemill/coffee grinder
1 tsp of ginger-garlic-coriander paste
2 tsp of cumin-coriander seed-clove-cinnamon powder
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of red chilli powder and turmeric

Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring in-between. When the gravy reaches the consistency you desire, turn off the heat. Let the curry sit for 10 minutes and serve warm.
Tastes superb with chapatis or with rice.

Banana Pepper- Baby Alu Curry with Chapatis
Banana Pepper- Baby Alu Curry with Chapatis ~ Our meal today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Banana Pepper, Baby Potatoes, Poppy Seeds (Friday April 21, 2006 at 2:37 pm- permalink)
Comments (15)

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Baby Aloo in Tamarind-Chilli Sauce (Aloo Pulusu)

We lose by generalizing everything. Unity and showing strong front is important but preserving the diversity and maintaining our own uniqueness is also equally important, I think. Indian cuisine is such a broad term. Can anyone say they know all the regional food varieties of India? I guess not. If we don’t talk about our regional cuisine, who will and how would anyone know about the difference in our cooking. I see lot of new Indian food blogs coming up everyday. Generalize to your heart’s content, but don’t be shy to highlight your regional specialties. That would make the recipe more attractive to the readers and give them the feeling they are trying out something unique, in my view.

See, for example, from India - we go to Andhra Pradesh, my home state in India. Though the general term is Andhra cuisine, there are 3 regions (Rayalaseema, Kosta and Telengana) and each region has its own specialties. Lot of diversity out there, even in one state. Example is this recipe. Cooking vegetables like potatoes etc., in tamarind-chilli sauce is the specialty of Kosta (Coastal region) of Andhra. They call this Tamarind-chilli sauce “Pulusu“. It is the base sauce for all kinds of vegetables, in that region. The saying is, “give something to kosta people, particularly the Nellore district, they would find a way to add tamarind to it”.

The ‘pulusu‘ tastes like as if ‘old western’ kind of faction war happened between tamarind and dried red chillies. To compensate the sourness of tamarind, more hot chillies are added. Unbridled war wages on between these two strong tastes and there is no mediator to calm it down. Thickening agents like coconut or peanut paste are big no or rarely used. The pacifier of course is the poor vegetable that is added. How high this war can go on, which one dominates the taste of ‘pulusu‘ - it all depends on housewife’s mood that day. Imagine sucking on a lime wedge and simultaneously eating a dried red chillie - that’s how this pulusu tastes. You are alerted so prepare it at your own risk.

Boiled Baby red potatoes, Tamarind juice, tomatoes, dried red chillies, cumin and garlic

Recipe:

8 to 10 baby potatoes
1 medium sized onion and 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes - finely chopped
For sauce:
1 cup of tamarind juice - (medium thick - home made version)
6 dried red chillies+3 garlic cloves+1 teaspoon of cumin - Make a smooth paste of them.
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and salt to taste
Popu or tadka ingredients:(1tsp of each, cumin, mustard seeds and few curry leaves)

Boil potatoes in water, just until tender. Remove them and strip the outer skin. Prick the potatoes in multiple sites with a fork so that they can absorb the sauce.

In a big pan or kadai - heat one teaspoon of peanut oil. Do the popu or tadka (toast mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves). Saute onions and tomatoes for few minutes until they soften. Stir in red chilli paste; saute it for few minutes until it leaves the raw smell. Add the tamarind juice and another cup of water. Stir in salt and turmeric and also the pricked potatoes. Cover and simmer them for about 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat, stirring in between. Wait until the sauce reaches the consistency of thick lava. Turn off the heat, and serve the pulusu with chapatis or with rice and ghee.

Baby Potatoes in Tamarind-Chilli Sauce (urla gadda pulusu
Baby potatoes in tamarind-chilli sauce and chapatis

I’ve added a tablespoon of powdered jaggery to this curry, forgive me my dear Nellore friends and readers. I know you will sneer at me, I know it is a big no-no, adding any kind of sweetener to the curry. But my poor body won’t tolerate that kind of slow burning heat.

This is my entry to “The Spice is Right - Ancient Spices” food blog event, started and hosted by my favorite food blogger, very talented chef Barbara of Tigers and Strawberries.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Dried Red Chillies, Baby Potatoes (Wednesday April 12, 2006 at 1:25 pm- permalink)
Comments (23)

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Aloo Methi (Potato-Menthikura)

Though ordinary in looks, Aloo methi- the famous north Indian curry is full of flavor. Boiled and quartered baby potatoes are sautéed with methi (fresh fenugreek leaves) and generously flavored with pan grilled garlic, onions and green chillies - the result is one simple yet delicious curry, which tastes great when combined with rice and dal or with chapatis.

Aloo Methi with Methi dal and rice.
Aloo Methi with Rice and Methi Dal ~ Our Simple Meal Today.

Recipe:
6 baby potatoes - boiled in water until tender and then skins removed and cubed
1 bunch of fresh methi - washed and leaves plucked
1 red onion - finely chopped
4 green chillies - finely chopped
4 garlic cloves - finely chopped
Pinch of turmeric and salt to taste
For popu or tadka - 1 tsp of each, peanut oil, cumin and mustard seeds
*******
In a kadai or sauté pan, heat peanut oil; toast the cumin and mustard seeds. Add and fry the garlic, onion and chillies, stirring well for few minutes. Stir in turmeric and salt. Add the cubed potatoes and sauté them for few minutes until they turn light red. When potatoes are almost done, stir in fresh methi leaves, stir-fry for few minutes, until they wilt. Turnoff the heat, close the lid and allow them to absorb the flavors for few minutes. Turn on to a dish and serve.

Baby Red Potato, Red Onion, Methi Leaf, Garlic and Green chilli
Red onion, Methi leaves, Garlic, Green chilli and Baby red potato - Ingredients for Aloo Methi

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Menthi Kura(Fenugreek), Baby Potatoes (Wednesday March 22, 2006 at 1:44 pm- permalink)
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Aloo Dum (Baby Potatoes in Masala Sauce)

Thanks to the weird, spring like weather we have in this part of the world, the baby potatoes, which usually appear in market during spring and early summer, are on the market for sale in February. Rulli Brothers, the local Italian grocery shop had a sale going on baby potatoes last weekend. A pound of potatoes for one and half dollars and we could hand pick them from the pile. That’s a change from the usual prepackaged stuff. I picked out two pounds of tiny, key-lime sized baby reds, thinking they would be perfect for ‘Aloo dum’. Every home cook/chef of experience has few dishes in their repertoire, which they are certain about the outcome and happy to prepare and serve. Mine, among other things is, Indian restaurant style Aloo Dum. Baby potatoes cooked in an unforgettable flavorful sauce - the kind of dish that makes you swoon with its rich and satisfying goodness.

Recipe:

The preparation is three step. First boil the baby potatoes until they are just tender. Roast and grind the spices, the vegetables and the nuts for masala sauce. Combine and cook them together. The whole preparation takes about 30 to 45 minutes, if you have everything at hand.:) And the main chunk of it is of course to wait for the potatoes to boil.

Ingredients:

12 tiny baby potatoes
For Sauce- veggies
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes, each cut into four quarters
1 medium sized red onion or 4 shallots cut into big chunks
¼ cup finely chopped coriander
1×1 inch piece of fresh ginger
2 big garlic cloves
Nuts
½ cup cashews
¼ cup fresh grated coconut
Dry masala
6 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon coriander seeds & cumin
½ teaspoon peppercorns
3 small cinnamon sticks and cloves
1 star anise
for popu/tadka
2 teaspoons of peanut oil
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, cumin and some curry leaves

½ tsp of turmeric
Salt to taste

The list is long, but checkout the photo of ingredients together. It’s not much, is it?

Preparation:

Preparation is as I mentioned above, boil, roast-sauté-grind and cook.

Boil the potatoes until they are just fork-tender. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin. Prick them with a fork in multiple sites and keep them aside.

Gather the listed ingredients for masala sauce, ready on hand on a big plate. Heat an iron skillet and proceed like this.

1. Roast dry masala ingredients, for few minutes, until they release their smell. Remove them from the skillet and keep aside.
2. Roast cashews, then fresh grated coconut for few minutes. Remove them from the skillet and keep aside.
3. Roast ginger and garlic for few minutes. Remove them from the skillet and keep aside.
4. Finally heat one teaspoon of oil and roast onion and tomatoes for few minutes.

Let them cool down little bit. When they are cool enough to touch, put them in a blender. Add half glass of water and half teaspoon of salt. Grind them into smooth paste.

Cook: Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil in a big wide pan or kadai. Toast the popu ingredients (mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves) until they start to splutter. Add the grinded masala paste and another half to one glass of water. Stir in turmeric. Taste and add salt if needed. Add baby potatoes. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Finally stir in finely chopped cilantro and serve.

My Kitchen Notes:
Don’t forget to prick the potatoes, so that they can absorb the sauce.
Onions - avoid yellow onion and go with shallots or red onions
If you want, you can also stir in cream/yogurt at the end.


Aloo Dum and Chapatis

Check out another version of Aloo dum from Lera of Myriad Tastes.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Cashews, Coconut (Fresh), Baby Potatoes (Monday February 27, 2006 at 9:45 am- permalink)
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Oven-Roasted Baby Red Potatoes

We had a perfect, mild, early spring like weather this weekend. A trip to the flea/farmers market, a bag full of baby red potatoes and lazy afternoon spending at home called for this mouth watering evening snack.

Baby red potatoes are clean and fresh, so after a light dip in the water and a pat on the back with a towel, they are sliced into four and tossed with olive oil, salt and red chilli flakes. And they are ready for the oven.

Now the magic cooking part - Spread them on a baking sheet and first bake them in the oven at 350 F for about ten minutes. Bring out the sheet and turn the potatoes to other side one by one. Change the oven setting to broil and roast the potatoes again in the oven ten more minutes or until gold colored.

Oven-Roasted Baby Red Potatoes

Nothing gets the Pavlovian response going like the smell and sight of these crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside oven-roasted potatoes. Great snack!

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Vegetables, Potato, Baby Potatoes (Monday June 20, 2005 at 8:59 am- permalink)
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