Whole Cluster Beans Curry

Sunday, May 29, 2011 4 comments

Cluster beans are widely available in India and is used in Indian cuisine a lot. They are green and known as "goru chikkudu kaya" in Telugu and "guar ki palli" in Hindi. These beans, like other beans, are rich in proteins and have plenty of fiber and therefore good for digestion. This easy preparation avoids the pain of chopping them finely especially for people who are in a hurry to cook. I have used whole beans with the tips removed. Also I have used ajwain or carrom seeds which are again very popular in India. It is good for digestion and has a specific flavour. Even less oil is required for this dish.I t is better to use tender cluster beans for this preparation.

Serves two to three people.


  1. Remove the tips of the cluster beans and steam or boil them in water with a little salt. Try to use the beans which are of the same size.

  2. Take a pan and add the oil and heat it.

  3. Add cumin seeds and fry.Lower the heat and then add the turmeric powder,ajwain powder,chilly powder and salt and mix.

  4. Fry for a second and add the steamed cluster beans and mix well with the ingredients added.

  5. When the curry is a little dry, remove from heat and serve in a bowl with rice or chappatis.

Ingredients Quantity
Tender Cluster Beans 200 gms
Ajwain Seed Powder 2 tsps
Tumeric Powder 1 tsp
Chilly Powder ½ tsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tsp or less

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Whole Green Channa Summer Salad


This cool summer salad is very nutritious as it contains green channa, vegetables and fruit. Fresh green channa which is available in winter can also be used. Children will love it as a snack too. Try it this Summer.

Serves four people.

Ingredients Quantity
Soaked Green Channa ½ cup
Chopped Cucumber ½ cup
Chopped Apple ½ cup
Chopped Capsicum (different coloured ones) ½ cup
Chopped Onions ¼ cup
Chopped Tomatoes (de-seeded) ½ cup
Chopped Coriander Leaves 2 tbsps
Mint Leaves a few
Lime Juice 1 tsp
Honey (Optional) 1 tbsp
Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Olive Oil 1 ½ tsp
Salt to taste


  1. Boil the green channa till cooked. Do not over cook them.

  2. Take a big mixing bowl and add all the ingredients one by one except for the lime juice, salt, pepper powder, honey and oil. They will bve used for the dressing. Mix all of the other ingredients together. Chill this salad in the refrigerator till required.

  3. To make the salad dressing take a small bowl and add the oil, salt, pepper powder and lime juice and mix them well.

  4. Add this dressing to the salad just before serving.

  5. Serve this colourful salad in a bowl or in individual bowls.
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Chilled Spicy Green Grape Soup


Green Grpaes are another fruit which can be used in soups and also give the soup a pleasing colour and distinctive taste. This soup is also for summer. To give it the green colour and taste, roasted green bell pepper(capsicum), cucumber and green chilly have been used. Pictures of how to roast capsicum on open flame are shown here for those who do not have an oven or just don't know how to do it!

Serves two.

Ingredients Quantity
Green Grapes 1 cup or more
Green Capsicum (Bell Pepper) 1 medium
Green Chilly ½ chilly
Chopped Garlic (Optional) 1 tsp
Chopped Cucumber 1 cup
Chopped Cilantro 1 tbsp
Black Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Water 2 cups or more


  1. Take a fork and pierce it into the capsicum which has been greased and put it over an open flame and roast it on all sides as shown in the video below. When done remove from the flame and cool it so that the skin peels off easily.

  2. After it cools peel the skin and remove the seeds and chop it into big pieces.
  3. Take a blender jar and add, grapes, garlic, green chilly, capsicum, cucumber, pepper powder, salt and water and blend it well into a smooth consistency.

  4. Strain the soup and if more water is required it can be added. Chill this in the refrigerator for half an hour and serve it in a soup bowl garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

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Flaked Rice Vegetable Salad


This fat free cool salad can be enjoyed as a packed lunch or as snack in the evening because it is wholesome. The other ingredients supply the important nutrients.Here the flaked rice or chiwda or attukulu or poha, as it is known in India has been soaked in thick buttermilk to give it a tang. If you do not want to use buttermilk, thick tamarind juice can be used and give it a chaat taste, by adding all the chaat items.

Serves two or three.

Ingredients Quantity
Flaked Rice (Chiwda/Attukulu/Poha) 1 cup
Thick Curd (or Buttermilk) 1 cup
Chopped Onions 1 tbsp
Shedded Cabbage 2 tbsps
Chopped Tomatoes 2 tbsps
Chopped Green Chillies 1 tbsp
Chopped Cucumber 2 tbsps
Chopped Cilantro/Coriander 2 tbsps
Chopped Capsicum (all 3 colours if possible) 2 tbsps
Sprouts (Optional) 2 tbsps
Lime Juice 1 tsp
Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Crispy Sev (Snack) to garnish


  1. Wash the chidwa and soak it in thick buttermilk in a bowl and cover it.

  2. Take a big mixing bowl and add the ingredients except for a teaspoon of coriander leaves and sev one by one and the soaked flaked rice and mix them gently so that all the them are mixed well.If it is given to kids a teaspoon of olive oil can be added.

  3. After mixing chill this salad in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes.

  4. Serve it individually or in a big bowl,garnished with crispy sev and coriander leaves.

  5. If you think it is a little dry, more beaten curds can be added.

  6. Nowadays powdered Flax seeds (Linseed) is becoming popular because they contain natural ω-3 fatty acids and others, which is very nutritious. This powder is tasteless, so it can be sprinkled on the salad too.

Sev:- Thin broken string-like fried snack preparation made out of gram flour. Available in specialty Indian stores.

(Yellow thin Fidelini or Capelli d'angelo pasta like material in above picture.)
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Chilled Spicy Watermelon Soup

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 0 comments

Watermelon juice can be incorporated into soups to give the rich red colour and the cool and refreshing feeling to one's mind and body. To make it spicy, roasted red bell pepper (red capsicum) and ripe red chilly have been used. These two will help retain the red colour of the soup. I think this summer, this cold watermelon soup would be ideal to beat the heat! In this recipe,the capsicum can be roasted either in the oven or on direct flame, after greasing it with oil.

Serves two.

Ingredients Quantity
Watermelon Cubes 2 ½ cups or more
Ripe Red Cilly ½ or more
Roasted Red Bell Pepper (Red Capsicum) ½ capsicum
Vinegar 1 tsp
Pepper Powder ½ tsp
Garlic Cloves (Optional) 2
Water ½ cup if required
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves 1 tsp


  1. Roast the bell pepper with a little oil applied over it in an oven or over direct flame by holding the bell pepper with a fork. Cool it and remove the skin and keep it aside.

  2. Take a blender jar and add the watermelon cubes,bell pepper,green chilly,garlic cloves,pepper powder,salt and vinegar and blend it to a smooth consistency.

  3. Strain the soup and add water if required and mix well.

  4. If needed immediately, then freeze it in the freezer or you can chill it in the fridge for a hour or so.

  5. Serve it in a bowl and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

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Almond Cookies: Gluten Free


The other day I came across this gluten free recipe for cookies, so I made them and thought this is a good substitute for the normal cookies. Try it and find the difference!

These are made with common ingredients found in the kitchen. This recipe makes about ten medium sized cookies.

Ingredients Quantity
Margarine (Vegetable Fat) 8 tbsps or 85 gms
Powdered Sugar ¼ cup or 20 gms
Rice Flour ⅜ cup or 70 gms
Gram Flour (Besan) 1½ tbsps or 20 gms
Ground Almonds 1 tbsp
Almond Essence) ¼ tsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.Lay a parchment paper on the baking tray or flour the tray.

  2. Take a pan and add the margarine and sugar and heat it gently until the margarine melted and sugar dissolved. Bring it to boil and then simmer for four to five minutes until the mixture has become slightly caramelized and becomes syrupy.

  3. Sift the flours in a large mixing bowl.Pour the sugar syrup mixture into this and also add the almond powder and stir thoroughly.

  4. Take one tablespoon of the mixture and put it on the baking tray and press the cookies with the back of the spoon and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes or till light brown in colour. Cool them and serve them with tea.

  5. Instead of almonds other nuts or a mixture of nuts like almonds,walnuts and cashew nuts can be used.
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