Sunday, July 31, 2011

Green Squash in Peanuts-Sesame gravy

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This space has been quiet for almost 3 weeks now. Behind the scenes my days were filled with babbles from the little one's baby talk and laughter.Overall life is moving at a steady place. Or so it seems on the outside.

But what about the mind, the heart ? Are they at peace ? My mind has been wandering like a stream of water flowing down a cliff. Finding its ways through whatever little space it finds between the rocks. I am filled with thoughts from the past, the present and the future. Several times during the day I find myself at the same place where mom was almost three decades ago. It seems I have stepped into her shoes and seeing the life as she has seen it. My then innocent mind failed to understand so many things she said to me, things she asked me to do. But I can justify all of them so much today. 

Mom always cooks  simple meals using fresh vegetables and essential pantry ingredients. Not very fancy and exotic but rather simple and homely. With her own unique touch. 
This squash curry with peanuts and sesame gravy would be something that mom would definitely like in her repertoire. Its devoid of hot spices and ginger-garlic(satvik) but still tastes divine.

Squash in Peanuts and Sesame gravy
(Source: 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer)

To make into a dry paste/powder:
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp coconut  flakes (dry)
2 green chillies or dry red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
Fry above ingredients lightly.Set aside
1 tbsp tamarind paste / or water from a quarter sized ball of tamarind)
1 tbsp peanuts

1 big green squash ( hara kaddu )
1 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
3-4 curry leaves
salt to taste
oil as required

  • Grind the sesame-coconut mixture with the peanuts to make a fine powder. Add the tamarind extract and make a thick paste. Do not add water.
  • Over hot oil combine the cumin and mustard seeds.Add the curry leaves and the turmeric. 
  • Quickly add half of the sesame-peanut mixture and saute for 10s. 
  • Add the squash pieces and mix everything till the squash is coated with the powder. 
  • Add the rest of the powder. Add 1/2 C water and allow the cover to allow the squash to cook.
  • This will take around 10min.
  • Once the squash pieces are tender , add salt and adjust consistency of the gravy.Add chilli powder if  required.
  • After the curry boils switch off and serve with rotis/rice.

We were surprised how a curry without the usual garam-masala and ginger-garlic taste so very flavorful. We had it with rotis for a satisfying weekend lunch.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gajar,Gobhi Aur Shalgam ka saag

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Weekdays for me are spent meeting one time deadline after another. As the clock strikes 7AM the race begins. Every now and then I look at the red clock in our living room to ensure I am not running very late. Do I have enough time for breakfast ? Ohh how is the traffic today. What do i make for dinner ? and the questions in my mind just continue.
So I simply love long weekends like the these. No early morning rush. A few minutes more in the cozy bed wont hurt. And no struggle to wake up our toddler too. He can sleep as long as he feels like.
I love celebrating these days by treating ourselves to some indian breakfast. Pohe, upma, idlis and sometimes even cinnamon toast are usually on the menu on weekends. And add to that a cup of masala chai or even adrakwali chai. And breakfast is served right !!

However on the menu today is a curry that can be served at a homey lunch.I saw this recipe on zee tv 's khana khazana last week or so. It looked simple but an intresting composition. Just a few spices like cumin, ginger and turmeric complement the sweetness of the root vegetables. We had it with rotis for a filling weekend lunch.

Gajar, Gobhi Aur Shalgam ka Saag
(Recipe from
What's needed :

2 medium carrots diced
1 turnip or daikon root grated ( can be replaced with 2 to 3 red radishes also)
1 of cauliflower grated
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger
3 green chillies cut into 3 to 4 pieces
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
salt to taste
oil to saute

1. Over medium heat combine the oil and cumin and wait till the seeds sizzle.
2. Then add the onion, turmeric and saute till translucent.
3. Then add the green chillies, ginger and the vegetables.
4. Add 1/4 C water and cover and cook till vegetables are tender.
5. Add salt and mix in a handful of cilantro. 
6. Taste and add more seasoning if required.
5. Serve with warm rotis. 

This tasted really good. I love that the saag uses so much of the fresh produce readily available during summer. And its super-easy isnt it ??

Have a great week ahead !!