Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Spinach kootu

A hearty and delicious Indian vegetarian main .  This is from the edible garden.  Here's the link--


Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Cooking time: 20 minutes 
Serves 4

3/4 cup of moong dal (cherupayar, paasi paruppu) 
3 cups of packed, chopped spinach leaves 
1 tomato (optional) 
1/3 cup of grated coconut 
1 tsp of cumin seeds (jeera, jeerakam) 
2 shallots 
1/2 tsp of minced garlic 
1/2 tsp of red chilli powder 
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder 
2 tsp of oil 
1 tsp of mustard seeds 


1. Wash the dal and add to a large cooking pot along with the spinach, chopped tomato (if using), turmeric, and 2 cups of water.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe

2. Simmer until the ingredients are cooked and soft. This takes about 10-12 mins on low flame. If not done, cook longer and add more water if required.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-4

3. Meanwhile, grind together coconut + shallots + garlic + red chilli powder + cumin seeds with some water to a smooth paste.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-2
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-3

4. Add this to the cooked dal mixture along with 1 cup water. Note that if the cooked dal is watery, you can skip adding more.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-5

5. Simmer for another 5-8 mins. Add salt.
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6. Heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add to the cooked kootu. Mix well.
spinach kootu-keerai kootu-south indian kootu recipe-7

Serve spinach kootu hot with rasam and rice or chapati / roti. You can make this kootu with chana dal (kadala paruppu) too.

Garlic and cumin chicken from Healthy Indian cuisine

I made this tonight, and we both loved it. If you buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs, this is a snap to make. I served it with Basmati rice and spinach kootu.

Garlic and Pepper Chicken


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 to 4 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried red chilli pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper and cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped lengthwise (optional)


  1. Cut chicken into medium-size pieces. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, red chili pepper, cumin, and fennel seeds.
  3. Add onion and garlic. Saut� for few minutes. Stir in turmeric powder.
  4. Add chicken and ginger to skillet. Cook, covered, over low heat until the chicken is partially cooked.
  5. Add black pepper and cumin powder, salt, curry powder, and cayenne powder. Stir well to coat the chicken with spices. Add about 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook chicken, covered, over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. During the cooking process, stir often to prevent chicken from sticking to the skillet.
  6. Add red onions and stir the chicken.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Rick Bayless' Pork Tinga

This is super easy, delicious, and you don't need a slow cooker.  All the pork butts were huge, so  I bought country style ribs (pork butt cut into thick pieces) and cut them into chunks. I used 2 chipotle chiles and that was plenty. If you don't like your food spicy, use one. Next time, I will also add a tbl of vinegar at the end.  I baked this, covered in the oven at 350 for 3 hours, stirring every hour and adding water if needed.

Pork Tinga with Potatoes, Avocado and Fresh Cheese

 Serves 4 to 6

Recipe from Season 7 Mexico One Plate at a Time


1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 pound lean, boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
4 ounces chorizo sausage, removed from its casing
4  to 5 medium (about 3/4 pound total) red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 large white onion, sliced 1/4–inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
1  28-ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles, en adobo, finely chopped (use only 1 if you aren't a spice fan)
4 teaspoons chipotle canning sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
About 1/2 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese like salted pressed farmers cheese
1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and diced
Warm corn tortillas


Heat the oil in a stovetop-rated slow cooker liner over medium-high heat.  (If your slow cooker liner isn’t made from a material that can be used on a stovetop, use a very large (12-inch) non-stick skillet.)  Once the oil is very hot, add the pork and chorizo in an single layer and cook, stirring until the meat has browned, about  6 to 8 minutes.  Turn off the heat and if you’re using a skillet, transfer the meat and its juices into the slow cooker.  Add the potatoes.

In a large bowl, combine the onions, garlic, tomatoes, chipotles, adobo sauce, Worcestershire, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Pour mixture into the slow cooker and stir to mix thoroughly.  Cook for 6 hours at the highest temperature.   

After six hours, gently stir the tinga.  If the sauce seems too thick, stir in a little water.  Taste, and season with salt if you think the dish needs it.   Scoop into a large bowl, sprinkle with the fresh cheese and diced avocado, and serve with warm tortillas.