Saturday, 21 June 2014

Peg N Pig Kitchen - Bhendi Fry with Tomatoes and Onions

Happy weekend, friends!

It's a lazy Sunday morning. The vegetables seemed to look me in the eye and ask me, "When are you going to cook us?" Though I like lady's fingers (bhendi/bhendekai) vegetable, I feel lazy to cook it; that's because I need to first remove the gooeyness from the vegetable by roasting it, and then cook a dish.

This morning I decided to skip the boring part of roasting the bhendis; instead I deep fried them and made a dish. I served the dish with chappathis (Indian bread). Tasted good! :-)

200 gms lady's fingers (bhendi)
1 and 1/2 onions (or more)
2 large tomatoes
3-4 green chillies
2 tsps pav bhaji masala (or a mixture of amchur-garam masala-red chilli powder or sambar powder)
a pinch of turmeric
1 tsp shahi jeera (caraway seeds)
handful of curry leaves
salt as per taste
3 tblspns cooking oil (or more, as per need)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of hing

Chop bhendi and green chillies length-wise, and roughly chop tomatoes and onions. Heat oil in a pan, and fry the chopped bhendi till slightly golden. Remove from pan on to tissue papers to drain excess oil. To another pan, add two teaspoons of oil, hing, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds, and fry well. To this pan, add curry leaves, onions, green chillies, and tomatoes, and cook well. Add salt, pav bhaji masala powder, turmeric, and shahi jeera, and mix well. Add little water so that the masala powder doesn't burn. Close a lid on the pan, and let the curry cook. At the end, add fried bhendi, and quickly mix well. After cooking for 2-3 minutes, serve hot.

Ingredients for Bhendi Fry

Bhendi Fry in the making!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Peg N Pig Kitchen - Stuffed Capsicums in Tomato-Vegetable Gravy

I hope you had a good weekend. Did you try a new dish at your kitchen? Ah ha, you did! You must share the recipe.

On Saturday, we event to the market to purchase grocery, and wow, what do I see! Baby capsicums! These capsicums are smaller in size when compared to the normal ones. I bought 250 gms of this vegetable; my mind was already creating a recipe for stuffed capsicums. Of course, I can't let these babies sit cold in the fridge. On Sunday, I prepare the recipe, and the served the dish with hot puris. We loved the dish! Try it out, and let me know if you liked the dish as well.


250 gms small/baby capsicums
2 medium-sized potatoes (boiled, peeled, mashed)
1 medium-sized carrot (boiled, mashed)
7-8 french beans (boiled, mashed)
2-3 green chillies
Handful fresh coriander leaves (chopped)
1 inch (or less) ginger
2-3 garlic cloves
2 medium-sized onions (one finely chopped and one roughly chopped)
1 (or 1 1/2) tblspn pav bhaji masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek powder
1 tblspn cooking oil
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of hing
salt for taste


Boil and mash potatoes, carrot, and beans, and keep it aside. Wash capsicums. Remove top part and seeds from capsicums. If the capsicums tend to tilt, cut a bit of the bottom. In a blender/mixer, grind ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, one onion, half the pav bhaji masala, and fenugreek powder. Don't add excess water. Add one part of this mixture to the mashed vegetables, and sprinkle required amount of salt, and then mix well. Stuff the capsicums with this mixture.

Heat a pan, add cooking oil, add hing, add mustard and cumin seeds, and roast well. To this tadka, add chopped onions and capsicum pieces (cut from the bottom part); fry well. Add the remaining portion of the ground mixture to the pan, add remaining stuffing mixture, sprinkle salt, and stir well. Slowly place the stuffed capsicums in the curry, ensure there is sufficient water in the curry, and then cover the pan with a lid. Let the capsicums cook in the steam. Keep stirring the curry occasionally and also check water level. Add water, if required.

The curry is cooked, when the capsicums seem soft. Serve hot with Indian bread or rice or any other dish.

Small capsicums stuffed with vegetable mixture

Stuffed capsicums served with puris

Monday, 19 May 2014

Peg N Pig Kitchen - Basmati Rice Vegetable Pulao

For dinner, I prepared a simple pulao with basmati rice. What's more fragrant than the aroma of cooked basmati rice? :-)

Here is the recipe.

1 cup basmati rice
1 and 1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, potatoes, and ivy gourd/thondekai.)
1 large onion (use 1/4 for grinding)
2 garlic cloves
1 inch fresh ginger
handful of coriander
3-4 green chillies
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 cloves
1-2 inch cinnamon
2 cardamom
4-5 pepper corns
juice of one lime
salt for taste

Wash basmati rice and soak in water for 20-30 mins. Meanwhile, chop vegetables and onion. In a mixer, grind onion, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, and green chillies. Heat a thick-bottomed pan or cooker; add cooking oil. To the heated oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, coarsely ground peppercorns. Add chopped onions and vegetables, and ground paste; saute well. Add salt and juice of lime; mix well. Drain water from rice and add to the cooker. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups water. Mix all ingredients well. Close the lid, and let the rice cook in low heat. Keep turning the rice from time to time. When the rice seems cooked, switch off heat, and let the pulao rest for a while. Serve the pulao with cucumber-tomato-onion curd salad (raitha).

Vegetable pulao made from basmati rice

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Peg N Pig Kitchen - White Pumpkin and Curd Curry

Weekends are good to try and follow a diet. This weekend I tried to be on protein diet, included vegetables and fruits. I cheated by eating two slices of masala bread; but stuck to the diet otherwise! This morning I had lost about 800 gms. Waiting to check my weight tomorrow morning; fingers crossed!

One of the dishes that I prepared for dinner is a curry made from White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd. It's a super simple and quick to make recipe. White Pumpkin being almost zero calories would be appropriate for dinner; curd would do wonders too. See Health Benefits of White Pumpkin.

Here is my recipe.

200 gms White Pumpkin chopped length-wise
1/2 cup curd (slightly sour)
1 medium or large tomato chopped
1 small onion
1 green chilli
handful of chopped coriander leaves
1-2 tsps cumin powder
salt as per taste
2-3 tsps cooking oil
1 tsp each mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, and cumin seeds
a pinch of hing

In a pan, heat oil, and add mustard seeds, dals, and cumin seeds. Fry till the seeds splutter. Add chilli, onion, and tomatoes, and cook. You can see tomato soften; add pumpkin and mix well. Sprinkle salt and cumin powder to the curry, mixing the ingredients well. Cover a lid, and let the curry cook till pumpkin pieces become soft. If required, add little water sufficient enough to cook the pumpkin. Remove from heat. After the curry cools, add curds and mix well. Eat as is or serve with dish of your choice, such as rice, Indian breads, and so on.

White pumpkin and curd curry

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Peg & Pig Kitchen - Wild Mangoes Curry

We trekked at Kogadu (Karnataka), recently. On our trek route was a huge wild mango tree, and the fruits kept falling. We collected the fallen fruits and got them home to prepare a peppery curry from the fruits. While we were collecting the fruits, we happened to see a Malabar Hornbill on the tree checking out the fruits. Was a beautiful moment!

I asked a local cook to share recipe of a dish made from these mangoes. He suggested a curry - cumin seeds, pepper corns, salt, jaggery, chilli powder, wild mangoes - were the ingredients. I twisted the recipe to suit our need and tickle our taste buds.

Here is my version of wild mangoes curry:

6-7 wild mangoes (ripe/semi-ripe)
1-2 tsps each pepper corns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds (adjust as per need; I used 2 tsps pepper corns)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 Red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp powdered jaggery (or size of one wild mango; adjust as per need)
1 tbsp cooking oil
salt as per taste

Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chillies; coarsely powder them in a mixer. In a pressure cooker (or in a thick pan) cook the wild mangoes along with the skin. When the mangoes are cooked, add the coarse powder, salt, turmeric, jaggery, and cook on low flame. You'll know when the curry is done; the aroma is divine. Time to add seasoning; heat cooking oil and add mustard seeds to it. Add the seasoning to the curry. Mix, and serve hot with roti, rice, dosas, or any other dish of your choice.

Note: The wild mangoes have an intoxicating aroma; however, they are super sour. Idea is to balance the sourness with sweet, salt, and spicy. Feel free to experiment as per your need.

Wild mangoes
Wild mango curry served with rice

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Peg & Pig Kitchen - Dal Chapathi (Moong-Ridge Gourd Dal)

Happy weekend! How has the Saturday been so far? And what's cooking at your kitchen?

For dinner this evening, I use the leftover dal to make Dal Chapathi, and yes, the chapathis tasted yummy. I had cooked dal a day ago, and was sitting inside the fridge. The dal consisted of moong dal, ridge gourd, onions, garlic, green chillies, lemon juice, and tomato. Yes, the dal too tasted yum. But had to be recycled to avoid getting bored of eating same dish repeatedly.

Method of making the dal recipe is simple. Pour the dal inside a bowl, and add sufficient wheat flour in. Mix the dough well. If required, add a pinch of salt. After kneading the dough, you can add a teaspoon or two cooking oil, and knead well. Let the dough rest for a while, and them make small balls and roll them out. Roast (on both sides) the rolled out dough on a hot pan. Serve the chapathis with a spoonful of ghee or butter or curds or chutney of your choice or eat the chapathi as is.

Dal Chapathi made of leftover Moong-Ridge Gourd Dal & Wheat flour

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Peg & Pig Kitchen - Brown Bread Sandwich with roasted Pepper-Zucchini, pickled Gherkins, and Vegs

Hello, and happy Hump Day!

Today's lunch was a Brown Brown bread sandwich with roasted pepper-zucchini, pickled gherkins, and vegs. Delicious and healthy! The only cheat was the use of Thousand Island and Mint dressing sauces (both eggless).

1/4 Zucchini
1 Yellow Pepper
1 ripe Tomato
6-7 pickled Gherkins
A few Lettuce leaves
2 tsps Thousand Island dressing
2 tsps Mint sauce
2-3 slices of Brown bread
1 tsp cooking oil


Wash Zucchini and Pepper. Smear both with a little bit of cooking oil, and then roast them on gas stove. Remove from fire, and then slice them. Slice tomatoes, pickled gherkins, and tear lettuce leaves. Take one slice of brown bread, smear with Thousand Island dressing, put lettuce and other vegetables on the slice, smear mint sauce, and then flip another slice of bread on it. Cut the sandwich in to smaller pieces, and serve. Simple dish yet delicious!

Roasting Zucchini and Pepper, and sliced vegs

Two slices of Brown Bread with vegs and sauces

Finally, Brown Bread sandwich with roasted Pepper-Zucchini, pickled Gerkins, and vegs

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Peg & Pig Kitchen - Dal and Banana Flower Vadas

One of our banana plants has flowered. The last bit of the flower had to be cut so that the fruits grow well. I decided to use the flower to make vadas (fried delicacy).

To learn how to clean banana flowers, please see

1 cup channa dal
1/2 cup moong dal
1 cup banana flower chopped
1 small onion
a pinch cinnamon powder
1 tsp chole masala/garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp saunf
4-5 green chillies
handful fresh mint leaves
cooking oil for frying

Clean the banana flowers and chop them; put them in water to prevent oxidation. Chop onion. In a mixer, grind soaked dals, chillies, and mint. Transfer the mixture in to bowl, add all the masala powders, cumin and saunf, and salt. Squeeze water out of chopped flowers, and add them to the mixture. Mix well. Heat the cooking oil. Take small balls of mixture, flatten on your palm, and then drop it in to the oil. Fry well, and serve hot.

Note: I didn't use too much of onion-mint or the masala; wanted the taste of banana flowers to dominate.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Peg & Pig Kitchen - Raw Tomato, Leafy Vegetables, and Dal Curry

I was watching Jamie At Home programme on television, and oh, his garden is amazing! He walks in to his garden, plucks vegetables, and cooks with them. Well, for dinner, I thought of doing something similar. Walked down to our land garden, plucked leafy vegetables and raw tomatoes, and then went to terrace garden to pluck more leafy vegetables. After I was satisfied with the vegetables, began cooking the delicious Raw Tomato, Leafy Vegetables, and Dal curry.
1 cup raw tomatoes chopped
1 large onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
3 Green chillies chopped
1 cup leafy vegetables chopped
A few curry leaves
1 tblsp cooking oil
1 cup tur dal cooked
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chole masala
2 tsps Red chilli powder
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of hing
Cumin, Mustard, Channa dal, Urad dal for seasoning
Heat cooking oil in a pan, add hing, cumin-mustard-channa dal-urad dal, and curry leaves. Add chopped onions, garlic, and cook. Add chopped raw tomatoes, turmeric, sugar, all masala powders, and mix well. Let the mixture cook well. Add cooked dal to the pan, and mix all ingredients well. Add salt. After the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat, and then serve hot. I served the curry with Indian breads.

Note: Raw tomatoes are sour. Check whether or not the tomatoes are bitter; if yes, don't use them. To balance the sourness, sprinkle sugar on the chopped tomatoes.

Ingredients chopped, vegetables from garden, and leafy vegetables chopped

Cooked dal, raw tomato-onion frying, and dal added to the curry

The curry served with Indian bread!