Monday, October 31, 2011

Sorakaya (bottle gourd) pulusu

Sorakaya is also known as Anapakaya/Bottle gourd/Lauki. I remember my mom making sorakaya curry with milk whenever she made pooris. Anapakaya curry has lot of water in it and balances the deep fried pooris. I also remember my cousin who grows her own organic veggies used to prepare sorakaya halwa for me. Aah! I always loved it. But, here I am presenting Sorakaya pulusu - my mom's way. Some people also call this as thootlu(poke) pulusu because they poke the Sorakaya pieces 4 or 5 times with a fork before cooking them. My mom uses tamarind sauce for the tanginess in this dish. I've substituted it with amchur powder. I have been using amchur powder for five years. It is made from sun-dried, unripe mangoes. It adds a tart and tangy taste to your food. You can get amchur powder from Indian markets and the ethnic section of some high end grocery stores. Now, the recipe……


For Popu/Tadka:

Oil - 1 tbsp
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves
Green Chillies - 5 (or more if you want it to be spicy)

For actual Recipe:

Oil - 3 tbsp
Bottle gourd/Sorakaya  - 2 small sized
Onions - 3 Large
Aamchoor powder - 
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder - 3 tsp (or more if you want it to be spicy)
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Cloves - 5
Cinnamon - 1 stick


1. Grind the Onions, Cloves, Cinnamon stick, coriander seeds into a fine paste.

2. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker and add the paste made in Step 1.
3. Fry this on medium flame until the raw smell of onions is gone. It took approximately 12 minutes for me.
4. Now add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and fry for 5 more minutes.
5. Cut the Sorakaya into big pieces (don't peel off the skin) and remove all the seeds in it.
6. Add the sorakaya pieces, amchur powder. Fry them for 5 minutes on medium flame. 

7. Pour enough water and pressure cook the sorakaya pieces. Wait until the pressure is gone and then remove cooker lid. Transfer this into a serving bowl.
8. Now heat oil in a frying pan and add Chana dal, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the curry leaves. Now pour this over the pulusu. 

Sorakaya pulusu is ready to be served with rice.

Friday, October 28, 2011

News, News, News

Dear readers, before announcing the "news" lemme introduce you to someone. 

Lock N Lock has been famous for its containers with 4 way locking system. But that's not all. They have a wide variety of Ceramic coated non-stick as well as stainless steel cookware, Tableware, Kitchen tools, supplies, Cleaning products, Storage solutions, Water bottles, Lunch boxes, eco cups, glass, ceramic, BPA free containers and so on. Visit their website here to learn more about their product line. I have been using their products and I love them so much that I gift LNL products to my loved ones and they are always excited to receive them.

And now, drum roll please.......I am glad to announce that I have been selected as a Lock N Lock Supporter. As a supporter I will be getting FREE Lock&Lock products every month during the active period (which is Nov'11 - Jan'12) and I will have to review those products. I am so excited to be chosen as a LNL supporter. Mainly because I love LNL products and it would be fun to review them. I am looking forward for this exciting journey. Stay tuned for some honest reviews.

Meanwhile, you can browse through some of my previous LNL product reviews here:

1. LNL Plastic Wrap (Look for the review by bnhmom)
5. LNL Cookplus Ceramic Frying Pan (review by Cooking4two)

Happy reading.

Dondakaya/Tindora Pakodi Fry

When we were kids, dondakaya/Tindora was one of the few vegetables that we used to eat without any complaints. Me and my brother always loved it. When I came to US, the party style dondakaya fry really attracted me. Dondakaya....deep fried with pakodi and cashews.....I mean what more can we ask for. But I am always worried with this recipe because it's deep fried. So I prepare it only when we have guests coming or when DH feels like eating it. Here goes the recipe:

Recipe Source: sailusfood

Note: The original recipe asks for ginger garlic paste and maida/all purpose flour which I omitted. I have added besan, rice and corn flour to give it more pakodi flavor. You can also add grated coconut or onion which are totally optional. You can follow the same recipe for goruchikkudu kaya/cluster beans. Pressure cook the beans and follow the method given below from Step 2.


For Popu/Tadka:

1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
2 green chilli, slit
Cashew nuts - 5 tbsp (Optional)

For actual Recipe:

Dondakayalu/Tindora - 1 lb
oil for deep frying
Besan/Chickpea flour - 4 tbsp
Corn flour - 4 tbsp
Rice flour - 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp (or more if you want it to be spicy)
Grated coconut - 1 cup


1. Wash the dondakayalu. Slice them lengthwise.
2. Now, add the tindora/dondakaya pieces, besan, rice flour, corn flour, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and mix them well such that the dondakayalu are well coated. Keep this aside.

3. Heat oil for deep frying and when it is ready, slowly drop the batter coated dondakayalu into the oil and deep fry to a golden shade. Remove onto absorbent paper.

4. Now heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan. Add cashews and fry them till they are slightly golden brown.
5. Now add. Chana dal, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the curry leaves and green chillies.
6. Now, add the grated coconut and fry it for 5 minutes (or more if you don't want it to be raw) on medium flame (if using onion, fry it until the onions are cooked).
7. Add the tindora pakodi and fry for 5 minutes on medium flame. Tindora/Dondakaya pakodi fry is ready to be served with rasam/sambar or as a snack.

Thotakura stems fry

My DH likes green vegetables. When I met his friends for the first time, they asked me if I can cook. And then, they gave a hint that whatever I cook would definitely please him, if I put any sort of green vegetable. We laughed over it! But soon, I realized that they were not joking. He would love to eat green leafy vegetables every day of the week. One day, he saw me throwing away thotakura (amaranth leaves) stems. I usually cut those off and make thotakura pappu (lentils)/ pulusu/ fry. So he then came to me and told me that he had a recipe in mind and not to throw them away. The recipe is pretty simple, yet it tasted great. To me, it tasted like asparagus fry. So here is the recipe for you.......


For Popu/Tadka:

Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves
Oil - 1 tbsp
Dry red chillies - 1
Green Chillies - 4 (or more if you like it to be spicy)
turmeric - 1/2 tsp

For the actual recipe:

Thotakura stems (from 1 or 2 bunches of thotakura)
Pallilu karam/ Dhaniya karam/ Idli karampodi. - 1 tbsp (Optional)

Note: You may also add a few amaranth (thotakura) leaves to the fry.


1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Put chana dal, mustard seeds, red chillies, urad dal and cumin seeds. Now add green chillies and curry leaves .
2. Now, add the thotakura stems and fry it until the stems are soft. To add more flavor, you may put 1 tbsp pallilu karam/ Dhaniya karam/ Idli karampodi.

Enjoy it with rice and rasam.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kakarkaya (bitter gouard/karela) fry

Bitter gourd has many medicinal values. Lectin present in it lowers blood glucose concentrations and also suppresses appetite. People with diabetes are advised to take bitter gourd juice every day. It can be used for preventing and treating malaria. But, this is one vegetable that I hated as a child. My mom used to take the juice out of it and made us drink almost every other day. There are different ways in which you can cook this vegetable. It can be deep fried (or stuffed and baked) with palli podi (ground nut powder), or used in pulusu or even pachadi (chutney). But, I like the way my mom cooks it with onions and jaggery. Here is the recipe:


For popu/tadka:

Chana Dal - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves
Oil - 1tbsp
Green Chillies - 4 (or more if you like it to be spicy)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

For the actual recipe:

Karela/Bittergourd - 5 to 6 medium sized
Buttermilk - to boil the karela pieces
Onion - 1 large
Jaggery - 2 tbsp (or more as per your taste)


1. Cut the edges of each bitter gourd and smoothen the surface. (To do this, take the non sharp end of a knife and rub it against the bittergourd up and down. This will take away all the ridges and teeth off of the vegetable).
2. Chop the bittergourd in small pieces, you can use or discard the seeds.
3. Take the chopped pieces and buttermilk into a pan and boil them until the pieces are tender. When they are done, take the pieces out and squeeze the liquid.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan. Put chana dal, mustard seeds, urad dal and cumin seeds. Add green chillies and curry leaves.
5. Add the bittergourd pieces from Step 3. Fry them for about 10 - 15 minutes on medium flame and then add onion (If you don't want to taste the bitterness of the vegetable, deep fry the boiled pieces and then add onion). Fry them until the onion is well cooked.
6. Now add the jaggery and fry the pieces for 5 minutes. Kakarakaya fry is ready.

Note: The water that is collected after squeezing the bittergourd pieces in Step 3 can be consumed with some salt or sugar. If you don't like to put jaggery at the end, just add a couple of tablespoons of pallilu karam podi (peanut powder).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Label GE foods

I have found this interesting link..... Please pass the message to your friends and ask them to tell FDA to label GE foods.

What are GE foods?

"Genetically engineered (GE) foods, also referred to as genetically modified, or GMOs, are those that are altered at the molecular level in ways that could not happen naturally. This means plants and animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. These techniques use DNA molecules from different sources, sometimes different species, and combine them into one molecule to create a new set of genes (e.g. mixing of flounder genes into tomatoes so the tomatoes would be resistant to cold temperatures.)
While there is some GE produce in supermarket bins, it’s estimated that 60%-70% of processed foods available in U.S. grocery stores likely contain some GE material. The majority of the livestock (with the exception of USDA certified organic livestock or Non-GMO Project Verified) that Americans consume have been raised on genetically engineered grains. This is because the two most prevalent genetically engineered crops arecorn and soy which are used in many processed foods and most animal feeds."