Wild Field Beans and Vegetables in Tamarind Curry Or Mocha Kottai Kuzhambu is a popular South Indian Curry. Best served with Light Coconut Rice and a simple vegetable side dish as the curry itself is quite filling because of the abundance of vegetables and field beans.
Growing up, I remember my mom would make a light spinach side dish - chopped spinach would be cooked with chopped onion and mixed with a little coconut milk to produce a soupy spinach which kind of went well with this curry. Plus, the usual pappadams and omelet. A heart warming, tummy filling and hugely satisfying meal :)
Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients. If you whip up Indian food on a regular basis, you are bound to have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your pantry. It is a delicious curry - I can vouch for that. I remember Supermom came over once when this curry was boiling and she could get the aroma from the lift!! She couldn't resist popping into the kitchen asking "what are you cooking that is smelling so heavenly, Nilo?'
Ingredients ( Serves 4)
Green Chilli and Coconut Chutney
Blend 1 green chilli, 1 small onion and 3/4 cup grated coconut. Add salt and serve.
Thai cuisine, the exotic cuisine of South East Asis, is one of my favourite cuisines. Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with a strong aromatic spicy edge. Four or five fundamental tastes are usually in complex interplay in every dish - sour, sweet, salty and spicy. Being born an Indian and having grown up mostly on South Indian food, I love Indian Food too but sometimes the spices and the curries gets a whole lot overwhelming. Occasionally, I just need a light meal with equally light seasonings. Being a vegetarian, I opt for simple vegetarian Thai dishes or Chinese Vegetarian ones.
The discovery of Lemongrass Thai Restaurants in the East side of Singapore during my late 20s was a godsend. I was swooning over their Tom Yum Soup, Olive Fried Rice, Green Mango Salad and Spicy Basil Tofu with Cashewnuts. Lemongrass was also my go to place during my first pregnancy when I had cravings for sour spicy food! On certain occasions, I'll be there just for their Tom Yum Soup ( I am literally salivating!).
Anywho, I decided to post about Thai Green Mango Salad as it is filled with a burst of tropical flavors. Spicy, sweet, sour and salty. This recipe showcases a fuss free no cook vegetarian version without the fish sauce and shrimps.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 Thai Green Mangoes, julienned
2-3 small red chillies or chilli padis, sliced (adjust according to your preference )
2 shallots, sliced thinly (optional)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
3 tbsps. peanuts, crushed
4 lettuce leaves for serving
2 tsps light brown sugar/honey
1/2 cup green lime juice
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
Salt to taste if you need
Mix all the dressing ingredients and adjust according to your taste preference.
Toss the rest of the ingredients (excl crushed peanuts, cilantro and lettuce leaves) in a salad bowl. Serve green mango salad on the lettuce leaves and pour over the dressing just before serving. Garnish with crushed peanuts and cilantro/mint leaves.
Julienne the mangoes just before serving so as to ensure they are fresh and crunchy. Otherwise, soak the prepared mangoes in ice cold water and then drain and pat dry before adding in to the salad.
You can substitute green mango with green papaya to make Thai Green Papaya Salad.
Thai Green mango works best because other varieties tend to be tongue biting or sometimes not sour at all. In Singapore, you can get Thai Green mangoes at Sheng Shiong Supermarket.
Okra Onion Fritters or Okra Pakora is best served when you really need a new variation of using okras. I came up with this when at one time my fridge was loaded with okras and i was looking for a way to unload them. A hit with my girls but not so with my husband (he is not fond of anything fried), Okra Onion Fritters is an easy snack to prepare and the whole dish takes only an hour, including marinating time.
Ingredients (Makes 20- 30 small batches)
7 big okra pods or 10 small ones
1 medium sized onion
1/2 red Chilli
6-7 curry leaves
1/2 tsp minced or pounded ginger
4 heaped tbsp rice flour
4 heaped tbsp besan flour
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
3/4 - 1 cup water
Salt per preference
Slice the first four ingredients very thinly. It is important the okra slices are very thin. Otherwise, you'll get a raw okra taste even after frying. Place all in a mixing bowl.
Add the ginger, both the flours, chilli powder and salt.
Wear a disposable glove and use your hands to give all the ingredients a good mix. Leave it aside for 30 mins for the flavors to mix and marinate.
Heat a deep pot of oil and fry the okra onion mix in small batches.
Serve warm with any of your main meals. Or as an appetiser or a snack to accompany your tea or coffee.
What follows is a twist to my earlier recipe on 27th Jan 2015 Grilled Feta Cheese and Potato Cutlets ...I have simply added cauliflower florets instead of just having plain potato cutlets. The cauliflower blended well and we could hardly make out that it was hidden in the cutlets. Another great way to integrate vegetables in kid loving great snacks. These delicious cutlets always add a wonderful addition to our meals. You won't comprehend what I mean until you taste it for yourself :)
(Makes 18-20 cutlets)
2 medium potatoes
200 gm cauliflower
1/3 cup of chopped scallions
1 cup of feta cheese crumbles
2cups of bread crumbs - 1 for mixing with the cutlets and another cup for dredging
1 cup of skim milk
Oil for grilling
Steam the potatoes and the cauliflower seperately till soft and then mash well.
Mix the mashed potato and cauliflower with scallions, feta cheese, 1 cup of bread crumbs and salt. Watch out for the salt as Feta cheese comes with its own salt load.
Shape into 2 inch patties and then dredge in the skim milk and then breadcrumbs after.
Grill on a low pan with minimal oil on medium to high heat till golden brown on both sides. Again, because of its rather delicate nature, handle the flipping very carefully.
Enjoy with, well....with anything !!