Friday, March 27, 2015

Horse Gram and Raw Banana Curry / Kudu Balekayi Bendhi

Serves: 6


Horse gram – ¾ cup
Raw Banana – 2 large
Tamarind Pulp – 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Red Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon
Jaggery – 1 tablespoon
Coconut, freshly grated – 1 cup
Coriander Seeds – 1 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon
Dry Red Chillis – 5 (adjust according to taste)

For Seasoning:

Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dry Red Chilli - 2
Curry Leaves - 7 to 8

  1. Dry roast horse gram until you a get a nutty aroma. 
  2. Wash and pressure cook the roasted horse gram with sufficient water. It could take a few whistles (about 5-6 or more) for the horse gram to cook. When cooked the horse gram should be soft but still hold shape.
  3. Meanwhile, discard the two ends of the raw bananas. Lightly peel the skin, just to remove the top layer. I prefer retaining the banana skin.
  4. Cut the banana, vertically, into two halves and then cut each half into two halves. Then cut thin horizontal slices. Immediately, transfer the banana slices into a bowl of water. This helps remove any gum present in raw banana and also prevents them turning black due to oxidization.
  5. In a pan/pot, take raw banana slices, salt, jaggery, red chilli powder and tamarind pulp. Add a cup of water. Cook on medium flame until banana slices turn soft but still hold shape.
  6. Meanwhile, dry roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds separately. Transfer to a blender.
  7. Hold each dry red chilli on high flame and burn them slightly until small black patches are formed. Transfer to the blender.
  8. Add turmeric powder to the same hot pan in which you dry roasted coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Fry for 1-2 seconds. Transfer to the blender.
  9. Now add coconut to the blender, add little water and blend into smooth paste. Keep aside.
  10. Check if the banana slices are cooked. If they are soft but still hold shape, add pressure cooked horse gram along with the water used for cooking the horse gram. Bring it to a boil.
  11. Now add blended coconut paste. Mix well and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.
  12. To prepare seasoning, heat oil, add mustard seeds, dry red chilli pieces and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds starts spluttering add the seasoning to the cooked curry.
  13. Serve hot with rice, akki rotti, akki unde/undrallu.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Classic Hummus

Yields: 3 to 4 cups depending on the consistency


Dried Garbanzo/ Chick Peas – 2 cups
Garlic Cloves – 3
Salt to taste
Peppercorns, freshly ground – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder, freshly roasted and powdered – 2 teaspoons
Lemon Juice – 3 to 4 tablespoons
Olive Oil – 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon
Tahini –  1/4 cup (recipe here)
Paprika Powder – 1 teaspoon
Thyme - 2 stalks

  1. Soak chickpeas overnight (or 7-8 hours) in plenty of water.
  2. Discard the water used for soaking. 
  3. Pour sufficient water to the chickpeas and pressure cook them or cook on open flame. Cook until the chickpeas are soft but still hold shape. The chickpea should get mashed when pressed between two fingers.
  4. Once cooked, strain all the water and reserve the water for later use.
  5. If you prefer the hummus very creamy, remove the skin off each chickpea. I prefer hummus with more fiber, so I do not remove the skin.
  6. Now transfer the chickpeas into the blender.
  7. Add garlic cloves and salt. Remember that Tahini that will be added later already has some salt added. Blend for about 15 seconds. 
  8. Now scrape the sides of the blender to mix up the ground chickpeas, add ground peppercorns, cumin powder, lemon juice and about 1/2 cup of reserved water (used for cooking chickpeas). Blend for another 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender.
  9. Now add tahini, process for about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender.
  10. Pour olive oil, preferably, with the blender still running. Blend for about 20 seconds. Adjust the consistency of hummus by adding a little more (1/4-1/2 cup) reserved water, if required.
  11. Transfer into a serving bowl, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle paprika powder.
  12. Garnish with thyme.
  13. Serve with pita wedges, baby carrot, celery or tortilla chips. Or store in air tight container for a week and serve when required.


Yields: About 3/4 cup depending on the amount of Olive oil used.


Sesame Seeds – 1 cup
Olive Oil – ¼ cup
Salt to taste

  1. Dry roast sesame seeds until light brown on medium flame. Transfer into a bowl/plate and let it cool down little bit.

  2. Blend the roasted sesame seeds and salt, pouring olive oil little by little. Add olive oil depending on the consistency of Tahini you need. For thinner consistency, add more olive oil.
  3. Serve as dip or store in an air tight container, refrigerated,   for a few months.