Aloo Palya (4 servings)

Goes well with puris or chapathis

Boiled potatos 1/2 kg

2 large onions

2 tsp grated ginger or 1 tsp ginger paste

2 green chilies (slit)

2 large tomatos cut finely

3 tsp finely cut coriander leaves

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp jeera powder

1 tsp jeera seeds (cumin)

1¼ tsp salt

1½ tbsp oil

1 tbsp besan  made into a paste in 2 tbsp water

Peel the boiled potatos and crumble them to give coarse pieces.

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, add the finely cut onion and saute. When the color starts changing, add the chilies and ginger and saute again for a minute or so. Add the masala ingredients: turmeric powder, jeera powder, dhania powder, chili powder and mix well.

Add the tomatos and salt and saute till the tomatos are cooked. Add tthe besan paste and cook for a minute before adding a little water (1/2 cup) to the mix. Add the  mashed potato and stir well.Allow to cook for five minutes on low flame and garnish with coriander leaves.

Lemon Rice (4 Servings)

3 cups cooked rice

Juice from 3 large lemons (Indian size–US size…11/2 will do)

1/2  cup shelled peas

1/3 cup peanuts (optional if peas are added)

1 tsp mustard seeds

3 or 4 slit green chilies

1 tbsp chana dal

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp powdered methi (fenugreek) seeds

1/4 tsp asafotida

3 Sprigs curry leaves

1 tsp grated ginger

2 tsp finely cut coriander leaves

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil

Cook one cup of raw rice in 2 or 21/2 cups of water to get rice as separated grains. Spread the rice on a platter to cool down. For better separation, add a spoon of oil to water when cooking the rice.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds.  As they splutter, add the methi powder and chana dal. When the dal starts changing color, add the chilies, ginger, and turmeric powder along with asafotida. Add the peas or peanuts and stir well. Add salt and remove from fire.

Add the curry leaves and add the mix to the cooled rice.

Pour the lemon juice to the rice and mix all ingredients well. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Cookin tip: In case you feel like a variation you cook add finely cut capsicum in place of chilies and saute well. in this case add black pepper powder or chili powder for spice. Finely cut carrot added when sauteing adds to the taste ans color.

Thengai Sadam (4 servings)

Looks yummy

1 cup grated coconut

3 cups cooked rice

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp urad dal

Salt to taste ( 1 tsp)

1/4 tsp sugar

3 green chilies (slit)

1 red chili

3 sprigs curry leaves

2 tsp veg. oil

2 tsp coconut oil

1/3 cup roasted peanuts

Pressure cook 1 cup raw rice in 2 or 21/2 cups water so the grains remain  separate.

Spread the rice on a platter to cool and separate out.

In a frying pan, heat the oil and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Simmer t he flame and add the urad dal. As it changes color, add the slit chilies (both green and red) and peanuts. When slightly done, add the coconut and fry a little till the aroma whiffs through. Add the salt and sugar and also the curry leaves. Switch off the flame and let the mix cool a bit.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil and when the oil give the fragrance add to t he rice. Add the cooled mix also and mix well.

Cooking tip: If you have a little extra time and you want the rice to get the taste of the dal too, you can dry roast t he urad dal along with the red chili and curry leaves and powder ti and add to the rice. In that case, you can use chana dal for tempering in place of urad dal.