Thoran (vegetables simmered in coconut milk)

Ingredients
1/2 lb. Beans/Carrot/Yellow or Mexican Squash/Beetroot
note: If using Carrot or Beetroot, grate them. If others, cut them into small pieces (cubes). You can also use carrot and beans together; then cut carrots too into small cubes.
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 c. dessicated/shredded coconut
1/3 onion cut into small pieces
oil
salt
mustard seeds
curry leaves (optional).

Method
Heat oil, fry mustard seeds, then add onion, and stir until it turns light brown. Then add
salt, then chile and turmeric, and stir well. Add coconut, stir well for while, and then add
the veg. Cover it and cook on a low flame. Give a stir once a while between a couple of
minutes, until it is cooked. Thoran ready! (You can add cumin powder [a pinch] too if you
like.)
Source: Mareena Yesudas

Upperi (Mezhukkupuratti)

Ingredients
3/4 lb. Beans/Carrot/Snow peas/Asparagus/potato/etc
note: Cut them into small pieces (grate carrot/beetroot – optional)
1/3 onion cut into small pieces
3/4 tsp. crushed red chile

oil
salt
mustard seeds
curry leaves (optional)
garlic (if you like; crush them)

Method
This is a stir-fry. Heat oil, add mustard seeds (if you are using it), then add onion (and garlic if you are using it), stir until it turns light brown, add salt, and then crushed chile; stir well for a while until the chile is well fried (mookkunnathuvare). Then add veg., stir well, cover it and cook in a low flame, and it is ready! (You can cook parippu, cherupayar, vanpayar, kadala, etc. too the same way. First you have to cook (boil) them, and add salt to
it when cooked. Also to the split peas and cherupayar, you can add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, after frying crushed chile, if you like. When cooking kadala, you can add a teaspoon of garam masala too if you like, after adding crushed chile.)

Source: Mareena Yesudas

Aviyal II

Ingredients
1 lb. Potato or kadachakka (bread fruit), cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. garam masala
3 oz. coconut milk (optional)
1/3 onion, cut into small pieces
2 green chile (optional), cut long
oil, salt, mustard seeds
Curry leaves (optional)

Method
Heat oil, fry mustard seeds, add onion, green chile & curry leaves, stir until it turns light brown. Then add salt, all the powders and masala, stir until it turns brown, then add coconut milk and veg., stir well, cover it and cook until well cooked. (If not adding coconut milk, add a cup of water instead). It is ready to serve! (In fact, it should be made by roasting coconut and all the spices, and blending them very nicely, but it is not easy to do it here. So I made up this version.)

You can cook kadala too the same way. For kadala, you can use just the garam masala and chile powder only. Either way, it tastes good.

Source: Mareena Yesudas

Pachadi (mango and yogurt curry)

Ingredients
1 or 2 Raw mango, cucumber, chayote squash, cut into small cubical pieces
1/2 onion, cut into small pieces
2/ or 3 green chile, cut round, 1cm thick
2 tsp. Dessicated or shredded coconut, or 7 oz. coconut milk
1/4 tsp. fenugreek powder
1 shallots, cut into round, thin slices
1 red whole chile, cut into round pieces, 2cm thick (optional)
oil
salt
mustard seeds
Curry leaves (optional)
Yogurt – you need to add only if you are using cucumber or squash; if using
mango, don’t add yogurt.

Method
Put veg., onion, green chile, coconut, coconut milk, fenugreek powder, and salt
in a vessel, add a cup of water, stir well, cover it and cook in a medium flame,
until it is well cooked. Heat oil in a pan, fry mustard seeds, then add shallots
and red whole chile & curry leaves, and add to the above mixture when shallots
turn brown and chile is well fried. Whip the yogurt well and add that too. Stir
well, and pachadi is ready!

Source: Mareena Yesudas

Sambar II

Ingredients
half cup tuar dal or yellow split peas
2 onions
10 or 12 medium okra – (fresh or frozen)
3 large (or one can) tomatoes (optional)
quartered tamarind extract (available in Indian stores)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chili powder (more if manaassukhum illa)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon methi powder
1/2 teaspoon hing powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon methi seeds
1/4 teaspoon veg. Oil
1 tablespoon salt to taste
4 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
a few curry leaves

Method
Cook the dal with chopped onions, turmeric powder, chili powder and sufficient water.

Cut the okra in two inch pieces and saute them in a frying pan with one teaspoon oil till dry and slightly browned.

Mash the cooked dal with a wooden spoon and add the salt, coriander powder, methi powder, hing and the tamarind extract.

Simmer for a few minutes and add the tomatoes and okra and half of the coriander leaves. When the vegetables are cooked, heat oil in a fry pan with a splatter screen or a lid and pop the mustard seeds.

Remove pan from the fire, add the curry leaves and methi seeds. Add this seasoning to the sambar and garnish with the rest of the coriander leaves.

Hint: Other vegetables that can be added to sambar are potatoes (which do not freeze well), shallots, pearl onions (available frozen), cucumber, Indian or oriental eggplant (baingan), beans, carrots, lima beans or squash.

Source: Maya Nair, modified.

Katti parippu (mung dal)

Ingredients
1 – 2 c. yellow mung dal or yellow split peas
1 potato (optional), cut into cubes
1/4 onion, cut long
2 or 3 green chile, cut long
1 shallot, cut into small thin pieces
oil
salt
crushed chile or red whole chile
Mustard seeds and curry leaves are optional.

Method
Cook parippu with onion, green chile, potato, and a few drops of oil. When
cooked, add salt, stir well. Smash the potato pieces well. Heat oil, fry mustard
seeds, add shallots, then red chile and curry leaves, add it to the parippu when
the shallots turn brown. Stir well, and it is ready!

Source: Mareena Yesudas