Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Kollu/Muthira Puzhukku (Horse Gram/Bean Stew With Cumin & Coconut)

Kollu or Muthirai Puzhukku is a delicious thick stew that we often had with kanji (simple rice porridge) on restricted fasting days and looked forward to having it! I love Muthirai Puzhukku with oats Kanji (porridge) as well for a healthy and sustaining breakfast or for that matter any time at all!

Note: Save excess cooking broth from the kollu for making awesome Kollu Rasam - a delicious treat that we adore and is often recommended to help one get over colds and coughs!

Kollu is not usually Sprouted for making this puzhukku; but you may if you wish.

4 Servings


1 cup dry Horse Gram
2 dry Red Chiles, broken into two
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves, finely sliced
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Salt to taste
1 Green unripe Banana/Plantain (Optional)

1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 - 1/2 cup Coconut, fresh or frozen (Or 2-3 Tbsp Dried)
1-2 dried Red Chiles


Soak & cook the Horse gram:

Pick over, wash, and soak the gram in plenty of water to cover for a few hours or overnight.

Drain the kollu, wash well, and cook in enough fresh water (2-3 cups) to cover until soft - about 40 to 50 minutes, checking often to make sure it doesn't dry out or burn. Alternately use your pressure cooker to speed up cooking. This can be done a day ahead. If made ahead, cool and refrigerate. Cooked kollu may be frozen also for longer storage.

If using banana/plantain, lightly peel the outer green layer; cut into quarters lengthwise, then slice into 1/2" chunks. Place the banana/plantain into a 2-3 quart/liter pot and add about a cup of water along with turmeric and the broken red chiles. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook on low heat until tender.

While bananas are cooking, grind the coconut, cumin seeds and red chiles into a coarse paste; set aside.

Add the cooked kollu to the bananas along with the ground coconut mixture; add a few spoonfuls of water to the blender to gather up all of the coconut mixture and add this to the puzhukku.  Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat.

Turn off the heat. Crush the curry leaves in your fist and place it on top of the puzhukku; drizzle the coconut oil on top of the curry leaves and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes; stir well before serving.

Serve hot with kanji/rice/roti, curries, pickles and papdams.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Summery Corn Chowder (Light Lemongrass-Scented Corn Soup With Red Bell Pepper)

Lovely, luscious, yet a light soup, Summery Corn Chowder has a lemon grass scented broth enriched with a touch of coconut milk! This is perfect for late summer or early autumn when there is an abundance of tender sweet corn and succulent red bell peppers. Sunny yellow corn, bright red bell pepper, and green herbs makes the chowder beautiful to behold.

It is very easy to make Vegetable Stock or broth. When prepping veggies and herbs, reserve all the clean scraps, keep them in a bag or container until you have enough. They can also be kept frozen adding more as you prep until you have a good amount. Any extra broth also may be frozen for longer storage.

If you fresh corn is not an option, use 14 - 16 oz frozen corn kernels. The lemongrass broth can be prepared without the corncobs; rest of the recipe is still the same.

Serves 4


3 ears fresh corn
1 quart Vegetable Stock or Water
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 stalk fresh Lemongrass, crushed & coarsely chopped
1 bunch Stems from fresh Parsley and/or Coriander/Cilantro 
1 medium Potato, any type, scrubbed well
1 large Red Bell Pepper, seeded & diced small
1 small Onion, finely chopped    
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup Coconut Milk
2 Scallions (Green Onions), both white and green parts thinly sliced
2 Tbsp Italian parsley OR Fresh Coriander/Cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp Cashew OR Coconut cream for garnish
Extra Parsley or Cilantro for garnishing


Cut off the lower portion of the stems from the coriander/cilantro; if using parsley, pull off tender stems and leaves. Reserve the leafy parts of both parsley and coriander for other uses. Wash the stems, and pinch into small pieces and put in a stock pot.

Cut kernels from cobs, then scrape the cobs with the edge of a knife to extract all the milky fluid from the base of the kernels. Reserve the corn kernels and the cobs separately.

Combine lemongrass, coriander/cilantro stems, the corn cobs, whole potato, turmeric, and stock/broth/water in the stock pot, bring to a good boil, reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes. Cool and strain the stock and reserve the stock and potato, discarding the lemongrass and corn cobs.

Peel the potato if you wish (peeling is quick and easy while potato is still hot or warm), and cut into small dice; reserve.

Saute the onion in a little of the broth (or use a tiny bit of oil) until translucent in a soup pan for about 2 or 3 minutes.

Tip the the rest of the broth into the pan. Add salt and peppper to taste, the corn (and liquid from the cobs), and red pepper to stock, simmer until vegetables are tender - about 15 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk and the diced potato along with the scallions and simmer for another five minutes. Remove from heat.

Add parsley/cilantro, and salt or pepper to adjust seasoning.

Serve garnished with the cashew or coconut cream and a sprig of  parsley or cilantro. Enjoy!!