Monday, February 28, 2022

Senaikizhangu/Elephant Yam Masiyal

This is a spicy and tangy curry made with elephant yam aka Senai Kizhangu (in Tamil).This vegan curry is lip-smacking delicious and can be served with rice or any cooked grain, or flatbreads too!

Elephant yam, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, a tropical plant, the corm of this plant is used as a vegetable and is orange hued on the inside. A single corm can weigh more than 8 pounds too. This yam is  rich in vitamin C, B-complex, potassium and manganese. It has a lower glycemic index too. This root veggie should be cooked and then consumed. Sometimes, it may irritate the tongue for certain persons as it may have some oxalates, and to prevent it, the corm is usually cooked with tamarind, or a mild tamarind water. It has a neutral flavor and can absorb any flavor agents that are used. This makes amazing dry as well as gravy curries as well as yummy chips!

Masiyal is a curry with gravy that is often made in our homes. It is generally a root vegetable cooked with dal with a tamarind base and the heat comes from the red and green chilies instead of any spice powders. Once I got vethala valli kizhangu in the market and made masiyal with it and tikkis too! They tasted amazing. Sometimes recipes can vary and I have tasted masiyal flavored with lemon. 

I love my mom's masiyal who is a great cook! Most often made used to be our family favorite is pidi karunai masiyal. After moving here, I missed pidi karunai and sought comfort with the frozen suran/senai/elephant yam that is available here only in frozen form from India. I make it often using the same being happy that at least this is available as I love elephant yam too! My mom makes yummy coconut based dry curry with it too. Last month, I saw fresh elephant yams in the grocery shops for 2-3 weeks, of course the price was higher. I bought these a few times, to make amazing curries. Well, it was worth every penny! Frozen ones also work great for this masiyal.

Whenever masiyal is made, we will be served with rice and cooked toor dal with a dollop of ghee (use if you need for serving). Served steaming hot, that is heaven! Every bite is so flavorful that you will be travelling to paradise....may be living there too when served with appalam! Food is SO comforting always! 

This is a vegan curry. The added coconut gives a nutty flavor and is totally optional. The curry will be great even if you don't add it too. A squirt of lemon at the end boosts the flavor, but adjust as per taste.

I linking this to Sundays on Silverado, Happiness is Homemade, Share The Wealth, Foodie Monday Blog Hop, and What's For Dinner.


Senai/Elephant yam - 2 cups, 1-in chunks
Salt - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - 1 tbsp, 1/4 cup water
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Water - 2.5 cups
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp plus a pinch
Coconut - 2 to 4 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Cilantro - 1 tsp, chopped


Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Spit urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Asafetda - 1/4 tsp
Ginger - 1 tbsp
Green chili - 6 to8, chopped


Add the tamarind in bits to the elephant yam chunks and pressure cook it for three whistles. Add one and a quarter cup water to dal and a pinch of turmeric, pressure cook it for three whistles. They both can be cooked at the same time but in different containers.

Once the yam is cooked, remove the tamarind pieces and extract the juice from it using another one and a half cup. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add the torn red chilies and mustard seeds, and when it splutters add the remaining listed under 'Tempering' and fry for 30-40 seconds.

Add the cooked elephant yam, tamarind juice, salt, and turmeric. Mix and cook for 3-4 minutes for the flavors to blend in. Slightly mash one or two yam pieces to add to the flavor of the curry.

Mash the cooked dal and add it to the yam mixture. Stir in the coconut. Check the taste and adjust salt and spice if needed. Check the consistency too. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the cilantro.

Serve hot with rice or any cooked grain, or flatbreads.

Cream Cheese Filled Red Velvet Muffins

This is the best muffin that would just melt in your mouth and the flavors would melt your heart too! This simple and special red velvet muffin is buttermilk based and it also helps as an egg replacer. Red velvet and cream cheese are a perfect match and this muffin is a special muffin for the special month!

These are egg free and soft muffins and the cream cheese filling makes it very addictive. It is very hard to stop with one! And this makes it special to make this muffin on special occasions. The cream cheese filling is a  little pushed inside and a little shown out,  making it very attractive and special. To make a surprise inside muffin, just add half of the batter into each cavity, place the cream cheese scoop and then add the remaining batter. 

When adding the food color, it is important to thoroughly mix the food coloring. If any small lumps are present, then it may come as a chunk in your bite and you do not want that. It is easier to add it to the wet ingredients and beat well just to incorporate the gel color. That makes life easier!

This is a special muffin that our family loves and I make for special occasions. Hence a perfect one to share for #MuffinMonday! #MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all of our lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

Red velvet....the name sounds special, right? Indeed, yes, it makes everything extra special! So if you are looking to jazz up any day, try this red velvet muffin, or Red Velvet Hot Cocoa Bombs, or this Santa Hat Red Velvet Mini Cookie Cups and these won't disappoint you. Ever!

Makes 12

All-purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Water - 1/3 cup
Flaxseed powder - 2 tbsp
Red food color - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla - 1 tsp

For Cream Cheese Filling

Cream cheese - 6 tbsp, room temperature
Powdered sugar - 1/4 cup
Vanilla - 1/2 tsp


Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until mixed and fluffy. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add water to flaxseed powder and set aside for 5 minutes to gel.

Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder and mix.

In another bowl add the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, flaxed egg, and combine well.

Add the red food color and beat well until evenly combined without any dye lumps.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and quickly combine.

Scoop the batter into lined muffin pan. Add scant tablespoon cream cheese filling  into each muffin and gently push inside.

Bake at 350 degrees  for 16 min.

Remove from the oven, cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Here are the quick links to the muffin recipes for Feb 2022  Muffin Monday Edition! Thanks, Stacy!

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Chutney Grilled Cheese

This is the comforting sandwich that you'll ever want! The mint-cilantro chutney brightens up everything and this grilled cheese gets its amazing flavor from the same chutney. It is filled with simple veggies like corn, bell pepper, and onion that almost staple in every home. This is great for any meal.

I have used ricotta cheese in this recipe but I use fresh paneer too interchangeably in this recipe based on what I have on hand. This lends a creaminess to the filling. This grilled cheese can be made with chutney, paneer, and cheese if you do not have veggies. Busy weeknight? no worries, this sandwich will bring peace to your home! 

Make sure to use green chutney that is thick and not watery like the one used for chaat. If not, the bread will soak up the liquid and it will be a soggy mess. I love this in any bread, especially with sourdough slices. The flavor is more enhanced and the sandwich has an amazing texture because of chewy bread. Butter adds to the crispy texture and flavor, use as per preference.

It's time for sandwich in our Healthy Wellthy Cuisine group. Who loves sandwich? Of course everyone does and there are million ways to make a filling sandwich. I am sharing this family favorite for the same event.

We love sandwiches and grilled cheese are often made in our home. We love so much that we make dessert out of it too! Here are amazing grilled cheese recipes from the blog.

Makes 3 sandwiches

Bread slices  - 6
Thick mint-cilantro chutney - 6 tbsp
Butter - 3 tbsp
Cheese - 5-6 slices

For the filling

Ricotta cheese/fresh paneer - 3 tbsp
Onion - 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Corn - 4 tbsp
Red bell pepper - 4 tbsp, finely chopped
Green bell pepper - 4 tbsp
Cumin - 1/8 tsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - a pinch


Add the ingredients listed under 'For the Filling' to a bowl, mix, and set aside.

To make sandwiches, apply a tablespoon of the green chutney to each slice of bread. Add about one-third of the filling on top of a slice with chutney. Add one or two slices of cheese. Cover with another chutney spread bread slice with chutney side facing down. 

Smear a little butter on top and grill until cheese melts and the crust turns a little crispy. This can be cooked on tawa too.

Serve immediately.

Ram Ladoo

Ram ladoo is the delicious street food from Delhi and is a fritter made with dals, topped with chutney and daikon radish slaw. This is a vegan snack and is a crowd pleaser!

The star of this dish is not the dal or just the fritter. Daikon radish aka mooli in Hindi is the actual star! This delicious winter vegetable adds to the flavors of this street food and is a winter special too! Radish is added in three ways. Spicy, salty, sour radish slaw, radish greens are added to the chutney, and paste of radish greens is added to the batter too! Every bite will give the best flavor of this amazing veggie! Radish and radish greens are a must to make ram ladoo and without it, it would just be a dal fritter!

Yellow split moong dal is the major dal used here in addition to chana dal and urad dal. Urad dal is added in some versions and not in others. A very important step while grinding the batter is that water should not be added. It takes a little while to slowly grind but it is possible to make a smooth batter without adding water. Once the batter is ready, it is important to mix with your hand in one directional motion for some time, say about 3-4 minutes, to aerate the batter. Well aerated dough gives the perfect texture and fluffiness to the ram ladoo. Do not skip this step as it makes a lot of difference. In this recipe baking soda is not added while some recipes use it to aerate the dough. To check the aeration, add a little batter to the dough and it should float completely. If it sinks, continue whisking with your hand for a few more minutes. Check again for floating consistency and then proceed with the recipe.

The chutney is very similar to the green chutney but a good amount of radish leaves are also added. With lots of radish leaves in the chutney as well as in the batter, I feel that this is a great way to use the edible radish leaves. In our homes, we use the radish greens with dal to make a stew like curry, Radish Greens Kootu or we add it to the sambhar as it adds extra flavor and aroma. This chutney is a great way to use and I am going to try a pesto when I harvest a few radishes from my garden.

For uniform size of the fritters, use a cookie scoop. Though this can be done by hand, trust me, while using the cookie scoop, it is SO easy! The shape is perfect too! This is a win-win situation.

This makes about 50 fritters using a tablespoon size of batter. For assembling Ram ladoo, use about 6-7 per serving and the measurements given here would give a generous portioned seven servings. Adjust the portion quantity as desired, but I am warning you, these are addictive and you'll need more. Doubling the recipe is a great option!

The quantity of the chutney and slaw topping can be adjusted according to taste. The heat level too can be suited to preference. Check the salt and green chili as per your taste profile. Add a little of chutney and slow or pour them over! Either way it is delicious but do not skip those! They are the tastemakers and the star ingredients of the recipe. The ingredient list may be long but the recipe is an easy one.

Here are a few Indian street food recipes that could help you enjoy the same at your home!

Pakodas made of dal are usually added to sambhar or kadhi in Indian  cuisine. Split moong dal pakoda kadhi is a popular one. If you are a pakoda kadhi lover try this Pumpkin Pakoda Kadhi which is my spin on the pakoda kadhi. This kadhi has pakodas made of split moong dal and pumpkins in pumpkin kadhi. Radish leaves are added in this Ram ladoo batter.

This is the final recipe for the three day Blogging Marathon. I shared Alepak/ Belgavi Bhel and Churmuri recipes based on the theme 'Street Foods'. We love these foods and guarantee that you'll start to love these too!

Today is the last Saturday of the month and is the time for our #PotluckParty! This is a fun group, and every last Saturday of the month, we share our favorite recipes, well, for a Potluck Party! Sue of Palatable Pastime hosts this event and if you are interested to join in this group, check here.

Makes about 50 fritters
Makes 7-8 servings

For the moong dal fritters

Yellow split moong dal - 1 cup
Urad dal - 1/4cup
Chana dal - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1 and 3/4 tsp
Green chili - 2 to 4, finely chopped
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 4 cups (for frying)

For radish Leaves Paste

Radish leaves - 1 cup
Water - 1 or 2 tbsp

For Ram Ladoo Chutney

Radish leaves - 1/2 cup
Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Mint leaves - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 3/4 tbsp
Ginger - 1/2-in piece
Green chili - 2 to 4
Water -1/3 cup

For Radish salad

Daikon/radish - 1.5 cups, shredded
Cilantro - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Radish leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt - 1/3 tsp
Lemon juice - 1.5 tsp
Green chili - 1 or 2, finely chopped


Soak the dals in water for 2 hours.

Grind the radish leaves to a paste with a tablespoon of water and set aside.

Grind the ingredients under 'Chutney' to a smooth paste. Add about 1/3 cup water slowly while grinding, mix, and set aside.

To make the radish salad/slaw: Add the ingredients to a bowl, mix and set aside.

Drain the dals completely. Grind to a smooth paste in two batches. Transfer to a big bowl. Whisk for 3-4 minutes to aerate the batter. Add salt and continue the process for a couple more minutes. Check the fluffiness by dropping the dough in water and if it floats proceed to the frying part.

Once completely aerated, add the chopped ginger, green hiles, and ground radish leaves paste. Mix well.

Heat oil on a medium flame. Add about a table spoons of batter with hand or a cookie scoop onto oil. Deep fry for about 2 minutes on both sides. 

Drain and set aside. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To assemble: Add about 7-10 fritters on a plate, top with one to two tablespoon chuney, and garnish with radish/daikon saw! 

Serve immediately

Welcome to Potluck Party #2 (February 2022)