Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tacos and Beans

Wednesday (Sep 19th 07) , I made refried beans, and got some crisp taco shells from the grocery store and assembled a dinner for us.

For the refried beans, I prefer to use homemade rather than store bought. All it needs is some planning and patience (of course!!), because of the soaking process. If you don't have time, you can go ahead and buy it premade, but look for the one which is vegetarian since most of the refried beans are made with lard or animal fat.

Here is the recipe for the refried beans

1 cup pinto beans ---- soaked for 8 hours (overnight)
Drain all water from beans before cooking.
3 cloves garlic-- chopped
1/2 of white onion--chopped
oil- 2 tsp
salt- as needed
vinegar-2 tsp
Equipment needed--- hand blender or any food processor

(Tomatoes/Shredded Lettuce/Refried Beans/Tacos/Cheese/Onions)
(When I soak the beans i soak it in the same vessel I am going to pressure cook it in.)

In a pressure cookable vessel, put the beans and fill water until beans are fully soaked. Add 1/2 tsp salt and pressure cook it until about 3 long whistles. After it cools down, keep it aside.

In a pan, add oil and once it gets hot, add the garlic and onions and then once it gets a bit sauteed, add the beans and salt and vinegar,
Turn stove off when it all starts boiling together, take the hand blender if you have it and puree the mixture.
If you don't have a hand blender, just transfer contents to a food processor ( you may want to wait a little bit so it cools down :) )and blend it.

Then assemble all your stuff and eat. My kids don't like sour cream and they wanted cheese instead, but you may add
sour cream/ salsa/ guacamole etc
try different variations.

If you just wait for the beans to cool down , it thickens and is easy to put on a dry crisp taco.

If you don't get crisp tacos, you may also use corn tortillas or whole wheat tortillas and make a soft taco.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I would like to start off with one of my favorite recipes, Vengaya (onion)Vathakuzhambu.

My mom would make this pretty often because it was everybody's favorite. Although my dad's version of this tasted better. This was our usual meal on Sundays--- Vengaya Vathakuzhambu, Urulakizhangu(potato) Curry, Rasam and Rice hmmmm, those were the days..........

Vathakuzhambu is basically a thicker version of sambar with no dal.... You can make this when you run out of dal.You can put onion , Chow Chow (Chayote), Okra, Brinjal ---- in the vathakuzhambu, or put some Vatrals in it like "manathakkali" or "Kothavarangai" or " sundakai" or kuzhambu karuvadam also. the list is endless!

For Vengaya Vathakuzhambu, use Shallots if available otherwise pearl onions are okay. If you have big onions only, then chop them finely.

Now the Recipe:
Shallots ---- About 20
Tamarind ---- Small Lemon sized
Oil ----- 2 to 3 tbsp
Fenugreek - 1/2 teaspoon
Sambar Powder---- 2 to 3 Spoons
Curry Leaves ---- 1 Strands
Salt---- 1 and 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida--- a pinch
Turmeric--- a pinch
Mustard---- 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies ---- 2 or 3


Soak the tamarind in a cup of water and extract all the juice out of it.

Peel the shallots and cut them in two if desired or keep it whole. --------->

Place kadai on stove, and put some oil in it. Keep the flame on medium, and add the fenugreek to this and fry them for some time and then add shallots,

and saute the shallots till they kind of get brown and wilty. --------->

Keep the onions on the side. I have used another vessel to make the vathakuzhambu, you may use the same kadai in which you fried the shallots. Reduce flame first, then add about 2 to 3 tsp
(depending on the amount of spice you can take)of sambar powder,
Turmeric Powder, Asafoetida and add salt. Then pour the tamarind
juice in it and bring to a boil. ----------------------------------->

Once the sauce is thick,take some oil in a small pan, add mustard and
once it starts jumping around add dry red chillies and add it to the kuzhambu and serve it with rice!!

Plain urad papad toasted on stove or mircrowave goes well with this.

Try mixing it with hot rice and a hint of ghee-----yummy

P.S. Sambar powder* is generally made ahead of time and stored. It stores well outside, dry but I have seen people storing it in their freezer. But either way it has the most flavor for one year after it is made. Mine comes form India, made by my aunt. Here is the recipe for it

Dry Red Chillies --- One Cup
Dhania ------ One Cup
Chana Dal------- One Cup
Fenugreek----- One Tbsp
Turmeric Powder--- One Tbsp

Dry roast everything seperately except the turmeric powder, let cool and make a fine powder in your dry grinder and then as a last step add the turmeric powder and mix well.

Monday, September 3, 2007

About Me

Thanks for visiting my blog!!
I am ardent fan of cooking.
Love to cook vegetarian recipes from all over the world.
The main goal of this blog is to document all my family and friends recipes for
anyone interested in cooking, to access the blog from any part of the world.
I update this blog with recipes as and when I cook them for my family and friends.

Do post your comments here and let me know how I can improve this blog.

You can Subscribe to my blog, by typing your email address in the box below!

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz