Dry Green Aloo Gobi

My MIL often says, "With Aloo and Gobi in your cabinet, you can cook an elaborate meal". So true!! These two veggies are so versatile and they can be cooked so easily in various ways. And the duo by themselves form a very irresistible combination.

So, Aloo Gobi masala is not a new recipe, what's new in mine? Well, the base we normally use are gravies cooked with onion-tomato and spices and looks red. Here, I have used a green base. To me, green color in food is very inviting and I am convinced that they are very healthy. (Talk to me about Brain's association with colors!!)
This base is also not new, it's our usual Green Chutney with a few additions. So, if you have some left-over in your fridge, this is a chat-pata recipe. And this also makes a very good Starter.

Dry Green Aloo Gobi
Potatoes and Cauliflower cooked in a green chutney base
Serves 2

What we need:
Potatoes - 3 to 4
Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
Mint (Pudina) leaves - 5 to 6 optional
Ginger - 1 inch, cleaned and scrapped
Garlic - 3 to 4 small pods
Green chilli - 1 or 2
Asafetida - 1 pinch
Cumin (Jeera) seeds - 2 tbsp.
Salt - as needed
Oil - 4 to 5 tbsp.
Water - as needed

How to do:
1. Prepare the green chutney first by grinding together, coriander leaves, mint (optional), ginger, garlic, 1 spoon of Cumin seeds, green chilli, asafetida, salt, and a drizzle of Oil.
2. Wash and cut the cauliflower into small florets. Boil water, add the florets and a little salt to this and keep them closed for 10 minutes.
3. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes.
4. Heat oil in a kadai and add the cumin seeds.
5. When they start to sizzle, add the green chutney and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep sprinkling some water so that they don't burn.
6. Now add the potatoes, cauliflower. Close the pan with a lid and let them cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. (Sprinkle some water in between to help the veggies get cooked)
7. Check salt and seasoning and remove from the flame. (remember: we have added salt in the chutney base)

Serve as a dry starter or dry gravy for rotis/naan.

Beans Dry Curry (Poriyal)

In South India, especially in Tamilnadu, poriyal or the dry curry forms an integral part of the full-course meals. In most of the marriages and celebrations, there will be more than one poriyal on your plate/banyan leaf, each of them of a contrasting taste, thus giving a variety! Also, depending on the gravy or sambar or kozhambu, the poriyal vegetable varies. Like, all spicy poriyals go well with midly spiced gravies and vice-versa.
Now we had enough in-sight on the poriyal history, here goes our traditional "Beans poriyal" recipe.

Beans Poriyal
Beans cooked with mild spices and garnished with coconut scrapes
Serves 2

What we need:
Green Beans - 1/2 Kg (also called French beans)
Fresh Coconut, scraped - 5 to 6 tbsp.
Water - as needed
Salt - as needed
For tempering:
Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp.
Mustard - 2 tbsp.
Cumin (Jeera) seeds - 2 tbsp.
Red Chillies - 3 to 4
Broken Urad dal - 3 tbsp.

How to do:
1. Wash, clean and cut the beans.
2. Heat oil in kadai and add the mustard. When it starts to sputter, add broken urad dal, cumin and red chillies.
3. Fry for a minute and add the cut beans. Sprinkle enough water on the beans and cover the pan. Leave for about 3 to 5 minutes
4. By now, almost all water should be absorbed. Sprinkle some more water. Repeat this for 2 or 3 times until the beans are cooked.
5. Now add salt and granish with the coconut. Remove from flame.
Note: Coconut oil tastes best for this type of poriyal. If you are in a hurry, you can steam the beans before-hand and reduce the cooking time.
Serve with rice and any spicy kozhambu.