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Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu - Program #102

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Episode Description

Culinary instructor and author Alamelu Vairavan prepares Garlic and Pepper Chicken accompanied by a rice dish cooked with a colorful blend of vegetables. She tosses together a refreshing Cucumber and Tomato Yogurt Salad, and visits the local market to buy fresh vegetables for recipes found in her book, "Healthy South Indian Cooking".

Guest Info

Segment #1
Bell Pepper and Tomato Rice with Cashews

Segment #1
Bell Pepper, Tomato Rice w/Cashews

Segment #2
Garlic and Pepper Chicken

Segment #3
Cucumber & Tomato Yogurt Salad


Bell Pepper and Tomato Rice with Cashews


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby lima beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 to 3 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup onion, cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup cashew halves
  • 1/4 cup red onion


  1. Cook rice in 2 cups of water. Set aside.
  2. Cook lima beans in a saucepan in 1 cup of water with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. When beans are tender, drain and set aside to cool.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or large fry-pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cumin, and fennel seeds. Brown for a few seconds.
  4. Add onion, and tomato. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Add bell pepper and cooked lima beans with remaining 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Mix well.
  6. Add tomato sauce. Blend ingredients well in wok. Cook, covered, over medium heat, until bell pepper becomes slightly tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Stir in curry powder and salt.
  8. Add cooked rice to wok and blend well with sauce. Immediately reduce heat to low.
  9. Stir in cashews and 1/4 cup red onion over rice. Mix rice well.

Bell Pepper, Tomato Rice w/Cashews


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • 1 whole dried red chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups frozen blackeye peas
  • 1 teaspoon sambhar powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander


  1. Place oil in a warmed saucepan. When oil is hot, add asafoetida, red chili pepper, fenugreek, mustard seeds, and urad dal. Cover and cook over medium heat until mustard seeds pop and urad dal is golden brown.
  2. Add onion and tomato to saucepan and stir well. Add turmeric powder and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add blackeye peas with sambhar powder, and salt. Stir peas with seasonings into ingredients in saucepan.
  4. Add tomato sauce and 3 cups of warm water to the mixture. When mixture begins to boil, add the crushed garlic and let it simmer over low heat until blackeye peas are tender. Add chopped coriander and serve warm.

Garlic and Pepper Chicken


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 to 5 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ural dal
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper and cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. curry powder (more, if desired)
  • 3/4 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped lengthwise (optional)


  1. Cut chicken into medium-size pieces. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, red chili pepper, cumin, fennel seeds and ural dal.
  3. Add onion and garlic. Saute for few minutes. Stir in turmeric powder.
  4. Add chicken and ginger to skillet. Cook, covered, over low heat until the chicken is partially cooked.
  5. Add black pepper and cumin powder, salt, curry powder, and cayenne powder. Stir well to coat the chicken with spices. Add tomato sauce and about 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook chicken, covered, over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. During the cooking process, stir often to prevent chicken from sticking to the skillet.
  6. To enhance flavor or to increase tenderness of chicken, add red onions over the chicken. Remove from heat.
  7. Note: Boneless skinless chicken breasts may be used in place of chicken thighs. Adjust other seasonings according to your taste. Serves 4 to 6

Cucumber & Tomato Yogurt Salad


  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper and cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander


  1. Place the vegetables in a serving bowl.
  2. Blend black pepper and cumin powder and salt into yogurt.
  3. Pour yogurt mixture over diced vegetables and stir to coat vegetables. Taste and add additional seasonings if desired.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Garnish with coriander before serving.