Share Buttons

Showing posts with label SOUTH - INDIAN RECIPES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SOUTH - INDIAN RECIPES. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

LEMON RICE / LIMBU SADAM

LEMON RICE / LIMBU SADAM
Rice is a staple food of the South Indians. There are many varieties of rice that is made in the south Indian cuisine, one such rice is Lemon Rice (Lemon flavored rice).
The Kerala Iyer’s settled in Mumbai had a different lingo(slang) for everything.
Lemons are known as Limbu in Maharashtrian language and everyone calls it Limbu in Mumbai. In other South Indian states, it’s known as Elimichai (Tamil), CheruNaranga fondly called as Naranga as well (Malayalam), Nimmakaya in (Telegu) and Nimbe (Kannada) and so on and so forth.
Tambrams in Mumbai were such an eclectic mix language wise that we adopted whatever was easy on the tongue and easy for all the generations to understand, so Lemon Rice at my place was called Limbu Sadam. Amma used to pack Lemon rice for us in our tiffin boxes and the wafting aroma of the lemon, hours after it was cooked was still so refreshing. That could be the reason it was packed for our long journeys by train/bus.
I’m going to share the basic recipe of Lemon Rice made by my mother. It can be made exotic by adding various other ingredients as well. 


Ingredients (Serves 2)
Rice -1 cup
Lemon -1
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
White lentil (Urad dal split) -1 tsp
Bengal Gram (Channa dal/kadalai paruppu) -1 tbsp
Red chillies - 1-2 (broken in 2 halves)
Green chillies - 2 -3 (Broken in 2 halves)
Asafetida (Hing) - a pinch
Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped (Optional)
Salt as per taste

Method
Soak the rice for about 20 minutes, after that cook the rice, preferably cook it in the proportion of 1 cup rice:2 cups water. (Refer to tips below).
Rice must not be gluey or stuck to each other, it has to be separate. The texture of the rice is very important to get this recipe right.
Heat oil, add mustard seeds, white lentils (urad dal), Bengal Gram (Chana dal), Red chilies. When the mustard starts to splutter and the dals are turning slightly pink, add in Green chilies, curry leaves and asafetida.
Add the cooked rice, turmeric and salt as per taste. Give it all a good mix, Sauté for about 5-6 minutes till the mixture becomes uniform and is hot. Turn off the gas.
At this stage, squeeze the juice of a lemon (De-seed), Give it all a good mix so that lemon is ingested into the grains of rice
*Very Important - Do not cook after adding the lemon juice, the taste may become bitter!!!
After this, check for salt and if needed, add again and mix well.
Garnish with Freshly chopped coriander leaves (optional).
Serve hot or let it cool and pack it in Tiffin boxes.
Traditionally, lemon rice is served with Papads (Lentil Crackers) / Vadaams (Fryums).
Lemon rice goes well with any dry curries(sabzis) as well.
Serve it the way you like. Eat it the way you enjoy.

Tips
· Use Leftover rice to make the lemon rice as the starch in the rice gets less sticky as it gets colder. There is a big chance that the rice won’t stick to each other.

· If using freshly cooked rice, after cooking, spread it on a plate and let it cool down under a fan.

· Spice levels can be increased or decreased as per taste

· Addition of lemon decreases the salt taste, so after adding the lemon, check for salt and if needed, add again

· Do not skip Chana dal as it gives a crunch to the lemon rice.


VARIATIONS

· Can Add peanuts to the lemon rice. Fry the peanuts in Oil and keep aside and add when you add the cooked rice.

· Can Add Cashew nuts to the lemon rice. Fry the cashew nuts golden in Oil and keep aside and add when you add the cooked rice.

· You can add green peas, if you are adding green peas, sauté until lighter color in the oil after you add the green chilies and curry leaves

· You can add grated or diced(small) carrots for extra nutrition. if you are adding carrots, sauté until soft in the oil after you add the green chilies and curry leaves

· You can add onion to this recipe.

· You can add ginger to this recipe. Pound ¼ inch ginger and add along with chilies in the recipe.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

VAZHAKKAI MEZHUKKUVARATHI /PORIYAL/CURRY (RAW BANANA STIR FRY)

VAZHAKKAI MEZHUKKUVARATHI /PORIYAL/CURRY (RAW BANANA STIR FRY)
Raw Banana is widely used in Kerala Cuisine. Every part of the banana is packed with nutrition and health benefits. This humble plant, with its flower, stem, fruit and leaf, can be consumed in different ways for overall wellness.
I think no one can cook the Vazhakkai Mezhukkuvarathi (Mezhukkupuratti) like my Grandmother Kaveri, we used to fondly call her “Amma”. Her recipe had the authentic Parawoor (Kerala) touch; that only one of her daughter’s could manage to get close too. Sadly, both are no more. But thankfully, since I was interested in cooking and watched them make this simple recipe very closely, I can share it with all my viewers today.
Amma (My grand mom) moved from Parawoor post marriage in her teens or early 20’s to Bombay (Now Mumbai, but I will refer to as Bombay here) and as most Tamil-Brahmins, Palakkad Iyers (referred henceforth as Tam brams) settled in Matunga. Matunga has a special place in the lives of the Tam brams as it was the land of opportunities and people came to make their fortune here and Bombay being Bombay; full of industrious people, it made available everything that the migrants needed. The coffee powders, the vegetables that would be popular etc. Those days, the vegetable vendors would bring the vegetables straight from the farms in double cane baskets loaded on either side of a pole balanced on their shoulders. They would walk through the lanes and by lanes and market their vegetables by shouting out. Amma used to patronize a vendor as she felt his vegetables were fresh and economical. This guy used to come from Vasai (He was fondly addressed as “Vashaiwalla” by Amma). The guy a Maharashtrian used to speak Hindi in a slang and understood some Tamil words and our enterprising star, Amma who picked up Hindi but with her south Indian slang would bargain with him while buying and also place requests, “Agli baar aaya toh Vazhakkai laana, dhoda jyaada laana, accha kaccha hona mangta, payam nahi laana”
It meant, get more raw bananas next time, it must be nice and green and raw don’t bring it when it has started to ripen.
And the industrious “Vashaiwalla” would say, “It’s very hot and by the time he brings it in the sun, it starts to ripen…ha ha ha.

I’m surely going to cover Amma and her experiences in Bombay in another post of mine.

As a child, we have been in awe of our Grand mom's intelligence and quick wittedness and burst into laughter listening to her hindi at the same time. But no matter what her don't give up attitude is what is the strongest memory we have of her.

The reason Amma’s cooking tasted so good was because the whole process was quality centric. Amma would choose the green, hard and long bananas to the Mondangai’s that would be used in her home town, she said the Bananas in Bombay were delicate and cooked faster and had more taste provided the Vashaiwalla got it as soon as he plucked them and delivered it fresh.

The Vazhakkai Mezhukkuvarathi cooked by the Kerala Iyers (Brahmin style) is very simple. It does not need any other ingredients as used in the regular Kerala Vazhakkai Mezhukkupuratti which has onion, garlic, curry leaves, coconut etc.

But there is one ingredient that cannot be missed and that is “Coconut Oil”.

Some recipes are simple, yet not all can do justice in making it; I wonder why?

There’s so much emotion attached to this simple recipe that every time I wanted to share it, I would get emotional and wouldn’t be able to proceed.
Raw bananas are very nutritious and you must try this simple recipe. Add lots of love too. 


Ingredients (Serves 4)
Raw bananas - 3-4
Virgin Coconut Oil – 3 - 4 tbsps
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
White lentil split (Urad Dal) - ½ tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – ½ tsp
Asafetida (Hing) – ¼ tsp
Dry red chillies – 2, broken in half
Salt as per taste 

Method
Wash the bananas, de-stem and cut the end as well. Peel the banana and cut in square chunks. Once diced, put in the water otherwise it will get discoloured. Keep aside.
In an Iron Wok/Pan, Add the coconut oil, once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, Urad dal and red chillies, when the mustard seeds start to splutter. Add the diced raw bananas. Add turmeric, Asafetida, salt and red chilly powder. Mix well. Add a 4-5 tablespoons of water.
Cover and cook in a low flame, stirring occasionally, until done.
The important thing is the banana has to get cooked well but not become mushy, then add a tablespoon of hot coconut oil and let the raw banana cook until its gets crisp on one side and soft inside.
Serve the vazhakkai Mezhukkuvarathi hot with hot rice, a dollop of ghee, some hot dal (Paruppu) and rasam.

Tips

· Use coconut oil only for the authentic taste

· Apply coconut oil before you start peeling and chopping raw banana as it tends to leave a stain on your hands.


Variations

· Vazhakkai Mezhukkupuratti can be made by adding onion, garlic, curry leaves & grated coconut as well to the existing recipe.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

HYDERABADI CHICKPEAS PULAO/BIRYANI / GARBANZO BEANS PILAF / BIRYANI

HYDERABADI CHICKPEAS PULAO / BIRYANI / GARBANZO BEANS PILAF / BIRYANI
The locked down has given me the opportunity to try many new recipes and one such recipe is the “Hyderabad Chickpeas Biryani”. I wonder, how I missed making this beautiful dish all these years.
I had soaked chickpeas and wanted to rustle up something quick and easy.
This dish is a One-pot meal which is what I like to cook on those lazy days when I have to drag myself to the kitchen.
The Texture of this dish is moist like a Biryani so you can call it a Biryani as well. This is an ideal dish to be packed into tiffin boxes to take to work or for kids. Quick to cook, Good to eat.



Ingredients (Serves - 4)
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Chickpeas - 1 cup (Boiled)
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Pulao / Biryani Masala or Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Pickle Masala – ½ tsp (My secret ingredient)
Onions - 2 medium sized
Tomatoes – 2 medium sized
Green chilly – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Coriander leaves for Garnish

Masalas (whole)
Bay Leaves - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1 slit vertically
Star Anise - 1
Cloves - 2-3
Mace (Javitri) – 1
Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) - 1-2
Cardamom whole (Elaichi) - 1-2
Cumin seeds - 2 tsps.
Kasuri methi - 1 tsp
Soda bi-carb - a pinch (optional)
Cooking Oil - 4 tbsps
Salt as per taste



Method
Soak the chickpeas overnight with a pinch of soda. Rinse it well in the morning. Add the soaked and rinsed chickpeas in a cooker. Add water to cover it completely and a cup more. Boil it up to 3 whistles in the pressure cooker. Keep it aside.
Meanwhile, pound the chillies and ginger into a fine paste. Chop the onions into strips(slivers). Chop the tomatoes into chunks.
I cook this dish in the Handi pressure cooker. You can cook it in a wok/pan too.
Add the oil, when the Oil is hot, add all the whole Masalas. Sauté for a minute then add the chillies and ginger paste, fry for a minute, then add the onion slivers and some salt and cook till transparent. Do not cook until brown, Add the Tomatoes and cook until mushy. Add the boiled Chickpeas and stir. After this, add the Pulao / Biryani Masala powder or Garam Masala powder, Coriander powder, Cumin powder, Turmeric powder, Pulao / Biryani Masala or Garam Masala and Pickle Masala (My secret ingredient). Give it a good stir.
Wait until the water in the chickpeas is dry already.
After this, Add the Washed and drained Basmati rice into the mix and mix well.
Mix with a gentle hand, ensuring that you don’t break the grains of rice.
Now add water, the proportion of water and rice 1: 1.5, so for every cup of rice, you add 1.5 cups of water. In our recipe, we will add 3.5 cups of water.
Stir gently till all the ingredients are mixed well.
Add finely chopped coriander leaves and check for salt.
If you need add salt at this stage.
Usually the mix will be slightly salty but everything will balance once cooked. Now close the lid and cook up to 3 whistles in the pressure cooker, if you are cooking in the open pan /wok, close the pan/wok tightly with a lid and steam cook until all the water is absorbed.
Once done, give it a good fluff with a fork.
Do not press hard and stir as you may break the rice.
Hot Chickpeas Pulao is ready.
Garnish with finely chopped Coriander leaves.
Serve Hot with Yogurt (dahi) /raita /pappad /pickle.
Enjoy this beautiful one-pot meal. 
 
Tips
· Do not soak Rice for too long or else they will become soft and break easily and you won’t get to see the beautiful long grains.

· Adding soda bi-carb to chickpeas while soaking is optional, I added because I wasn’t sure if the  chickpeas would be hard or soft. Sometimes, chickpeas don’t get cooked

· When you add Kasuri Methi, rub it between your palms and add, as this brings out the aroma out

· I prefer to cook in my Prestige Handi as it requires no supervision, However, if you are cooking in the pan/wok, please ensure that you put off the gas immediately when the water is absorbed and let it cook on steam else you may burn the bottom side of the pulao.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

BROWN RICE KHICHDI

BROWN RICE KHICHDI
Khichdi is the soul food of the Indians!!! Khichdi is a rice lentil porridge that is usually eaten when you want something light yet nutritious.
Making the Khichdi with Brown Rice, packs the humble khichdi to a different level. Brown rice has high levels of fibre and a low glycemic index and carbohydrates.
Khichdi can be made using any variety of rice, but, brown rice retains its healthy bran and germ throughout processing, allowing it to maintain some of those powerful nutrients that the white rice has lost. This processing also allows brown rice to retain valuable minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese.
Brown rice also has a delicious nutty flavor and a chewy texture due to the nutritious bran layer.
Brown rice has numerous potential health benefits, including high levels of fibre and the potential to lower blood pressure and can help the body to effectively use insulin, maintain a healthier weight, and increase potassium levels.
In India, khichdi is usually served to people recovering from illness, surgeries as it is light and easy to digest. It’s a one pot meal and can be packed with loads of vegetables as well.


Ingredients (Serves - 4)
Brown rice - 1 ½ cup
Yellow Moong dal – ½ cup
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - ½ inch
Onion - 1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander Leaves finely chopped – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida (Hing) – A pinch
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Peppercorns – 3-4
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt as per taste
Ghee /Oil - 2 tsp



Method
Wash the rice and Yellow moong dal. Soak it in hot water for about an hour.
Meanwhile, dry roast 1 tsp of the cumin seeds and peppercorns and pound them into a coarse powder.
Pound the Ginger and chillies into a coarse paste, you can alternatively also mince it small or run it in a blender.
Heat ghee/oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add the green chillies and ginger paste, sauté, after about a minute, add in the finally chopped onions, curry leaves, sauté until the onion is cooked. Add a dash of Asafoetida, Himalayan Pink Salt and sauté. Drain the lentils and rice and add to this mix. Mix well, Add the coarsely pounded cumin seeds and pepper powder and mix well.
Now add water, the water ratio is depending on the rice. So, If you are taking 1 cup of rice you need to add 2 cups of water.
But since, you have lentils cooking along as well, you will add 3 cups of water. In my recipe, I have 1.5 cup of rice and ½ cup moong dal, so I have taken 4-4.5 cups water. I pressure cook for up to 4-5 whistles. (If cooking in a pan, cook for about 20 minutes till the lentils are tender and the rice is cooked through). I prefer the pressure cooker as I’m always worried about brown rice not getting cooked well.
Once done, wait for the steam to work its magic on the khichdi.
Open after 15 minutes, mix well, garnish with coriander and serve hot with a dollop of yogurt, pickles and papad.
This is the basic recipe.

Tips
·       Adding a ¼ tsp of Pickle oil takes the paste to the next level. If do not have pickle oil, you can add ¼ tsp of pickle masala for an added flavour.
·       Use Ghee instead of Oil for the additional taste. If instead of ghee you use Oil, this dish can be categorized under Vegan recipes.
·       Vegetables of your choice can be added, usually, carrots(diced), green peas, spinach chopped fine etc. are added.
·       You can add 2 pods of garlic, if you like the taste, pound the garlic, along with the green chillies and ginger and follow the recipe above.
·       You can add a tsp of Garam Masala powder if you like some flavour.
·       You can add a tsp of Kasuri methi (dried methi leaves) while sautéing the onions.
·       You can add a tsp of Tomato Puree if you like.



Monday, May 16, 2016

PARUPPU PODI (SPICED LENTILS POWDER)

PARUPPU PODI (SPICED LENTILS POWDER)
Paruppu Podi with steaming hot rice is food for the soul. It is a saving grace when we are not feeling well or tired and lazy to cook an elaborate meal. Whenever we go to the restaurants and order an Andhra meal, my hubby Yo completely relishes Paruppu podi mixed with steaming hot rice and a dollop of ghee.
Nowadays, we can buy Paruppu podi from the shops and they come in various permutations and combinations and do taste good. But nothing can beat the aroma, the flavour and the taste of the freshly roasted and ground podi at home.
Mix hot steaming rice with some Paruppu podi and ghee or Gingelly oil and it’s a one pot meal. Some fried and roasted papadam will do well with it.
There are many variations to this recipe. Below is an absolutely divine recipe. This is my grandmother’s recipe and I got this from my cousin sister. I made it for my trip overseas and it was definitely a hit. Do try it and enjoy.


Ingredients
Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) – 1 Cup
Chana Dal – 2 tbsps (Split Bengal gram dal)
Red Chilly – 3 Nos.
Peppercorns – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Salt as per Taste

Method

Dry roast the ingredients till the dals turns into a golden brown color. Add in the salt and asafoetida.




Once it’s cool, grind it into a fine powder.

Enjoy yummy paruppu podi with hot rice and a dollop of ghee or gingelly oil.
Store the remaining in an air tight jar for enjoying later.

Tips
·         You can add 1 tbsp of Urad Dal (Split Black Gram/ White lentil). Just roast along with the above ingredients and grind.
·         You can add curry leaves, Wash, dry and roast along with the above ingredients and grind. Gives a good aroma and is good for health too.
·         You can add Garlic. Just peel and roast 4-5 cloves of Garlic along with the above ingredients and grind.
·         You can add 1 tbsp of Desiccated coconut powder (dry). This can be dry roasted and added. (If you add coconut it won’t have a longer shelf life).



Monday, October 6, 2014

RAVA LADDOO / SUJI KE LADDOO/ SWEET SEMOLINA BALLS

RAVA LADDOO / SUJI KE LADDOO/ SWEET SEMOLINA BALLS
This is probably one of the easiest sweets to make. This is also one of the first sweets I ever attempted to make. I would call this a beginner’s sweet or a no-fail recipe for anybody. Just follow the recipe step-by-step and you will have one the easiest sweets to prepare for Diwali or any festival or just to gobble like that. I also call Rava Laddoo one of the easiest sweets as it is prepared with ingredients easily available at home like Semolina, sugar and ghee. Rava Laddoo in Tamil is known as Suji ke Laddoo in the North and Ravyacha Laadoo in Maharashtra.
Here is the recipe for Rava Laddoo


Ingredients
Semolina/Rava/sooji - 1 cup 
Sugar – ¾ cup - 1 cup (depending on how sweet you like)
Ghee - ¼ cup 
Milk (optional) - 1 tblsp 
Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1 tsp
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsps sliced in halves
Raisins – 2 tbsps 


Method
In a wok (pan), add the semolina and roast evenly by continuously stirring it with a spatula over a medium flame until a nice toasted aroma comes out of it. Be careful not to burn the rava while roasting it as it will completely ruin the taste of the laddoo. Let the roasted rava cool down. Keep it aside.
Now powder the sugar and keep aside.
Now take the cooled down roasted rava and mix with the sugar and run in the blender till it becomes one uniform mixture. Add in the cardamom (elaichi) powder and run it in the blender along with the rava and sugar.
Now transfer this mix to a big plate. I usually take a big plate so it’s easy for me to mix. In a saucepan, add in the ¼ cup ghee and to it add the Cashew nuts and Raisins and fry until the raisins become plump and the cashew nuts get slightly toasted. Add this to the rava and sugar mixture.
Sprinkle the milk and mix thoroughly (This step is optional). In case you are using milk, heat up the milk slightly and add in warm milk to the mix. Milk is added to enable binding the mixture well enough so as to make the laddoos easily. I haven’t used milk in my recipe. I have made the laddoos completely with ghee. Adding milk reduces the shelf life of the laddoos.
Once, you have added the ghee, make small balls out of the mixture immediately, make tight balls. Rava Laddoo is ready to enjoy!!!

 Tips
         While blending the semolina, ensure that it is blended to a fine powder which will enable to make the laddoo easily. If the mix is coarse then it won’t be easy to make the laddoos.
         The finer the blend the more melt-in-the mouth the laddoo’s will be.
         In case, you are not using milk and find it difficult to bind, add in more melted warm ghee to the mix until it’s easier to make the laddoos.
         Sugar can be added according to taste. 3/4th cup is just ok not overly sweet. If you like it more sweet you can add 1 cup of sugar.

         You can reduce the ghee by 2 tbsps in the recipe and it still turns out fine. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

CHEENIVARIKKAI / KOTHAVARANGAI PARUPPU USILI (CLUSTER BEANS WITH LENTILS AND COCONUT)

CHEENIVARIKKAI / KOTHAVARANGAI PARUPPU USILI (CLUSTER BEANS WITH LENTILS AND COCONUT)
GAWAR PHALI KI SABJI DAL AUR NARIYAL KE SAATH
The biological name of Cluster beans is Cyamopsis tetragonoloba. It is an annual legume and the source of guar gum. It is also known as Gavar, Gawar Phali, Guwar or Guvar bean.

This is yet another weekend special from my kitchen. The reason it’s cooked over the weekends is simply because the process to cook this dish is quite lengthy and time consuming. But it’s one of my absolute favorites. There are some dishes which amma (my mom) knows; that can make me happy any day and this is one of it.

Now, cluster beans is called Cheenivarikkai at my place. I guess it must be a kerala iyer (Tam brahms from Kerala) name.  I don’t know how many people call it as that. I didn’t know for very long that it is also known as Kothavarangai.

Paruppu usili is made in different houses differently but I absolutely adore my mom’s recipe and follow it to the T.
I even heard that many people use Bengal Gram (Chana dal) to make paruppu usili, but my mom uses Toor Dal (Pigeon Peas).
Apparently many people don’t like Cluster beans and it seems in yesteryears when old people would go for Pilgrimage to Kashi (Explanation below) they would usually give up on Cluster beans.

Kashi Vishwanath temple  - A visit to the temple and a bath in the river Ganges is one of many methods believed to lead one on a path to Moksha (salvation) hence people from all over the nation try to visit the place at least once in their lifetime. There is also a tradition that one should give up at least one desire after a pilgrimage at the temple.

When I asked my Grandma why they would give up on such a lovely vegetable, my grandma would say, because Cluster Beans is usually very gassy and as you age your digestive systems would become weak so it would be best to avoid it.

Thank god we are not in those times and I probably may not have to give up on this lovely vegetable. There are some people who steam the paruppu (Dal), but I don’t, here is the recipe for all of you to enjoy.

Ingredients
For the Kothavarangai Mezhukkuvaratti (Poriyal)
Cheenivarikkai / Kothavarangai (Cluster Beans) – 750 gms chopped
Oil – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Udad seeds – 1 tsp
Red Chilly – 1 broken in halves
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt as per taste
Shredded Coconut – 2 tbsps

For the Paruppu Usili
To grind to a coarse paste:
Toor Dal - 1 cup
Dried Red Chillies – 1
Green Chilly – 1
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt as per taste
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Udad seeds – 1 tsp
 
Method
Rinse & soak 1 cup Toor dal for about 1-2 hours.
Trim the edges and chop cluster beans finely. Rinse it well. In a Kadhai (wok), Add 1 tsp of oil, when it is hot, Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, Add udad dal and the dried chilly broken in half. When the udad dal becomes slightly pink, add the chopped cluster beans, mix well, ½ tsp of Turmeric powder, a pinch of Asafetida, Salt as per taste,  stir and close with lid and cook on low flame till it is cooked. Once it’s cooked, Transfer to a plate.
Drain the Soaked toor dal and grind it coarse in a blender with 1 dried red chilly and 1 green chilly, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of asafetida and salt as
per taste. Keep aside

In the same Kadhai (wok), Add 1 tsp of oil, when it is hot, Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, Add udad dal, when the udad dal becomes slightly pink, add the  coarsely blended dal mixture. Keep sautéing until the mixture separates and become golden brown. Once that is done, add the cooked cluster beans and mix well. Now, finally, add in the shredded coconut and mix well. Check for salt at this point as well. Incase there is salt you can add some at this point as well. Cook for 2-3 minutes on sim.

The Cheenivarikkai / Kothavarangai Paruppu usili is ready. Enjoy with Rasam and rice.

Variation to the above method
Steam method – After you coarse grind the dal paste. Boil water in an idli pan, spread the coarse mixture on the steamer plate and steam it for 5-7mins, once it cools down, crumble it with your hands and set aside.
Now heat oil in a wok,  Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to crackle, Add udad dal, when the udad dal becomes slightly pink, add the add the dal mixture & sauté till golden brown, then follow as above.

Tips:-
  • Ensure that the dal mixture is blended coarse, if it becomes a fine paste then you will not get the perfect texture. To ensure that it doesn’t get ground fine, make sure to drain the water completely.
  • If you are using the steaming method then follow as above. Please ensure to spread the mixture and then steam it as it crumbles easily.
  • This recipe can be used to make French beans, flat beans (Avarakkai), Long beans, Banana flower (Vazhapoo) etc.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

GREEN TOMATOES AVIYAL / GREEN TOMATOES COOKED IN COCONUT GRAVY

GREEN TOMATOES AVIYAL / GREEN TOMATOES COOKED IN COCONUT GRAVY
Here I am proud to present yet another kerala-iyer dish, the Green tomatoes Aviyal, this is very popular at home.
Green tomatoes are a healthy source of fiber, which your intestinal and digestive systems rely on for good health. One cup of green tomatoes supplies about 2 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber is present in most fruits, vegetables and whole grains, so increasing your intake of these foods, including cooked green tomatoes, can help you get enough in your diet. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that a diet that includes plenty of fiber may help you reduce your risk of several life-threatening conditions, including heart disease, colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes. Fiber also keeps your digestive system working well so you are less likely to experience constipation.
Green tomatoes also contain nutrients like beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamin K. This recipe would make it worth to add these lovely green tomatoes to your menu.
Once in a way when I visit the Giant hypermart I get to see some green tomatoes nestled in between the ripe red ones or the semi-ripe tomatoes. This time I decided to pick a few for my dish. In yesteryears, where people used to grow tomatoes in their garden they had the luxury to pluck and make these but now we have to rely on supply from our super stores. Green tomatoes have a tart taste to it which is loved by many. It’s usually made as a side dish with Molaghootal / Kootu


Ingredients
Green tomatoes - 6 nos
Turmeric - a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1/4tspn
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Dried Red Chilly  - 1
Cumin seeds -1 teaspoon
Salt as per taste
Coconut oil -1 tspn
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Method
Rinse the tomatoes well. Slice the tomatoes into 4 parts, don’t make think slices or small pieces as it will melt when cooked into a puree. The tomatoes have to be chunky before cooking.  In a vessel, add the sliced tomatoes, some turmeric, red chilly powder  and salt and curry leaves and cook it covered.
Meanwhile, Grind the coconut with the dried red chilly and cumin seeds to a smooth paste.  Once the tomatoes are cooked, Add in the ground coconut paste, check for salt, if required you can adjust now, you can also add chilly powder for a slightly fiery taste. Don’t let the gravy boil for too long as it will become very watery. After a boil or so, once all the ingredients are mixed well and the taste according to you is perfect, drizzle some raw coconut oil on top. This is done for giving it a dash of flavor. It’s kind of a grand finale for this dish.
Now put the lid on and let the flavors mingle for a while.
In some hot white  rice, drizzle some ghee, add your Molaghutal to the rice, mix well, take a helping of the Tomato Aviyal and eat Molaghutal rice with it and with some fried lijjat papads. That’s the way we eat this and savor the blend of various tastes in our mouth.

Note -:

·    While grinding the coconut instead of dried red chilly you can add green chilly. I like the flavor of the dried red chilly so I added dried red chilly to my dish.
·       Don’t add tamarind or Yogurt as Green tomatoes are quite sour on it’s own.
·    You can add onions/shallots to this dish for more flavor, but what I have shared is a traditional recipe.
 
 (Nutritional Value Info courtesy – www.Livestrong.com)
 

 
 



Friday, March 14, 2014

KARADAYAN NOMBU ADAI QUICK & EASY RECIPE ( SWEET & SAVORY ADAI)

KARADAYAN NOMBU
The Karadayan Nombu festival is primarily observed and celebrated by the Tamil Brahmins. It is celebrated during the transition of Tamil Month of Maasi to Panguni. Due to this legend Karadaiyan Nombu is also known as Savithri Vratham.

There are a few festivals in India which are very male oriented and centered around men. Primarily because in the past the men were the bread winners and the woman’s role was taking care of the hearth and homes. Their lives were intertwined with their husbands and they usually used to pray for the long lives of their husband, so that he is always there for them till the day they die. This was also a way to profess their undying love for their husbands. As per one of my cousins this could be known as the “Karwa Chauth” of the South Indians (Tambhrams). To give it a filmy twist, Women can even ask their husbands to tie the Yellow thread for them😉and then touch his feet and seek his blessings😇. (I'm not sure how many women of today will be ready to do that😜😜😜😜)


HOW DOES THE FESTIVAL GET IT'S NAME ?

Karadayan Adai is the name of a unique dish prepared on this day and Nombu means Vratham or upavasam (fast).Wives keep a fast to pray for the long lives of their husband's. They break the fast at the timings specified (muhurtham timings) by eating the Adai.

STORY BEHIND THE FESTIVAL


The Story of the Tamil Karadayan Nombu festival is based on the legend of Satyavan Savitri which is one of the stories that we read in the epic story Mahabharata.
You can read the story of Satyavan and Savitri here.
It is believed that Savitri got her husband’s life back from the clutches of death.
Each region in India observes a fast (upvas/vrat) in a different time of the year, like the Maharashtrians observe this as Vata Savitri and the North Indians as “Karva Chauth” etc.


WHEN DO WE CELEBRATE


It is celebrated during the transition of Tamil Month of Maasi to Panguni but please note the time of the end of the month of Maasi and the beginning of  Panguni varies.

If you are looking for accurate timings, please use the link below.👇 It gives you the date and Muhurtham timings of the Pooja as per the place you live in,

http://www.drikpanchang.com/festivals/karadaiyan-nombu/karadaiyan-nombu-date-time.html

 If you wish, you can consult your temple priest or check with elders or refer to the Panchangam.


HOW DO WE CELEBRATE

On Karadayan Nombu day women worship the Goddess and offer her a Neivedhyam (offering) of Sweet & Savoury mini steamed Adais.
Unmarried girls pray for a good husband and married women pray for their husband’s long life.
There is a muhurtham time for tying the sacred yellow thread which indicates that we have offered our prayers.
During this time, Women pray to the Goddess and tie the sacred yellow cotton thread known as Manjal cheradu or Nombu Cheradu for the well-being of their husband. This thread is not as thick as the Thali Kayaru(cheradu), this is a thinner version as shown in the picture.

*Women who are unable to perform the pooja on Nombu day due to monthly periods or any other reason, can do it on the following Tuesday or Friday during the Panguni month.*


HOW TO DO THE POOJA

Wear a Pattu(Silk) saree and for girls the pattu pavadai (if possible)



Keep in the pooja room near God on a plate, manjal, kumkumam, betel leaves, paaku, broken coconut, banana, flowers and all the yellow threads. Light the lamp and the Incense/Dhoopam for the Goddess. (refer to the picture above ☝)

Prepare The sweet and savory Adai's (Refer to Recipe below 👇)
In plates or banana leaves place the Adais(Sweet and savory) and do neivedhyam for the Goddess.
Put small maa - kolams in front of the God for the total number of Girls/Ladies and One for the Goddess Amman
(This can be done in the morning itself, it should be totally dry when you do the pooja)
Place a banana leaf on top of each Kolam, Keep the Nombu adai(Sweet & Savory) with umelted butter on each banana leaf.
Do Namaskaram to the Goddess, tie a yellow thread (Nombu cheradu) for the Goddess and then sit cross legged in front of each Banana leaf placed before the Goddess.
Now tie the nombu cheradu around your neck by yourself and tie it for the children too.

*The following shloka is chanted while tying the yellow thread*

In Sanskrit,
“Throram Krishnami subhake saharitham
Dharami aham bharthu Ayushya Sidhartham supreethabhava sarvadha”
Which means,
By tying the sacred yellow thread, I hereby pray for a long life for my husband and also pray that we always live happily together.

In Tamil ladies chant,
Urugaadha Venneyum, Oru adaiyum, Oru Noolum naan noorthaen
Orukkalumum en kanavan ennai vittu piriyaada irukka vendum.
Which means,
I offer unmelted butter alongwith the adai, Tying a thread doing nombu,
Bless me O Goddess that me and my husband never get separated and always live happily together.





After tying the rope, take one adai along with unmelted butter and eat it.😋😋😋😋😋.
Ladies should eat this adai and break the fast.
Then it should be distributed to the members of family.

This is how Karadaiyan Nombu is performed in our house. This procedure may differ as per places.

Consult the elders about your family practice and do the pooja accordingly.


MAKING THE ADAI

I will share with you an easy method to make the adai without compromising much on the taste.
Before you make the adai (for sweet adai and the savory adai), roast the rice flour in a wok so it loses its raw smell. The color of the flour should still be white. Transfer it onto a plate to cool.

SWEET ADAI / VELLA ADAI (EASY & INSTANT METHOD)

Ingredients
Rice Flour - 2 cups
Jaggery (powdered) - 1.5 cups
Water - 1 cup
Black eyed beans - 1/2 cup
Coconut (cut into small cubes) - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cardamom (Elaichi) - 2-3

Method
Soak the beans overnight or for around 3 hours, pressure cook and set aside.
Pound the cardamom, separate the skin and further pound the seeds inside into a powder.
In a wok, add Ghee, the cardamom seeds and coconut pieces, Allow the coconut pieces to fry until golden. Then add the water and let it boil, once it starts boiling, add the jaggery.
When the jaggery starts to froth and the raw smell of jaggery disappears, add the roasted rice flour, cooked black eyed beans, and mix the ingredients well. Mix until it rolls up like the chappati dough. Remove from the gas. Allow it to cool.
Once it is cool enough to touch, make balls of the mixture and flatten it to round shapes. Put a hole in the middle with your finger just like a doughnut, place on the idli moulds.
Steam them in an idli cooker for 7 - 10 minutes. Serve with a generous dollop of white butter (usually made at home).



SAVORY ADAI / UPPU ADAI



Ingredients
Rice flour - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Cooked black eyed beans - 3 tbsp
Green chillies / Dried red chillies - 2
Coconut, diced - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a Sprig
Asafetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Method
Heat some oil in a wok, add some mustard seeds, asafetida, green chillies or dried red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a minute, till the seeds stop spluttering. Add the water to it next and let it come to a boil. Add in the salt, coconut pieces, cooked black eyed beans and the roasted rice flour and stir well so that lumps don't form. Mix until it rolls up like the chappati dough. Remove from the gas. Allow it to cool.
Make balls out of it, flatten the balls and cook in an idli steamer for about 10 minutes.
Serve with a generous dollop of butter.

Enjoy the Adais 😋😋😋😋😋 as a reward of breaking the vratham👍 kept for your dear husbands or would-be husbands.

AFTER THE FESTIVAL
The thread you tied around the Godess's Idol can be removed once its worn out, it can be tied to a plant or branch of a tree or dispersed in water. Do not disperse in reserviors/lakes
The threads tied around the women can be tied to the Thali Cheradu (Kodi)/Mangalsutra if you wish to or tie it to a plant or the branch of a tree.
For unmarried girls the thread can be tied to the branch of a tree too.


"HAPPY KARADAYAN NOMBU TO ALL" 



Monday, September 16, 2013

WHEAT COCONUT BOLIS / THENGA BOLI / COCONUT POLI

Today is an important day as is not only the 8th day of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations but today is also Onam.
So, wishing all my readers a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and a Happy Onam. Hope to be more regular in blogging from now on, as I really miss blogging these days.

WHEAT COCONUT BOLIS / THENGA BOLI / COCONUT POLI
Whenever my sister comes from Chennai my husband Yo always asks her to bring Thenga Boli from Venkataramana Boli store. He absolutely adores them. This time my sister couldn’t make it and Yo was disappointed. So I decided to make it for him. Venkataramana Boli store Bolis are absolutely yummy. The coconut filling inside is quite generous and it’s totally yummy. We don’t get to eat it hot or fresh, so we usually heat it up a bit in the microwave, pour a dollop of fresh ghee and indulge in this sinful delight.
The original Venkataramana boli recipe has Maida(All purpose floor). But here I replaced Maida with wheat flour.
Wheat is a healthy option and doesn’t alter the taste too much and the Coconut poli tastes yummy anyways.


Ingredients
Freshly Grated coconut - 2 cups,
Jaggery - 2 cups
Wheat flour -2 cups
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Cardamom powder -1 tsp
Oil as required
Ghee as required

Method
For filling
In a wok, Add one tablespoon of ghee, then add the cardamom powder, Now add the grated jaggery, when the grated jaggery melts, add the grated coconut and blend both well, and cook further.
Grate the jaggery. Boil jaggery in water till it dissolves, and strain the syrup. Mix the jaggery syrup and grated coconut. Place on the stove and stir till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Roll into lemon - sized balls. Keep aside.

For dough
Mix wheat flour, a pinch of salt, oil and water and knead the dough. The dough should be soft. Keep this aside for about half an hour till it sets.
Then knead again, by punching it and folding it. Knead well and divide the dough into 20 equal portions.
On a well-floured board, gently roll out two polis, with the help of a rolling pin into a 6 inches disc. Place one and then spread a tablespoon of the coconut jaggery mixture evenly with the back of a spoon.

Place the other poli on top. The reason you do this in this style is to ensure that you get a lot of filling in each bite.

Roast each poli on a hot, dry girdle (tava). Add a teaspoon of ghee around the poli , once you see some spots on the backside flip over, you will see your Coconut polis puff up. Once done, remove on a plate. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee.

Tips :-
-        Another method to do it is, with greased palms, take one portion of the dough and flatten it into a disc of the size of the palm. Place a ball of "coconut jaggery" paste in the centre and fold the disc from all sides to cover the paste completely.
-       Instead of wheat flour you can use All purpose flour.
-      You can make the coconut filling one day prior to preparing the bolis if you desire.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

KOZHAKATTAI / UKDICHE MODAK / COCONUT & JAGGERY FILLED RICE DUMPLINGS


KOZHAKATTAI / UKDICHE MODAK / COCONUT & JAGGERY FILLED RICE DUMPLINGS
GANPATI BAPPA MORYA!!!!!
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, this festival marks the celebration of the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.
The festival, also known as Ganeshotsav ("festival of Ganesha") is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period). The total number of days change according to the waqxing moon and the Hindu calendar. This festival is celebrated  with great pomp all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Chhattisgarh. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius,[3] Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Fiji. (Info courtesy-Wikipedia)
One thing that is always made in my kitchen for my darling elephant God Ganesha is the Tenga Poornam Kozhakattai / modakams.
Modak has a special importance in the worship of the Hindu god Ganesh; modak is believed to be his favorite food, which begets him the moniker “modakapriya” (the one who likes modak) in Sanskrit.
During the Ganesh worship ceremony, known in India as Ganesh Chaturthi the puja always concludes with an offering of modakas to the deity and as prasad.
I make this in the South Indian style as well as the Maharashtrian style as I was born in Maharashtra where the same dish is known as Ukdiche Modak.
In Maharashtra
The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the outer cover is made from rice flour, or wheat flour mixed with khava(khoya) or maida flour. The dumpling can be fried or steamed. The steamed version is called ukdiche modak.
In South -India
The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the outer cover is made from rice flour and steam cooked.
I never found the steam cooked kozhakattais in any restaurant in Mumbai, India but was surprised to find this at the Ananda bhavan restaurant here in Singapore. But nothing can beat the home cooked ones especially when they are just out of the steamer/cooker. It’s best to eat this when it’s steaming hot. 
Ingredients
White rice – ¾ cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Elaichi (Cardamom) – 2-3
Ghee – ½ tbsp
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp
Method
To make the coconut jaggery filling (Tengai Poornam)
In a wok, add the ghee and the crushed cardamom minus the skin of the cardamom. Allow this to fry, then add in the jaggery and let it melt on a low flame. Once the jiggery starts to froth, add in the coconut, mix well and keep stirring over a low flame until the mix becomes one, there’s no water and the mix starts to leave the sides of the pan. This is fast to cook in a non-stick wok. Once done, keep aside and let it cool. Make small balls and keep aside.
Make the cover
Soak the rice in water for about 2-3 hours. Rinse well. Drain the water from the rice and grind it in a mixie (blender) by adding some water until it becomes a smooth batter. Add about 1 ½ tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt. Now, in a nonstick pan, Add in the batter and on a low flame cook it until the water starts to evaporate and the batter starts to thicken a bit like chappati dough but slightly more pliable than  that. Immediately put off the flame and allow it to cool. Knead the dough well. Add some oil and knead well.
How to make the kozhakattai
Grease your hands with some coconut oil. Take a small piece of the dough, roll it like a ball and then flatten it on your palm and shape it like a bowl. Gently press and shape the dough to make it bigger and ensure that it doesn’t have cracks. My grandmother always used to say that the best kozhakattai is when the cover is thin and not too thick and also there shouldn’t be cracks. Now place the Tengai Poornam or coconut jaggery filling that you rolled into balls and place it in the centre of your bowl shaped dough and close it, pulling some of the dough up into the shape of a monumental tower on the tip. Make a few and keep aside.
Steaming the kozhakattais
You can use an idli stand, a dhokla stand, a stainless steel or bamboo steamer or any plate, just grease the plate, line up the kozhakattais and cover with a lid and let it cook on steam for abour 5-10 minutes. Check the kozhakattais, when you find that they are a bit shiny and translucent, and not sticky when you touch them, they are ready. Sprinkle one tablespoon of water on them. And serve them on a plate for the lord, this is called as “Neivedyam”. Once that’s done, you can dunk into this steam cooked sweet delight. Always eat these hot. There are some things in life which can be got only at home and not in a restaurant or shop. This is one of them.

Tips
-Use coconut oil for best results.
-Use fresh grated coconut instead of the frozen or dessicated ones
-Grind the rice flour in a stone grinder instead of a mixie.
-You can use readymade rice flour instead of soaking and grinding the rice. But ensure that you use fine rice flour.
- If, at any time, the dough begins to be difficult to work with, add some water to the dough and knead the dough again. If the batter begins to stick to your fingers, dip your fingers into the oil.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs
YOUR TEXT HERE