Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beerakaya Tokku pachadi, Ridgegourd Peel Chutney ~ Andhra Special!

Growing up, Ridge gourd was not a vegetable I liked to eat. I have always known Amma making a dal with this, though I never complained, somehow managed to eat without making a fuss. After marriage, when I made that dal, I got strong opposion from hubby dear for this. Reason being that that dal can never be spicy. Amma even now fondly says that she can't make it as well as her mom did. So Ridge gourd doesn't find itself much on our table. So imagine my surprise when Athamma re introduced this as Kura. Give a vegetable to Athamma and she is bound to come out with either a kura or a chutney.

Since hubby dear has no problem in eating this vegetable as kura, we started including this again. We call anything without dal in it as kura and normally taken with chapatis, though it tastes great with rice too. As its chapatis for dinner without fail, making curry with different vegetable makes my life easy. So every 15 days once, we find ourselves peeling a ridge gourd for dinner. Amma also used to prepare a chutney with the Ridge gourd peels. And I remembered the chutney while cooking with the vegetable.

Amma normally prepares that tokku or chutney when she peels off too much of the skin. Since the dal doesn't really require so much skin, the peel finds itself changed into a chutney. And that's what we did too!

This is a very simple one. You can ingredients like Cumin, Coriander seeds. But we have not included any of those.

Ingredients needed:

Ridge gourd Peels - 1 cup
Onions - 1 small
Tomato - 1 small
Red chillies - 4-5
Tamarind - 1"
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp

Beera kaya Kura, Bitter gourd stir fry, Ridge gourd peel Chutney with Rice ~ our dinner!

Method to prepare

Wash and wipe the ridge gourd. Peel the skin off the Ridge gourd. Chop the other vegetables.

Heat a pan with oil. Sauté the onions, tomatoes, Red chilies and finally the peels. Let it get fried well.

Remove and let it cool. Once cooled, add the salt and tamarind and grind to a smooth paste.

This goes excellently with chapatis or hot rice with ghee!

This is my entry for Weekend herb Blogging hosted by Wandering Chopsticks.. WHB is an event started by Kalyn!

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Today marks the last day in Recipe Marathon and that depresses me very much. I have really enjoyed being a part of the team running along with dishes everyday. I wish to thank Siri and Dhivya for coming out with such fabulous idea!

Will update on the menu later, do come back to check!

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Lunch Box Series : LBS#34

Today I had great difficult thinking of what I am going to write. It happens at times that I am lost to think of anything. This blog has now come to mean my way of recording small details in my everyday life and I am most happy sharing it with my readers. It gives such good feeling in sharing certain experiences and titbits. Like the books binding yesterday! Hubby dear was telling me that I seem to have triggered so many memories in people with that talk about binding books! This reminds me that Konda again was disappointed getting up this morning, to see her books still not bound. I told her that I will do it by Sunday.

Thinking about the twins, they are utterly bored at home. So we are planning to put them in play school to spend some hours. Thinking about the prospect of leaving them away at a strange place, makes me want to cry. But I guess they will also be ready for school in couple of years. I can still remember the interview we had for Konda's lower KG. Both of us were really panicky, wondering what they were going to ask her and how she was going to respond. They showed her some wild animals and asked where they live. She replied wild Sanctuary. The teachers were taken aback. She was 3 years then. We didn't know who taught her that. But anyway the questions that followed, were much simpler and thankfully the interview got over fast. I am now dreading the interview we might have to attend for the twins!

I am back to thinking hard on the lunch box series, now that Konda's school is reopening. For today's box, its going to Dal with greens and a side dish.We normally make it a point to prepare dal with greens atleast twice a week.And this variety of green is what we call the Seru keerai or one type of Amarnath.

Today's Lunch Box had

Seru akku Pappu ~ Seru Keerai parrupu
Beetroot Stir Fry
Curd Rice

Serukeera Pappu ~ Dal with Amarnath leaves

Ingredients Needed:

Seru Keerai - 1 bunch
Tur Dal - 75 gms
Red chillies - 5 - 6
Tamarind - a small piece
Onion - 1 small one
Garlic - 2 - 3 pods
Tomato - 2 medium
Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Method to prepare:

Clean and wash the greens well in running water. Let it drain off the water. Chop it roughly

Clean the dal and keep aside. Chop the onions, tomatoes.

Heat the pressure cooker, add oil, then add the mustard, urad dal. .

Once the mustard splutter, add Onions, Curry leaves, Garlic and Red Chillies. Fry till onions are brown, then add the chopped greens. Fry till the raw smell leaves.

Add tur dal and fry well. Then add chopped tomatoes, Tamarind. Add required water. Pressure cook it for 2 - 3 whistles.

Remove the lid, drain the excess water. and mash it with dal masher. You will not be able to mash well if the water is still in the dal. Add salt and add back the water. Cook on high flame for few mins, till you see the dal getting thicker. Remove!

Dal is ready.

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Will update the news from my Marathon runners soon!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicken Masti!

Finally Konda's summer holidays are coming to an end. And I feel so guilty that we didn't take her anywhere during the vacation. Two months just flew, with almost the same thing happening day in and day out! Not that she ever complained, she doesn't actually know about it. She was happy that her Ammamma was here. So she happily spent most days with her, hoping here and there. Even her big bag of books have arrived. I now have the task of binding them pending.

I always loved covering and labeling the notebooks and books. I remember my school days, when it wasn't really a rule to bind with brown paper. I used to select the choicest and glossy news papers for the cover. And bind each one according to different theme. During any of those dull class hour, I found myself looking at those beautiful scenery and being promptly transported to that place! How wonderful it used to be. So sad that kids these days can't enjoy that. Its got to be brown paper now. Then we used to get those lovely attractive labels. I used to select such cute ones and enjoyed writing my name, subject and so many things. These days, the school give their labels printed with their names. I really feel kids are being deprived of so many creative outlets.

Coming to today's recipe, its a chicken that was prepared few days back. Never got around blogging on it. Since this is another one of self created recipe, for want of a better name, hubby suggested this name! He said it was really flavorsome and had a ring of masti around it! What better name than this.

Ingredients Needed:

To be marinated

Chicken - 500 gms
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Curds / Yogurt - 1 ladleful ( app 50 gms)
Turmeric a pinch

For the gravy

Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 1 medium
Cinnamon + Cloves + Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Poppy seeds powder - 1/2 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Mint / Pudina - about 5-6 big leaves
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Coriander leaves for garnish

Method to prepare:

Clean and cut chicken into medium size pieces. Let it drain. Then in a bowl, take the chicken, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and curds. Mix well and marinate for 2 hrs.

Heat a pressure cooker with oil. Sauté the onions, when they turn brown, add the tomatoes. Let it become mushy. Then add the marinated chicken along with the marinade. Cook on high flame for 5 mins, while you stir it. Then simmer it down.

Then add the spice powder. fry well. Then add poppy seeds powder. Followed by chilli and coriander powder. Add the mint and coriander leaves. Sauté well. Adjust salt and add 1/2 cup water. Replace lid and put for 1 whistle or till chicken is cooked.

Once the pressure is off, cook again till the gravy is thick and the chicken is nicely coated with it.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Notes: Since grinding the poppy seeds are so difficult, this time we ground about 100 gms and store it in fridge.

The spice powder that I have mentioned is a roasted combination of the whole spices. We roast them and grind to a fine powder. This gives a great taste to the non - veg dishes. Depending on different recipes, we use this powder. Will make it once for the Basic series. Its a great one to have it ready in the pantry!

This one was quite spicy, so adjust the spice and chili according to your taste!

Marination can be less depending on your needs.
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In the recipe marathon for today!

Arundathi made some yummy Mooli and Aloo Parathas today!
Laks whipped up cool and refreshing Mor Kootu. best for these hot summers!
Siri has come out with some wonderful sketchs on Mango
Ranji made a yummy Chocolate Chip Banana bread.
Swati cooked up a combo of Aloo and Parwal.
Bhags says 'Go Healthy' today with her 'Oats bars'.
Divya made a yummy looking curry with Black eyed beans.
Dhivya whip up some cool Brown Rice patties with her leftovers.
Raaga made spaghetti with bechamel sauce.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mango Sevai ~ Rice Noodles with Raw Mango!

Raw Mango or Ripe one? I was always plagued by this question and never could decide if I liked the raw one better or the ripe. I guess I just got to conclude that I love both the best! Come summer and every street you pass by, will be flooded with colour of yellow and orange of mangoes all over the place. Not to mention the bright green raw mangoes. My most favorite one in the raw mango is, of course the variety that we call as kili muku manga. Its not very sour but mild enough to be eaten as such. Its also the variety that's so very popular in the beach sides.

When Arundati announced the theme to be Mango for the WBB, I was really confused wondering what I can make for a brunch. Dishes with raw mangoes have always been chutneys, Mango Rice at home. Ripe ones have always been Ice cream, Milkshakes or Lassi. All these were not suitable for a brunch. I was still thinking on these terms when the thought struck that I could do a Mango Sevai as in a Lime Sevai or Coconut Sevai. Thinking about it, I was surprised why it took me so much time to think of this variety.

After finally deciding on the dish I was going to prepare, getting it actually done was another task. For sevai is not something we use often. Sevai is the dried Rice Noodles that's so much relished and cherished in Tamil Nadu. Very interesting varieties are prepared with this and enjoyed. If you have time and energy you can very well make these at home or else, enjoy the luxury of ready to cook sevais.

I planned for a Saturday brunch, then for a Sunday. Nothing worked out as planned. Finally the poor mango that was to be used, was not raw anymore. To cut the long story short, I was able to finally get this done today!

When you are in a hurry for a quick breakfast fix, this will work out fine. Or you want to enjoy your weekend mornings, this is perfectly fine. I just spent some 10 - 15 mins time getting this done. I loved the difference in the pictures, one is taken indoors and the other, out in direct sun.

Ingredients Needed:

Rice Sevai - 2 cups (200 gms)
Water - 6 cups

Seasonings

Raw Mango, grated - 3/4 cup
Mustard + Urad dal - 1 tsp
Bengal Gram - 2 tsp
Cashew Nuts - 5 whole
Green Chillies - 2 finely chopped
Curry leaves few
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Boil the water in a pan and when it starts boiling add the sevai. Simmer for 2 mins. It gets cooked fast so keep stirring and let it not get over cooked.

Drain it over a sieve and keep it aside. Grate the mango and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard and urad dal. When it splutters, add the bengal gram, cashew nuts. Then add the curry leaves and green chillies. Add the turmeric powder. Sauté well. Then stir in the grated mango and fry well for 1 min in sim.

When you find that mango is kind of cooked well, add in the cooked sevai and mix well. Sim for 5 mins. And its done!

My plate of Mango Sevai is off to dear Arundati who is hosting this month's WBB, an event started by the lovely doctor!

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I would also like to thank my dear blogger friends who were sweet enough to think of me and passed me some awards. Thank you Gaurav, Kamala, Uma, Priya, Siri, Vandana, Ranji. I really appreciate your kindness and your support! If I have failed to mention some name, please accept my apologies. My thanks to you too!

On our day 12 of running the Recipe Marathon we have :

Anu as usual is leading the crowd with a beautiful scoop of Rice
Followed by Siri who is carrying another bowl of Rice now with Dondakaya!
Lakshmi has come out with a Varuthu araitha kootu
Ranji with a yummy Puttu and kadala
Swati has dished out some real yummy looking Paneer Jalfrezi
Divya has come out with Tomatillo Salsa

Lets see what the others bring along!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sadda Roti, Bajra Savory Pancake ~ Roti Mela!

I was away for a day and I feel I have so much to catch up! I had energy just enough to write on the post and hit the publish button and then I was off. I took a day off from work and just spent the entire day in bed. Luckily by night I was back to normal. But looks like I can never miss my Monday blues and I had them on Tuesday!

Though I always loved going to school, butterflies literally ran around by Sunday evening. I never missed a day in school, even on a rainy day when the school was closed, I used to go and confirm that its closed before returning home. Still I used to be all apprehensive thinking what I was going to face and it never was easy growing up on that. College was worse as it was something I never liked. I guess its very important to make your child enjoy their school or college, as those are something that can never be recreated in ones life! But since its something that I can't change, I got to live with it.

But then I found it stranger that these Monday blues haunt me even after I started working. Well I simply now live with that! Can't do much about it right. Just like these, there are certain food that keeps you going just by the thoughts. One such item is Sadda roti or Bajra savory pancake or flatbread or whatever you may call it. It is a dish from my childhood. As I have said, my granny used to get this flour from our native and Amma used to make different dishes with this flour quite regularly. My most favorite one was the savory rotti that she. Even now thinking about it, I am craving for another bite. You just got to taste it once, to get hooked to it.

Very authentic Andhra and rustic at that!

I loved it every time Amma made this for me and I was always left reaching more for it even after it got over! I was not able to get the latest picture of it and was able to find this old one in my draft. Will upload with a clearer picture when I prepare it again.

Ingredients Needed:

Sadda Pindi - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Green Chilies - 2 long
Salt to taste
Water to make the dough
Oil for cooking


Method to prepare:

Take the flour in a bowl and add the onions, chilles and salt. Mix well and slowly add water, enough to gather it to a stiff dough. The consistency should be just enough to allow you to pat down as a regular circle without breaking.

Take a wet cloth and divide the dough into equal balls. Take each one and gently press it down using your fingers. If you feel the dough is stickling to your fingers, dab your fingers with water and again pat it out evenly.

Heat a tawa and smear oil over it. Once its hot, simmer the flame and gently remove the patted roti and transfer to the tawa. Since you are using portable cloth, you have the luxury of taking the cloth near the pan and transfer it immediately!

Let it cook on one side and gently flip to the other side. Apply oil and cook well. When you see brown spots, and generally looks cooked, you can remove.

This tastes great as hot or even cold. Amma makes Ground nut chutney to go with this, but I love it as such!

Now this post has again made me go crazy for it! This I am so happy to have as part of my Roti Mela!

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Arundathi is running ahead of me with Cake!

With get back with what others bring along once they catch up with us!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Sadda Dosa, Bajra flour Pancake ~ 101 Dosa Varieties!

I am getting back to my dosa varieties after a long time . I thought I will attend to it with this recipe. Sadda pindi as I said, is quite a common flour at home. Athamma makes it a point that she has these at regular interval during week. I love dosas of any type and this is no different. This finds itself at our table when we are bored with the other types of dosas. And I must say, its very tasty, not to say healthy!

I am down with fever and the usual other siblings of that, so I dont' find myself energetic to key in long stories related to this dosa, though there are quite a many stories spun around this!

Ingredients Needed

Sadda Pindi / Bajra flour - 1 cup
Wheat flour - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Garnish

Onions - 1 medium
Coriander leaves some
Green chilies - 2 finely chopped




Method to prepare:

In a bowl, take the flour and mix the wheat flour and salt. Then slowly add the water. Mix well as not to have any lumps.

Wheat flour is added just to get the pancake off the tawa, you can ignore it, if you want.

Heat a tawa, smear oil, pour a ladle ful of batter over the hot tawa. Spinkle oil around the edges, so that it comes out well. Before flipping over, garnish the onions, corinader and chillies.

Then flip it over. and cook well.

Serve it with gun powder or ground nut chutney.

On the marathon running, we have!

Siri comes out with her favorite health drink
Dhivya is again tempting me with Choco-Date and Walnut Brownies
Ranji is out with some yummy looking chicken drumettes.
Finally Swati is out with her recipe of chole bhatura
Arundati comes out with some classic Saffron Risotto
Tzatziki who? Don't ask me, ask Bhags!
Raaga makes a discovery with spinach in coconut milk!
Divya turns lady's finger into the authentic south feast!
Lakshmi comes out with some yummy discs made with brinjal!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sadda Garallu ~ Pearl Millet Jaggary pancake!

International Food League is another of the ideas from the famous duo, Dhivya and Siri! Left to themselves, they can come up with some of the most craziest things on earth. But I do have to say, I willing fall into whatever plans they have! Their enthusiasm and spirit is hard not to rub on you. And most of times, I am nodding my head even before I could understand what it is. IFL is one such thing. It was one of those days, when I dare to log in while the twins were loitering around. I just couldn't keep away from checking on the blog. My luck, just when Siri pinged me, my twins started pulling me around and I just couldn't even type a letter. Poor girl was telling me all excited about the new thing they thought and there I was, helpless as I saw the mouse and keyboard flying in different directions. Finally I had to log off hurriedly after muttering something to her.

Only the next morning I understood what Siri was saying and I immediately logged in to Dining Hall and checked the post. It sounded so much fun. Do read more about the game and rules here!

I pinged in a private message to Siri and got this puzzle!

I am old and ancient and in many places a staple
health and longevity are wonders I wear like a lapel

My different forms give different taste
one form is enjoyed in the mornings - eaten in haste!
Another form is in form of soups and porridge
Or in forms of plain or stuffed breads

I thrive in the hot summers..But make you feel good and warm
I am good to people although many just use me for feeding birds and cattle in farms
I am just no mean and lowly grass with striking resemblance to maize
I have 'pearls' of wisdom to share if you want, to listen to me with grace

People with celiac turn to me
I give you fiber and irons, so rich i am for the world to see
Now sit tight and give it a hard thought - be clever be sane
to guess who I am, the highly nutritious and healthful whole grain.

I was so sure of the answer yet I sent it as Wheat to Siri. And she gave another clue. I was banging my head for being an idiot! It was Millet. Siri was referring to Bajra or Sadda as we say in Telugu. I said I have Ragi, which is called Finger Millet.

Both Bajra and Ragi are quite common at home. So I went along with Bajra to go Siri's thoughts. Bajra is known as Sadda or Sajja in Telugu.

With Sajja Pindi or Bajra flour, we make different dishes like garralu, Rotti and Dosa. I made all the three for the IFl! Each one was really enjoyed with much relish.

Sadda Garallu ~ Pearl Millet Jaggary pancake.

Ingredients Needed;

Sajja Pindi - 2 cups
Jaggary - 1 cup
Cardamom - 3/4 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Poppy Seeds - 2 tsp
Oil for cooking the pancakes



Method to prepare:

Soak the jaggary for half hour for it to get soft. Melt it in about 1 cup water over heat to get a jaggary liquid. This should not be cooked beyond the point the jaggary gets dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool. Strain it if you find any scum is found in the jaggary. Then add the cardamom and let it just get heated up so that the cardamom leaves its aroma.

In a bowl, take the Sadda pindi, add 1 tbsp of grated coconut to the flour. Mix well. Then slowly add the jaggary water and gather to form a dough. The consistency of the dough should be such that, when you make balls and pat it down, it should get rolled out and should not break on the edges.

For rolling out, you can use plastic bags, wet cloth or banana leaf. Divide into equal balls. and gently pat it down to form a 5 to 6 inch circles. Press the poppy seeds and the remaining grated coconut over it, so that its sticks.

Heat a tawa, spread oil and gently remove the patted pancake over it and cook on both sides. These can be deep fried, but we prefer them shallow fried garallu.

Everything got to be cooked on medium heat as else it might turn little bitter.



This is my International Food League entry and I am also sending this to dear EC, who is hosting the Think Spice, Think Cardamom event, an event started by Sunita.

I have been thinking for long about a cardamom dish but we mostly add them as flavoring spice in most of our sweet dishes. And this garralu tastes yummy with cardamom aroma teasing us to core!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rava Upma Recipe

Ok, I planned for something else, but finally had to settle with this as that post has to wait! Well I guess its so true with Rava Upma being a one to substitute in emergency situations. I have always heard many say that they don't like Rava Upma but I have also seen people who love this. My Dad being one of them. He love Upma so much that Amma makes it specially for him on days when there is already something for breakfast or dinner. Or maybe its the way Amma makes that's even I liked to eat it then. Infact it may sound too immodest, but I like the way I make it myself. Yeah there it is, the truth!

But somehow we have got into a habit of not making this very often at home. Athamma says she likes my version than her's. Though I couldn't find any fault with hers. Still it happens that they never finds itself in our table. The rare time we make this, is usually those days when we are hard pressed on many fronts and need to have a quick dinner fixed! Once hubby dear asked if its very difficult to get this done, I was just telling him that its not so and other things, by which time the upma was done. He was shocked to see that it took just about 10 to 15 mins to get done. He asked me why I am not making this when Upma takes so less time. I said its a case of having a phobia on a certain thing. You like it once you start eating it, but avoid maximum to eat it in the first place!

But I must say, though this is a simple dish, its not easy to get the perfect tasting Rava Upma!


Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 10- 15 mins
Serves - 2

Ingredients Needed

Rawa / Semolina – 1 cup
Onions chopped – 1 cup
Green chilies – 2 long
Water – 2 & 1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Ghee - 2 tbsp

For Seasoning:

Mustered – ¼ spoons
Channa dal – 1 spoon
Urad dal – ½ spoon
Curry leaves – 5 to 6
Cashew Nuts for topping.
Oil – 1 tbsp
Peanuts - 1 tbsp (opt)

Method to prepare:

Roast the rava in Ghee for 5 mins. Once its done, remove and keep it aside.

Add oil to the tawa, when it is hot, add the mustard and let it splutter. Then add curry leaves, chopped chillies, Bengal gram and cashew nuts. Let it fry for 2 mins.

Then add the chopped onions, sauté till onions turn slightly brown in colour on the sides.

Now add water and salt, cover with lid. Bring it to boil.

When the water starts boiling, sim it and add the roasted rava slowly so that lumps are not formed. Add Ghee around the tawa. Cover it again and let it get cooked for 5 mins. Remove the lid and again add ghee around the borders. Mix well and let it rest covered for another 5 mins.

It will be done by this time!

Traditionally authentic Andhra dish is Pesarattu Upma. But Upma on its own tastes great!



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Friday, May 23, 2008

Lunch Box Series : LBS#33

The love I have for Pulihora can't be actually summarized in words! Still I may try to make an attempt.From time immemorial, I remember Amma making Puliyodarai or Tamarind Rice, every week without fail. And every week we look forward for the day to arrive. Infact Pulihora became so regular as a Saturday lunch, we decided we skip it for couple of weeks, just to bring a freshness to our menu. But end of two weeks, everybody felt its not worth spending a Saturday without Puliyodarai to highlight our lunch.

Saturday and Sunday menus have always been a long one at parents place. I continue to follow the Sunday sentiments, though Saturday is not the same at my home off late.Well Amma was able to follow that more because all of us used to have the weekend off, so she could always plan elaborate lunches and dinners. But with us both working, we find its not really possible to plan for anything more than decided 3-4 items. Amma makes the typical Pulihora, which never fails to impress our taste buds. Infact my sil's family love this so much that I always have this as a regular menu.

This time too, it was different. But Athamma said I can make this to be packed for lunch as they were traveling the day. When I told Amma that I am going to make this, she was all excited in telling me the new recipe that she tried recently. She got this recipe from Dad's friends, who stayed with them, during their trip and Aunty, who is a tamil brahmin, prepared this for their travel. Amma said that it tasted like the temple puliyodai that we get here. Nothing can beat that in my opinion. So this time when I wanted to prepare this, I asked Amma for the recipe and got down preparing. Since I was preparing for 15 people, the mix took pretty long time to get done. But the result was just awesome. I managed to have some for our lunch box too and it was simply great! Made a new variety of potato fry to go with the tamarind rice and the combination was simply too good.

If you are looking for a classic Tamil Bhahmin Puliyodarai recipe, then this is it!

Today's Lunch Box had

Pulihora or Puliyodarai
Potatoes with Tamarind
Curd Rice

Pulihora or Puliyodarai ~ Tamarind Rice in TamBrahmin style

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Cuisine: Tamil Nadu

Ingredients needed:

For the rice:

Cooked rice - 2 cups (400 gms)
Asafetida - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

For the gravy or pulikachal

Tamarind - size of a lemon.
Red chillies - 5
Bengal Gram - 1 tbsp
Ground Nut - 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1
Salt to taste
Oil - 150 ml

For powder (dry roasted)

Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp
Bengal Gram - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies - 10 nos
Whole peppercorn - 10 nos
Fenugreek - 1/4 tsp

Separate powder
Sesame seeds - 2 tsp (opt) (dry roasted)

Method to prepare:

Soak tamarind in water for 30 mins. Extract thick pulp from it.

Cook rice and spread it over a big bowl. Add oil to make sure the grains are separate. When the rice is still hot, add the hing and turmeric. Mix well. This gives out such a beautiful colour and aroma, its just too good.

Meanwhile, dry roast all the ingredients for the powder and grind it once it is cool. Excepting Sesame powder, everything else needs to be ground together. Powder the Sesame seeds and store it separately.

Take a kadai, heat oil and add Bengal gram, Urud dal, Ground nuts, mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add curry leaves and red chilies.

Add the tamarind pulp to the above, salt, add required amount of water to boil. Once its boiled well and becomes semi solid, add the ground powder and cook well for 10 mins on sim or till oil comes out.

Once its done, mix it to the rice. Adjust salt and finally mix the ground sesame powder and mix again.

As any tamarind rice, this tastes great when prepared in the morning and had for lunch. Also a wonderful dish for traveling packing.

Potatoes with Tamarind

Ingredients Needed:

Potatoes - 250 gms
Onion - 1 big
Tamarind - size of marble.
Salt to taste
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp

Seasonings
Curry leaves
Mustard + Urad dal - 1/2

Method to prepare:

Boil potatoes in a pressure cooker. Best way to pressure cook potatoes is by cutting them halve. Once they are cool, peel the skin and roughly chop them to small pieces. The potatoes need not be fully cooked. If they retain they shape, its good.

Soak Tamarind in water and extract pulp.

Heat a pan with oil. Add the seasoning. Once they splutter, then add the onion juliennes, salt, turmeric and sauté well till they are brown. Then stir in the cooked potatoes. Mix well. Add the tamarind pulp. Cook on high for 2 mins. Sim

Then add the chilli and coriander powder. Mix well. Sim for 10 - 15 mins or till you see that everything is well blended.

This goes very well with tamarind. You can even make a deep variety of this by adding less water in the tamarind and more oil while you roast it.

We normally add tomatoes or else just like that. This is the first time I made with puli and the taste was yummy!

We are into our 7th day of running for the marathon and I have two buddies running more faster than me!

Siri did her sprint with an yummy Egg puffs!
Anu is out with a tempting Streamed Wantons!
Lak is teasing with a Pudina Rice!
Divya comes out with an yummy looking Rava Kesari!
Swati is out with a authentic Momos and Dimsums
Dhivya is out with a beet!
Ranji dazzles us with a Papdi Pizza!
And know how Bhags got Hooked!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Onion Chapati ~ for Roti Mela!

I was seen hoofing last evening! Well rather mentally I must confess. For finally hubby dear took the camera for a check up and found himself in the most embarrassing situation. The camera was all hale and healthy and the service man was giving looks that asked if the heat has affected us! Hubby dear called me from the shop and told me this news and I was mentally jumping up with joy! He said I can now cook how many ever dishes I want in the night, so I have two new dishes ready! I have a chicken dish and a chapati! I will reserve the chicken for later and proceed with my favorite chapati variety.

I am sure this must be a common dish at many homes, but this is my favorite one and I can't miss this out from my Roti Mela. Amma used to make this for me whenever she makes non-veg for others. We call it Onion Chapati as its mixed with onions and spices and roll out as chapatis and cooked. How wonderful! Infact, I used to look forward to those days when it was non-veg for dinner, as I would get to have my lovely Onion Chapatis. Dad and hubby dear would feel bad that I won't have anything interesting for dinner, but I always tell them that, nothing can beat this chapati in its taste and my love for it.

The aroma that comes out while you roast the onions and chapati in oil, you got to experience to know what I am talking about. The many dinners when I have longingly sat for a feast with Onion Chapatis, my folks would wonder what's so special about it. Infact as Amma used to make these only for me, she would want to know why I used to like it so much. But it was a real treat when, one day she happen to eat this and got hooked to it. So after that, whenever she made these for me, she used to make it for herself too. I always wonder how small and simple dishes like these, kindle so much of our childhood memories and I long for those days back!

Still I find it strange that I don't find myself preparing my childhood favorites so often. And those times I do, I get elated when Konda likes them too. I know I got to give her such special memories for her to remember on. Yet it becomes special when our kids love the same things we liked as kids. So I was happy to remember that taste again, as I was cooking this after a long time. Last night when it was chicken masti at home, I remembered this chapati and made for myself. And hubby dear remembered that Rhim gim song and played it for me! What else can I ask for, I felt so many memories washing by me!

Ingredients Needed

Wheat Four/ Atta - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp (opt)
Turmeric powder a pinch (opt)
Butter / Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp for cooking
Water to make the dough

Makes about 3 chapatis


Method to prepare:

Chop Onions as juliennes. Coriander very finely. In a big bowl, take the wheat flour. Mix the salt and ghee. Rub well.

Then add the chopped onions along with the spices. Mix well so that the onions are coated with flour. Then slowly add the water to the flour. Gather them together and make a soft, pliable dough.

If you want, you can let this rest for 10 mins, else roll them out immediately.

Heat a tawa and once its hot, place these rolled out chapatis and cook on both sides applying oil. Takes about 1-2 mins for it to be cooked.

Serve this with pickle and curds, the best combo I have ever taste.

But this capsicum fry was also simply too good. It was just fried in oil along with onions and then finally topped with groundnut powder. Tastes great.

Simple way of making chapatis can be found here.

These onion chapatis are on its way to Sarah, who is hosting an event called Tastes To Remember! how wonderful! I have almost most of my dishes reminding me of my childhood days!


****************************

Well we are going steady into the 6th day of the marathon.

Siri comes with a love smitten Tomato Coconut chutney!
And Anu is going to hide while eating a Raspberry and Blueberry Muffin!
Lak has come out with a Kashayam
Raaga has dished out some Vegetable Focaccia.
When we find we need to do some poriyal, we think of this and yeah Divya has done the same - Cauliflower-Peas poriyal
And Ranji is out with a Jhovan
While you are at it, pls be sure to check out Divi's colourful chips!
Not to be left out, swati has made it a point to dish out a Coriander Mint Chutney!
And you think Bhags can be far away, nay check out her Baked Chapati

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Andhra Mutton Pepper Fry!

During my initial stint in cooking non-veg dishes, I used to be a real pain! I normally don't taste the dishes when I am cooking it, mostly add by instinct. But there are times when I feel I need too. And if this needs comes while cooking non vegetarian dishes, I am at loss! So I generally have to depend on whoever is close by, who can act as taster! Works out perfect if Athamma is there, as Amma does not eat non-veg on most days and now she has completely stopped it.

But there was a time when we were just three of us and there won't be anybody to tell me if its fine. Those times, I could be a real pain. Once the dish is done, when I serve to hubby dear, I look so fondly at him for him to give his verdict. Poor soul, hardly gets a chance to swallow, before I ask him how it tastes. He will look at me with a given up look and says "Arre, let me first eat, how can I say how it is without even eating it!" but I can hardly wait for the results. This used to happen with every Non Veg dish that I make. There was also a time, I used to think of sending a sample to Amma to taste. In the end finally, I trust my smell sense to know everything is good.

Now after many years of cooking non veg, I don't normally get the urge to check it, still might be a good thing to have a tester around! This Mutton Pepper fry is my Dad's and hubby dear's favorite dish and I was happy it came out well. Its quite spicy, so got to be careful with the chilli and pepper!

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time 15 mins
Cuisine: Andhra

Ingredients needed:

Mutton -1/2 kg
Onion - 200 gms
Tomato - 100 gms
Ginger - Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
Oil for cooking

To be Dry Roasted

Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seed 1/2 tsp
Pepper corns - 4 nos
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1 small piece
cloves - 2
cardamom - 2

Method to prepare;

Wash and pressure cook Mutton pieces with 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric. Drain the cooked mutton from water and keep the water aside.

Chop Onions, Tomatoes. Keep aside

Take a Kadai, dry roast all the masala. Once cool, grind to a fine powder.

Then heat Oil, add curry leaves. Then add onions. Sauté till the onions are brown. then add ginger garlic paste. cook well. Then add tomatoes, chili powder and mutton pieces, cook on high flame till the tomatoes are soft.

Then add the ground masala and sim for 5 mins, then add the water and bring to boil. Cook on high flame until the water evaporates leaving a nice thick gravy. Now fry the pieces until oil comes out. Once the water is completely gone, each piece gets a nice coating around it. In the end, add the remaining pepper powder over the pieces and stir it well.

Finally garnish with finally chopped coriander leaves and with lemon, onions.


I am sending this to Spicy Tasty’s Fortune Cooking Contest. Dad is a Leo and the food item they had matched was lamb. So I was quite happy to find something to prepare for him.

**********************************
Latest News on the Marathon, all my fellow runners are steady with their updates even on day 5!

Lak is fooling around with Mangoes! While Siri is seen melting us with sandwich.
Anu has come out with a bell pepper dish. Dhivi comes out with fried Herb Mozzerella!
Ranji comes up with Homemade Banana Chips While , Divya is out with a Carrot Rice
Swati is out with a bending beckham theme, that is with Aloo Gobi
And Bhags is out with Spanakopitta, same as our desi puffs!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kasara Kaya Vepudu!

Life at times can be real case of irony! What else can I say on my current situation. Just when I am needed to blog on recipes everyday for the Recipe Marathon, I am finding myself without anything on hand. As I said, my camera has given up on me. The flash has gone for a toss and so I can't take any shots in the night, which is when I prepare something new! The camcorder doesn't have a flash and so can't take night shots again!

One fine morning, the camera was all foggy after a night out in a too chilled AC room. My kids, I have seen, sleep only if the AC is at a particular temperature. Even a point less and you will see them waddling away in the dark. So this particular night, somehow it got too chill and the lens got foggy. Though it was clear by the evening, the flash stopped working. I have been managing with it for a while but now its completely given up on me. Only option is either get it repaired or buy a new one So I need suggestions on which model is good! That is to take food pictures of course.:)

Until I get my camera back in action, I might have to ransack my draft for pending recipes and uphold my name! I can't look wanting at the time most required right! So till then you might see some unrelated recipes coming out daily! What else can be so unrelated than this stir fry on Kasara Kaya, a native of Ananthapuram District in Andhra! Infact I did a guess on this vegetable and not many knew what it was. I am still not sure of the English name for it. But I kind of think it might be called Indian gourd but then again I am not sure.

This is something that my in laws love and my father in law gets these for Athamma. Though this was prepared in my SIL's place! The entire kilo of this vegetable was cleaned and cooked much to their merry! It tastes most like bitter gourd and if you are fan of bitter gourd, you might like this. Though I am not. I clicked these for sheer need to record!

Preparation Time : 20 -30 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Cuisine : Andhra

Ingredients Needed

Kasara Kaya - 250 gms
Onions - 1 medium
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds + Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Grated Coconut - 1 tsp
Fried Gram - 1 tsp
Garlic - 2-3 pods

Method

The vegetable looks as shown in the picture. You need to remove the tips. They actually come off if you break them. Since these are small in size, its takes a while to clean all of them.

Once its all removed, clean in running water and chop the onions.

Heat a pan. Add oil, then temper with mustard and urad dal. Then sauté onions till its pink. To this add the washed kasara kaya.

Add salt and turmeric. Simmer for 10 mins. Cover it and check after 10 mins. Stir and add chili powder. Mix well. and let it get cooked for another 10 mins. You know its cooked by seeing the green colour turning brown or black.

Once its cooked, garnish it with a powder made with coconut and garlic. You can even add the fried gram powder. We don't add coriander powder. This goes well with dal and rice.

This is my entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Cate from Sweetnicks, an event started by Kalyn.

Other runners:

Siri - Moroccan Spaghetti
Lak - How to set Curds
Dhivya - Banana Cake
Ranji - Methi Dosa
Raaga made a Vegetable Dosa
Bhags tries her Lucky number seven
Swati comes out with Methi wali Kaddu ki Sabzi
Anu comes with dripping Sauces!
Divya gets some snack Moong Dal Sundal

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Majjiga Mirapakaya, Moor milagai, Dahi Mirchi!

Mor Milagai is a class of its own! I guess its also referred as Majjige Menasu/Balaka in kannada or can be translated as Yogurt Chillies or Moor Molagai in Tamil. This is a great combo with Peruguannam or Thayir Sadam. And not to say about eating these with Dal rice that hubby dear loves! Andhra is known for its affectation with chillies, be it red green or anything chili! So it was no surprise to see Athamma saying that hubby dear loves Majjiga mirapa with Pappu annam.

Having grown up in Madras, I am more familiar with Moor Milagai. Have always loved eating these with the thayir sadam. Amma takes up this task come summer! One incident I remember was the first time that Amma was trying this out during my high school. We use aluminum utensils for deep frying and certain cooking and Amma thought drying these yogurt soaked chilies would be good in them, she did. Only to find that the chillies were leaving a very stark imprints in the utensils. She had to discard the vessel because of that. Other than those couple times, Amma had not attempted making these again.

So I was very excited at the prospect that Athamma wanted to make these at home. I believe she used to make these very regularly at their place. When she visits her daughter's place during summer, she comes back with a big batch of these Majjiga Mirapa Kayyalu and Biyam Vaduyallu because hubby dear loves these. I wanted to know how Amma used to make these and found them to be the same. When we found ourselves with a big batch of long firm green chillies, we couldn't wait for longer. It was fun watching Athamma soaking these in curds everyday and running around with the vessel to catch the sun in its zenith! She says these dries well when spread during the mid day. And you can imagine how hot it would be anytime of the day here! She also insisted I take all the different stages in its drying. But just my luck, excepting for few shots, I am unable to locate the rest!

But apart from these, you also have the hotels here offering a handful when you order packed lunch. So I have my share always reserved with my colleagues who order typical tamilan meals. Mor Milagi are revered items and much in demand! But I make sure I have mine in store always.

Here's how you go about it.

Ingredients Needed:

Firm Green Chillies - 10 nos
Curds/ Yogurt - 1 cup (first time)
Salt- 1 tsp


Method to prepare:

Wash and wipe the firm green chillies. Mix the salt to the curds and beat it to a smooth consistency. Slit the chillies in middle, make sure you don't completely cut them off from their stalks. If you want you can remove all the seeds .

Soak these chillies in curds for about 3 to 4 days. By then the chilies turn their colour.

Remove the chilies from the curds and dry these in hot sun. By night, put them back in the vessel that has the curds. You can add more curds if you find them.

This way repeat for about 3-4 days. The chillies are completely pale yellow by the time they have absorbed enough curds and are dried well.

Store these in air tight container. When required, fry these in medium hot oil, for a crisp tangy chillies.

The temperature of the oil is important as if its too hot, it will get over burnt or less heat, they don't get fried well. Result will be soggy chilles. So right temperature is very important.

This is the basic way of doing it. At times the curds can be favoured with cumin, coriander or amchor powder. When chilies are soaked in this curds, it absorbs that taste.

Raw and Fried Mor Molaga with Curd Rice!

This is my entry to Dee's AFAM. Now don't ask me how chillis to her Raspberry event. You can know all about this fiery inclusion in a sweet raspberry event in Dee's comments section! My dear friend came up with the novel research which says that chillies are berries. Poor Dee was forced off hand to say we can send a chille dish And I found myself in the most ironical situation!. I can't send her an everyday dish, so I had to make these specially for the event!

Hope I don't find pellets coming my way from Maheswari, who thought sweet fruits will find its way to the event she started!


And we are still running for the Recipe Marathon!

Here's the update on all runners!..

Siri makes a delicious looking Spinach Pastry!

Ranji starts the marathon with Blueberry Muffin

Lak dished out some yummy Onion Kulchas

Can't believe that Anu came out with a Jam!Grape Jam

Swati makes Shimla mirch Paneer Bhurji

Divya makes some Sour Cream Cranberry Muffins

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sambhar Powder ~ Classic Home Made Recipe!

When it comes to Sambar, we always prefer the home made sambhar powder. In andhra sambar is not regularly made. But after parents have settled in Madras, Amma has been making these regularly at home. She said she has arrived at this proportion after many trials to suit our taste. We normally get the whole spices and then get it ground fresh and store it for about 2 months. Sambar is something that comes to rescue on a sunny day or rainy day too! When we don't' know what to prepare for lunch, Sambar is always there. And its so healthy too, as we try to add as many vegetables in it.

Amma's sambar is well known for its taste and consistency. Though this is a simple recipe, getting it correct matters a lot. My in laws love this recipe and Amma always sends them fresh ground Sambar podi, whenever they visit us. Still sambar for different accompaniment varies. When we make sambar for idli, its different from how we make for rice. Though the method is different, the sambar powder is the same!

Ingredients Needed

For 4 members, 20 times, this can stay for 2 months.

Whole Coriander Seeds or Dhania / Malli - 250 gms
Round Dry Red Chillis -250 gms
Tur Dal - 25 gms
Bengal Gram - 20 gms
Whole Peppercorns - 10 gms
Cumin Seeds / Jeerakam - 10 gms
Fenugreek Seeds /Venthaiyam- 5 gms



Sambar powder by sun drying:

Method to prepare:

Sun dry all the ingredients and grind to a smooth powder!

This method keeps the powder good for 2 months.

Sambar powder by Roasting Method:

The homemade Sambar powder can be made by even roasting each ingredients separately and then grinding together to a smooth powder.

The sambar powder made this way will stay for about 15 days. So for a change in taste, we at times make this way fresh and prepare the sambar.

We don't' add Turmeric stalk and Asafoetida to the sambar powder as we add them to the tur dal when its cooked.

Sambar powder can also be used to make exciting roasts!

Spicy Potato Roast
Arbi Roast

Check out my different Sambars made with this sambhar powder!

This is part of my series on Essentials for Basic Indian Cooking! Check out my other posts in this series!.


This is running for the Recipe Marathon!

My fellow runners have come with equally exciting things!

Lak has spread a looker. Mean girl! I asked her this Coconut Dosa for my dosa mela and now she makes...well as a punishment, I have asked her to send it again for my pending Dosa Mela post!

Siri has come up with a yummy looking Kosambari, I am still thinking what I should do for MBP and this fast runner is already out with it!

Well the singing chef seems to have been singing this sunday with her Sundal!

And this cocktail girl is out with a breeze of a dish, says she was lazy..Ha what a reason to enjoy Bread Upma!

Bhags my friend is out with an exciting layout and I guess this is her way of celebrating by baking a Coffee Cake!

And you ask abt DK? Well this girl can churn out some yummy dish and this time a peas pulao!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chicken Semi Gravy with Curds and Spices!

Ok this is another one of those on the spur creations but was so happy that it turned out good! Infact hubby dear was elated! Off late I found that the chicken was not getting tender cooked and hubby was not happy with the softness of the chicken!

So I thought I should marinade it for a while and then add some roasted spices to spice it up. Konda too loved it so I am waiting when my twins will start eating the regular things. Well as my sister in laws are visiting us, I thought I will get them churn out some yummy chutneys that they are famous, but the kids made sure we don't get the time. They have been non stop playing and running around in the house. And I have planned their favorite dishes, most times it worked out. But some chosen ones were not possible. Guess it might take some more years for a relaxed visits.

They were most interested in seeing this blog and very much interested in seeing Athamma in action. I was happy to see them excited.

Well let me get on with this now. Rest later!

Marinating Time : 2 hrs min
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins

Ingredients Needed:

For marinade

Chicken - 250 gms
Curds - 1 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch

For Gravy

Onions - 2 medium
Tomato - 1 small
Chili powder - 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Coriander for garnishing

Masala Roasted and ground:

Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1 "
Cardamom -1
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp


Method to prepare:

Clean and cut chicken to desired size. Let it drain. Marinade the chicken with Curds, Ginger garlic paste, turmeric and Salt. Keep it aside for 2 hrs.

Chop onions and tomatoes to fine pieces.

Dry roast all the spices and let it cool. Once its cool, grind to a fine powder.

Heat a pressure cooker with oil, sauté onions till they are light brown.

Then add the chicken marinade to the pan. Let it cook on high flame. The chicken will start leaving moisture. After 5 mins, add chilli, coriander, garam masala. Add the chopped tomatoes. Adjust the salt and add about half a glass of water. Cover with cooker lid and put it for 2 -3 whistles. Once the pressure is off, check if the chicken is cooked.

Remove lid, add the roasted masala. Stir again and cook on high flame for 5 mins, keep stirring so that it doesn't get burnt. The gravy should be really thick and coat the chicken pieces.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

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This is again the part of the Recipe Marathon for the Dining Hall, started by Siri and Dhivya!

Other wonderful participants in the marathon

Bhags made some yummy Tomato Shorba.
Dhivs dished out some Bhindi Jaipuri
Ranji of Ranji's Kitchen Corner
Raaga of The Singing Chef
Lakshmi of The Yum Blog
Dhivya of Culinary Bazaar
Siri blogged Baked Cauliflower, you should check that picture it looks so wonderful!
Swati tries her first Chicken, though it doesn't look like first time dish!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Lunch Box Series : LBS#32

There are times when you feel you have missed so many years of enjoying something! This is what happened when I chanced on eating Bell Pepper or capsicum recently. I never liked Capsicum from childhood. Even when I was baking pizzas and fried Rice every other day and this bell pepper would be a common item in the refrigerator, I never could get myself eat this. I top the pizzas and once done, gently remove them off. I would even try to strip off any cheese that might be lingering on it.

This continued for many years. I never missed it and never thought that there might be a day when I will finally think its delicious! I guess fate always has something else in store for you! What else do I assume. One fine morning, when I was getting things ready for the lunch and I found I didn't have any vegetable for fry. All that was left was a lone Capsicum that was left out from a pizza party! How so depressing right! Poor soul, I took pity on it and decided to make a subzi for the rotis that I planned to take for lunch! I had made something else for hubby dear's lunch box, so I knew that I will be the only privilege person to carry that lone bell pepper fry!

Well come lunch and I was dreading what's to happen for the lunch. Of course, I had a dal along it and could always camouflage the taste.But who was I kidding! One bite and I was hooked. The dal was forgotten and the rotis were fast disappearing with the Capsicum Fry! Wow that was a sheer chemistry to say least. The sad part was, since it was so uninteresting a lunch, I never bothered to capture it. So I cursing for being such an idiot and finally had to prepare it again. I must say the capsicum fry in the first attempt were more greener and lovely than these. Still I couldn't pass off.

And the dal! that's another story. Necessity brings in lot of innovation rather discovery for me. I believe this dal with tamarind is something my folks back home prepare regularly. It was a lean day for the fridge, and it was shiny its empty racks when I opened it in the morning. So this dal is a rescue when you find, you don't have tomatoes on hand!

I am not even going to find excuses for not posting for my favorite series, blame it on lack of innovative or new combinations for lunch box!

Today's Lunch Box had

Chapatis
Toor Dal with Tamarind
Capsicum Fry


Toor Dal with Tamarind

Ingredients Needed

To be pressure cooked

Tur Dal - 100 gms
Turmeric a pinch
Tamarind - marble size
Coriander leaves few
Garlic - 2 pods
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Seasoning
Mustard seeds + Urud dal - 1/2 tsp
Dried Red Chillies whole - 6 long ones
Onions - 1 small
Curry leaves
Garlic pods - 4
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp


Method to prepare:

Pressure cook all ingredients under to be pressured cooked, with enough water except seasoning ones and salt.

Once the pressure is off, with a pappu guthi mix everything well.

Heat a pan with Oil and sputter with mustard, urud, cumin seeds. Once they splutter add curry leaves Onions, red chillies and crushed garlic. Sauté well. It can even be little brown.

Tamper this seasoning to the dal and again cook on high flame with salt.

Dal is ready to be served.

Capsicum Fry with Groundnut powder!

Ingredients Needed

Capsicum - 1 no
Onions - 1 medium
Red chili powder - 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Ground nut powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Seasoning

Mustard Seeds + Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few


Method to prepare:

Chop capsicum into small pieces. Heat a pan with oil, add the seasoning items. Then sauté the onions till they are little brown.

Add the chopped capsicum and salt along with turmeric powder. Cover with lid, so that capsicum becomes soft with the stream. Simmer for 10 mins. Stir in between so that it doesn't get burnt.

Then add the chili powder, coriander powder. Mix well. Now you can either cover it or cook uncovered for another 5 mins, for the capsicum to absorb the spices.

When you find that capsicum is soft, you can sprinkle the ground nut powder and switch off. You need not cook it with ground nut powder. This takes about 15 mins to get done.

Well needless to say, I simply enjoyed my lunch box and well I have made this combo again, just to capture the beauty!

After finally discovering the wonderful taste of bell pepper, I am eager to try out another version, stuffed Capsicum! This is also part of the Recipe Marathon!

Sending the Capsicum Fry to Pooja, who is hosting Jhiva for Ingredients along with her Vegetable of the Week event. This edition celebrates the 2nd successful year of JFI, an event started by dear Indira.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bhatura ~ Roti Mela!

I don't remember when I was first introduced to Bhature, for it seems like forever I have been familiar with this delicate darling! I still remember the time we used to have Chhole Bhature, when we go to Woodlands drive-in hotel. It used to be fun not to drop anything down on the car seat but still manage to eat the big poori which is of the entire quarter plate size, with a cup of Chole Masala on the top. One side of the Bhatura will still be puffed while one side would be pressed down with the cup of chole weight. Hah the Bhatura must be wondering why on earth that cup of chole was put on its top. Its beauty was marred by the chole. Little did it know they go hand in hand. It was so saddening that Woodlands drive-in is now closed!

I still remember the many lazy Sunday mornings we got up, to prepare the Bhatura dough and then carry on the Sunday rituals. Dad has a penchant for getting up on time be it a Sunday or a Monday, so I used to get up by 6.30 and relax with Sunday newspapers and of course Rangoli. This is one program I have been watching in our National TV Channel since high school. That used to be my most favorite one for many years, even after marriage. If I was lucky I get to watch songs like these...

Rimjhim Gire Sawan
Sulag Sulag Jaaye Mann
Bheege Aaj Is Mausam Mein
Lagi Kaisi Yeh Agan
Rimjhim Gire Sawan

Jab Ghunghroon Si Bajti Hain Boondein
Armaan Hamare Palken Na Moondein
Jab Ghunghroon Si Bajti Hain Boondein
Armaan Hamare Palken Na Moondein
Kaise Dekhen Sapne Nayan
Sulag Sulag Jaaye Mann
Bheege Aaj Is Mausam Mein
Lagi Kaisi Yeh Agan
Rimjhim Gire Sawan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VzUxxa0c2I

This is one song that always top my list. Actually there are many like this, but this one evokes something so very deep. Something happens when I listen to this song. Pathos or what, heart strings get pulled in all directions. That innocence that gets translated through these words, transports you to a different realm!

So imagine listening to this and making out Bhaturas! Heavenly!

And just like that song, making Bhatura is an art. It has to rise up to the occasion and keep up its name right. So we got to help it by adding in the right stuff. And when we had Chole Masala with Bhatura this Sunday, I remembered the many occasions we had prepared it earlier. While I was taking pictures, it struck me that normally Amma makes it quite big, but I preferred smaller ones this time. The chhole curry that we made this time was also very simple but tasted great.


Serves - 15 medium sized bhaturas.
Preparation Time - 2 hrs (for raising)
Cooking Time - 10 to 15 mins but also depends on how fast you can roll out and fry each one...:)

Ingredients needed:

Maida - 4 cups (450 gms)
Curds (Yogurt) - 150 gms
Salt to taste
Cooking Soda - 1/8 th tsp
Water 1 cup

Method to prepare

In a big mixing bowl add Maida, Curd, Soda and Salt to taste. Mix well. Then add water little by little to form a dough. It should be little stiff as it will become soft after setting aside for 2 hrs.

Take a muslin cloth, wet it in water and cover the dough. Keep it aside for two hours.

When ready to eat, make the dough into required sized balls, roll them out into circle shape.

Heat Oil in a kadai and deep fry the bhaturas to golden colour.

Serve hot with Channa Masala garnished with Onion rings and lime.

Serve Bhatura with Chhole!

Aloo Chhole Masala
Channa Masala
Punjabi Chhole Masala

Bharturas are for my Roti Mela!

Well this is also part of the Recipe Marathon, the latest idea of the famous friends, Siri and Dhivya! I have to ask them how they come up with such ideas!

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Are you not yet mad with Mangoes??? Well I am and you too have every reason now to be. Get the Mango Madness and hop it on to my dear friend Arundati, who is hosting the Madness party this month!..

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Alasanda Vada, Black-Eyed Pea Fritters ~ Andhra Special!

Alasandalu Vada or Bobbarlu Vadalu, are the fritters made with Black Eyed Pea. These fritters are so yummy that you get hooked to it, once you taste it. My love for Alasandalu dates back to my childhood, getting treated on these by my grandma since we grew these in our lands. I mostly remember loving the Alasandala kura, which my avva (grandma) used to make for us specially, when we visited them during summer vacations. Other than the kura, the next most favorite are the vadas, which are mostly served with mutton pulusu or chicken pulusu. So when one thinks of Alasandalu Vada, it goes with the non-veg gravy and Raayalaseema is known for this specialty.

I remember those summer days, when avva returns to Madras, she used to come back with bags filled with home grown from our native place. And for sure Alsandalu would feature most. Amma would then, fondly store these away for later use. We used to love all Amma's preparations with the Black eyed Peas. Though its been over two decades since my parents left their native place, they still hold these very fondly! And for sure, passed on the passion to us. I was more trilled when I knew that these are favorite in my in-laws place. On my first visit to their home, these vadas were what Athamma made for me. I can still remember that afternoon I got up to the tantalizing aroma of Alasanda Vadas, sneaking from the kitchen. She had made Uggani for breakfast, and since we couldn't take any more, she made for the evening snacks.

Every time I pick up a packet of these Alasandallu now, from the super market, I remember those days, as a child, I used to wander in the pantry of my granny and slide my fingers into those silky seeds! Wonder how these delicate dals give out so much taste. I was so happy knowing that my twins loved munching on these. These days you can't escape their clinches with anything. Anything in your hand and they want a bite. So imagine, we made these early in the morning and by the time I could take pictures, Peddu was after me to give him a bite. And how he enjoyed it! The sight was so very pretty. I am so happy that unlike Konda, I could get the twins eat. When I feed tomato ketchup to Peddu, he simple loves it. His face lilts up with every sip of it. So the spot of tomato sauce you see in the plate, it wasn't there after these shots! And then he wanted to eat the vadas. So I had to give him. I was wondering how he will take it, but he seem to love every bite, because he wanted more. Since it was 7.30 in the morning, I didn't want to give him any more.Wondering why we made vadas so early in the morning? For one thing, our camera has given up on me and another, I guess I finally got everybody at home, hooked to this blog!

Since we use the dried ones, we soaked them overnight I don't remember Amma making these vadas with fresh ones, we normally make kura with the fresh peas. Take a big vessel and wash the dal once and then soak it with water over covering it. Let it soak overnight.

Soaking Time : Overnight or min 7 hrs
Preparation time 10 mins
Cooking Time : 5 - 7 mins for each batch

Ingredients Needed:

Alasandallu / Black Eyed Peas - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Onions - 1 medium, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 2
Red chillies - 1
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Curry leaves few
Ginger - 1" (opt)
Oil for deep frying.

Method to prepare:

Wash the soaked black-eyed peas well before draining them on a sieve. These should not have water when you are grinding.

In a mixer or food processor, take the black eye peas, ginger, salt and green chillies into coarse batter, without adding water. We can use just the green chilies or you can add both green and the red chillies too. When you add the red chillies, its will be interesting to find red spots inside the vadas.

Once the dal is ground well, remove to a bowl and mix in the onions, coriander, curry leaves. . The batter must be solid, and if you press down or pat it down, it must hold the shape without running to the edges. So this needs to be ground without adding water while grinding the peas.

Heat a kadai with oil for frying the vadas. Vada moulds can be made using our hands, wet cloth or plastic sheet. Or even banana leaf. When you get the hang of making vadas, using your left hand is very convenient. Once you have washed your hands, take small amount of batter in a ball shape, put that ball on your left palm. Gently with your right hand, flatten it lightly and make a hole in the middle. You will be able to get the hole in the middle, if the batter is not runny. Removing the vada will be easy if your left palm is little wet before placing the ball on the palm. Drop gently into hot oil

Depending on the size of your pan, deep fry the vadas in batches. When it turns light brown, turn them to the other side and cook until they are golden-brown on both sides. Takes app.. 5 to 7 minutes, each batch.

I served these with Tomato Sauce, but Athamma was so upset that we didn't have the mutton pulusu next to it. And wanted to me make sure, I mention that this goes excellent with that as side!

Sending these to lovely Mansi who is hosting this month's Monthly Mingle, an event started by Meeta! The theme this month is Appetizers & Hors'Doeuvres!

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