Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peas Stuffed Indian Flatbread ~ Mattar Paratha Recipe two ways, Step by Step Recipe!

Sometimes you follow traditions because you have always followed them. It's got to do more with the fact that you feel nice knowing everything is same and nice. Though change is the only constant thing in life, you feel good assuming things are the same. How I wish it was so!

Though I decide I should never remember this day or make a big thing of it, Konda has been reminding me since the month beginning. Infact she is paining something for me, which is partial showed to me too. But Hubby dear has given me strict orders to act surprised and happy on receiving it. I tell him that I can hardly know how to act surprised, happy that I am.

Coming back to traditions, I have unwittingly created one by deciding that stuffed parathas will be made around this time. Infact true to the thought I searched through my Index, which by the way still needs to be updated, for one that I have not talked about. Going up and down, struck me something pretty in green is missing. I remembered Peas Paratha from all those years ago.

I remembered that period after I completed my under graduation and before I started working, Best are some time never spoken about, but still those memories come back and you have no control on the thoughts that flash across. I remember that time quite well, as I remember every single other day as well. During that time, our neighbours had two girls. The elder one was a medico and was away, while the younger was still in school. The younger one R, was with whom I spent most times. And Peas Paratha reminds me of her Aunty, her mom.

R was mostly into North Indian food, wouldn't like anything else. During the peas season when Aunty was wondering what to do with that, we decided we will make a paratha out of it. So it was. And it was such a hit that we only had Peas paratha for a long long time to come.

But the fact is, its been long time since I made this. And wondering which one to make, Peas paratha came to mind. How nice! Since I had fresh peas on hand, it was very easy to plan to make this. But instead of dinner, I made it for breakfast on the day that was going to be last one of the year.

I make it two ways. One blended with the dough, the other stuffed. You can add the same masala for both ways. Though I changed a bit to differentiate them.

Peas Stuffed Indian Flatbread ~ Mattar Paratha Recipe

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Cuisine : North Indian

Peas Stuffed Paratha

For the dough

Wheat flour 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water to knead

For the Peas Stuffing.

Cooked Peas -1 cup, pureed
Green Chili paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Amchor - 1/4 tsp

Method to prepare:

Knead the flour to a soft pliable dough and keep aside.

If you are using fresh peas, puree it to smooth paste. 

Fry in a pan along with salt and all the other ingredients till you get a dry paste. Allow it to cool and make into small balls.
Pinch a lemon size balls, press the sides of the ball to thinner and place the peas stuffing in the middle, bring the outer layer towards the center and enclose the stuffing.

Dust the balls with flour and roll out into disc equal on all sides. 


Heat a pan and cook on both sides by applying oil.

Peas Paratha Recipe

For the dough

Wheat flour 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water to knead

For the Peas Masala

Cooked Peas -1 cup, pureed
Onions -1 small
Green Chili paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp

Method to prepare

In a wide mouthed bowl, take the flour, pureed peas, onions, all the spice masala along with salt. Knead to a soft dough. Let it rest for 10 mins

Pinch out equal balls of dough, roll out by dusting in flour into disc of 6 diameter. Once the tawa is hot, grease with oil, cook these parathas on high flame, making sure you don't burn it.

 Cook on both sides with a tsp of oil. When you see golden spots on top, the parathas are done.

Serve with curds/yogurt and pickles!

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Basic White Sauce Recipe ~ Step By Step Recipe!

Imagine you decide to convert yourself into Vegetarians and that's then the world decides to create all those delectable cakes, burgers and what not!

I tell you even in India being a pure Vegetarian is tough. I meant sometimes it becomes very difficult to get pure Veg dishes even here when you happen to be eating out in a non veg hotel, and you are never sure! And then there are these tempting dishes that come being made with eggs like Burgers Pizzas etc!

I emphasis on pure because Dad says that there can't be a status of pure vegetarianism, it's either you are or you are not! I remind him gently that some include eggs in vegetarian diet. And this has caused me being ever precarious to check the labels or ask couple of times to confirm if the dish offered contains eggs in disguise or not.

Some of my friends who are vegetarians eat cakes and other dishes that has eggs in them. When I ask they say it is fine with them since they don't see the egg. But for the bane of me, I haven't been able to accept that. So result is I have never tasted those sinful desserts. 

Necessity is the mother of creation, somebody said right! I finally resorted to finding out ways to taste those temptations. Since I don't know how that original dish should taste, I conclude that whatever I created substituting the eggs, are the best created dishes! Talk about inflated egos

Thanks to all those wonderful people who enjoy my creations and ascertain that these resemble the original in taste and look!

Coming to the recipe for today, I know many of you must be making this White sauce regularly. This was one of those first recipes I started making trying to replace egg based recipes. Works so very well all the time.

I use this for Burgers, Pastas. Previously I used to make this and store.

Basic Recipe for White Sauce:

All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup
Milk - 3 cups
Butter 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Pepper powder - 1 tsp

Method to prepare:

Mix the flour with milk, add salt and pepper. The mix should be watery and without lumps.

Melt butter in a non stick pan. Slowly add this flour mix and whisk briskly to ensure the liquid doesn't get solidified.

Keep stirring till the sauce reaches a bit thickness. It should not become very thick as the sauce tends to become very thick once it is cooled. 

At times the sauce tends to clog, you can whisk with a masher, to get a smooth paste.

When the sauce starts boiling remove, and allow it to cool before storing it in a bowl.

Notes: As I was busy with the camera, I almost allowed the liquid to get settled. Because of that I ended up getting lumps in the sauce.

Once it cooled down, I pulsed it couple of times to get a smooth thick sauce.
I only added salt and pepper, but you can add as many other spices you want.

It really gave such a wonderful taste to the burgers!

Check for the Vegetarian Burger Step by Step Recipe, Indian Style at Beyond Curries, which happens to be the 100th post!!!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Pudina, Pappula Annam / Mint Dal Rice Pulao Recipe ~ Weekend Cooking!

There are moments in life when you feel time is standing still. In one moment, a kaleidoscope of things swirl past you in a wink of eye. One week has passed without any efforts, rather efforts that showed much progress. We were so happy getting the notice card from the boys' school. It stated that their LG school will start from April. We were started knowing how days are flying. They would soon begin their school and things will all change.

I so want to grab time and make it not change. I still remember how hard it was when Konda started her school. We used to feel wretched sending her to play school, then primary. Thinking about it and planning for it, she is already in her 4th standard. I am sure the time will fly the equally same pace for my boys. I hold their tiny hands and wonder when I missed noticing Konda's hands gone big!

Though we made a resolution to take one day as it comes, enjoy every single moment, time has a way to creep and steal the time from us. Before I can even know, moments are passing away. We took the boys to stitch their uniform. We went in the bike, it was fun having Peddu sandwiched between his dad and me. He kept a steady string of questions. "What is that Amma, What is this Amma," When they saw the tailor, they were quite happy. The Tailor took Peddu's measurements but he again had to take Chinnu's as he won't budge from the place without his share of measurements. Chinnu was looking quite stern with a look that said how dare you not take my measurements!

As this week guarantee a dose of Stuffed parathas, I was talking about it with my friends over FB and got new ideas. Will surely be trying to make them this week. Be assured that you will get to see some stuffed delicacies will come your way!

Coming to the recipe for today, its something that Amma made for me while I was busy with the non veg part of it. As Sundays are usually meant to be a Rasam Sadam for me, she thought I would enjoy this new rice variety. Of course I did and I said I wanted to share this here.

The title can be translated from Telugu to English as to Pudina - Mint leaves, Pappulu means Dal, as this rice gets a dose of three different Lentils as the main ingredient.

I was quite impressed with the way this rice leads itself to us!

Pudina, Pappula Annam ~ Mint Dal Rice Pulao

Ingredients Needed:

Rice - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Mint leaves / Pudina - handful
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Green Chilies - 2 -3 depending on your taste
Cloves, Cinamon, Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Dal Powder

Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Bengal Gram/Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Split Yellow Moong Dal - 1 tsp
Fried Gram Dal - 1 tsp

Cooking Utensil - Non Stick pan with lid,
you can pressure cook but will have to adjust the water used.

Method to prepare:

To make the Dal Powder:

Dry roast all the dals one by one till they start leaving out aroma. Allow it to cool and grind to a fine powder.

To make the Rice:

Wash and soak the rice for 15 mins.

Heat a non stick pan with oil. Add the onions, fry till they are translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste, sauté well. Add the green chilies and mint leaves. Sauté till they wilt.

Then add the drained rice, salt, sauté for couple of mins, add the ground dal powder, spice powder and combine well.

Add 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Then reduce the heat and cook with lid covered for 10 mins till the rice is well cooked.

  • This should taste good with the regular sona masuri rice too, but Basmati always brings out fine aromas.
  • The rice has a hint of mint with nutty flavour, quite good on its own, though you can always serve this with onion raitha.

Enjoy and have a great week ahead. I promise to be back with a stuffed paratha!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Sorakaya Vepudu ~ Bottle Gourd Stir Fry

Life seem to be running fast! Heard it already, well you get to hear it again. I don't know about you, but for us, each day runs as fast as it can. There was a time, when Hubby dear used to say just breeze through the 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, your day is done. But how can one manage the entire day?

We also used to think that God gave lots of energy to 2 year olds, nay he has given even more to 3 year olds. The way my boys plan the day, makes us wonder why we can't think like them. The moment they fight we take sides to console them, the very next moment they are for each other against us. They fight, play, cajole, cuddle and again fight. And in between they eat, drink, potty and also make us sweat a lot!

We were prepared, that is how well one can get prepared. But they beat you to your own game. They devise new games. We actually plan how to get the Sunday going. After the traditional Poori Channa for breakfast, things seem to get settle down, when it again started to get out of control. Finally hubby dear decided a round around the city was in store. He left me happily cooking, as I planned on experimenting on a Muslim mutton biryani for the book.

Back from their trip, hubby dear decided he wanted to experiment with the camera. Result was I was the new found subject and I had to smile through the sweat and brow! Anyway the biryani was a hit, I will have to make it again for the shoot. How exciting, me thinks. Finally I was dreading the Kachori plan that was planned for the afternoon.

But be as it was, the boys refused to take their nap. I was thinking it was now or never. For a moment, I even contemplated sending a mail out saying I am not going to make it. But imagine a life without having tasted one owns hard labour of love. It was that yum! Everybody at home simply loved it. You can read more about how to make a memorable impact, check out Moong Dal Kachori, yes I strongly recommend.

Coming to the recipe for today, this is something that I made last week, and it went well with the rice.

Sorakaya Vepudu ~ Bottle Gourd Stir Fry

Sorakaya / Bottle Gourd - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Curry leaves - 4 -5 
Green chilies - 2 -3 nos
Red Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder
Ground nut powder - 1 -2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Peel the outer skin of the bottle gourd and cut into 2 inch pieces. 

Heat a pan with oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves. Then add the bottle gourd pieces along with salt. Simmer with a lid and cook for 10 mins.

Check to see if the vegetable has turned soft. Add the chili powder, coriander powder. Stir well. Cook again for 5 - 7 mins. 

When the bottle gourd is cooked well, finally add the ground nut. combine everything and remove.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Almond Cashew powder ~ Indian Basics for Cooking

Once upon a time, in once upon a place, there lived a little girl...
Now once upon a place, there lived two little boys, who had a cute cute sister..

Well this is how my stories have been every night of our lives. With Konda it used to be the first line and now with all of them, I say the traditional second line. No matter what story I say, be it an old one or a newly concocted story, it had to start with "once upon a place"

If JK Rowling became a millionaire this way, I think I have every chance too. Infact during the initial days after the boys were born, Hubby dear used to tell the Jungle Book to Konda. I am sure Kipling could've well used some chapters from what went at home those late nights. It used to be ritual, seeing Konda getting ready to hear the story from her father. With rapt attention, devouring every word her father was saying, rapidly firing away questions on why the Lion didn't pounce and why the bear didn't eat away, it used to be exciting time for her.

It was a god sent, as Konda was addicted to her stories, and I had to tell her some 5 -6 everyday. I was happy that way, because I get to repeat them all over and the kids are so happy hearing them, including Konda. There were days when mind refuses to dish out new ideas and I had plead them listen to the old ones. I should say I was lucky at times.

On one of the occasions, I recollected my memories of my childhood and suddenly remembered those wonderful times spent in that small town where we grew acres and acres of vegetables. Konda wasn't about to believe that it was true. I was lucky that it was indeed and happy, yet sad knowing she can confirm this with Dad. Sad because though we grew up in a town and then a city, I got to see and experience cultivation myself. And my kids will never experience that. Well the story of our vegetable garden will come later.

In the story, it is about the Almond tree that we had. Of course this was the local Badam tree which yield a different type of kernel. I am yet to find out the exact difference between this and the commercially available one. Konda loves hearing about that story.

While I was thinking about it, I remembered the basic powder that is always stored in our home. A powder of Almond with Cashew nuts, ready to be used in an gravy or anyways that we think of.

This can be powdered and stored separately or together, depends on individual choice.

We take equal quantity of Almond and Cashew nuts. Pulse it to get a fine powder. Cool it for a while. Then refrigerate. This stays till you run out of it.

I use this for Paneer Butter Masala, our most favorite dish in our household and many.

Ok, Sra's question made me realize that this may not be a common ingredient in most household. Since I have been making this dish for so many years, it has become so very common. And in the process found its way to other dishes.

To answer Sra, it doesnt' become oily, we pulse it before chopping it into smaller bits. And as I said we dry for a while. This ensures it becomes dry and stays for a long time. That is until you use it up.

Goes into many North Indian type of gravies, sometimes tikkis, sometimes even flatbreads.

Having this ready on hand, makes life a wee bit hassle free.

Enjoy the weekend and happy Valentines day!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lunch Box Series : LBS#56 ~ Cabbage Rice Recipe

It was one of those days when I hadn't planned the menu. Yes it happens frequently in a week. I am going back on my organized ways and it again becomes hectic. I slept late, still couldn't get much of a sleep which resulted in me being up very early. I suddenly felt I didn't know what I was going to cook. I thought I might as well make use of the time and check out some new Rice dish. Knowing the fridge was practically empty didn't help either.

But there is never a time, when we don't stock cabbage. This, French beans, Carrot are eternal friends for life in our dear fridge, and spend many a comfy days together in the cold compartments of, now what I fridge I have?. Anyway that is immaterial right now. Remembering that big chuck of Cabbage in the vegetable rack, with nothing specific, I thought I should check on Viji. Immediately saw she had posted a cabbage rice. Clicking that took me to Madhu's Cabbage rice on Beyond Curries. Well I remembered thinking I should make when Madhu posted this. Thanks Viji and Madhu for the inspiration.
Cabbage Rice

Seeing two adaptations of the same one, decided I can as well adapt a new version myself. I read it once, knowing very well that I can hardly ever remember a recipe on the first read. The only recipes that I know as well like my back of hand, are those favorite few that are frequently made at home. Those that I can make with eye blindfolded or in dreams. Well not exactly, but you got the meaning right.

Anyway on top this recipe was simple, simple enough for me to change. After the usual hangama that happens in our household on a weekday, I finally got around making this rice. It was a major hit at office, if I have to confess not eating more than few morsels myself. I was happy to know that I have another Rice variety now to make. And of course, this got hubby dear approval too, so you can be sure it will get made again.


Cabbage Rice a.ka. Cabbage Carrot Rice
    as I added equal amount of carrot too!

Soaking time for Rice : 15 mins
Preparation of Rice : 10 mins
Preparation for making the Cabbage Rice : 20 mins.
Serves : 3

Ingredients Needed:

For Rice

Sona Masuri Rice -1 cup
Coconut paste - 2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Clove - 2
Cinnamon - 2"
Salt to taste

For Ground Masala:

Coriander Leaves - 1 cup, loosely packed
Coconut - 2 tbsp
Green Chili - 1 long
Ginger - 2"
Clove - 1
Cinnamon - 1"

For Gravy:

Onions - 1 juliennes
Bengal Gram - 1 tsp
Mustard, Urad dal - 1 tsp
Green Chilis - 2 medium
Cabbage - 1 cup. shredded
Carrot - 1 - 2 medium
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Utensils used : Non Stick pans with lid.

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice for 15 mins. Meanwhile shred the cabbage and carrot to very fine.

To prepare the Rice:

Heat a non stick pan with ghee. Sauté the cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Drain the rice from water and add to the pan. Sauté well on sim. Allow to get coated with ghee for 2 mins. Then add 2 and 1/4 cup of water along with salt. Cover it with lid. Bring it to boil, then simmer until done. You can stir through the rice using a fork.

To prepare the ground masala:

Wash and chop the coriander leaves. Grind it to a smooth paste along with the rest of the ingredients using little water. Keep it aside.

To assemble the rice:

Heat another wide mouthed pan with oil. Add the Bengal gram, Mustard, Urad dal. After a min, add the onions and sauté well till they are turning brown. Add the ground masala. Cook till the oil starts coming out of the sides.

Add the shredded cabbage and finely chopped carrot along with green chilis. Next goes the salt. Mix well and cover with lid. Cook for 10 mins. When you see that cabbage is cooked, add the rice and mix well.

Once all the rice is mixed, cover with lid and cook for 3 -4 mins. Switch off and transfer to serving bowl.

Tastes great with cucumber raitha.


If you are using Basmati rice, use 1:1 ratio of water. I used a really long chili which was very spicy. So adjust as per the chilis you use. This can be done with just cabbage too, but for making this more healthy and colourful, I added Carrots.

You can microwave cabbage for 5 mins, to have par boiled cabbage. This way you can further reduce the cooking time. Moreover carrot tastes better when it is still crunchy. So don't cook the carrots for long.

Enjoy this simple dish for your packed Lunch as we did.

So what did you cook today?

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Jonna Pelalu Laddu / Popcorn Laddu ~ Sweet Laddoo with Jowar Sankranti Special!

I know this is not the greatest time for me to post this laddos, but then life is like that! What with my diet plan and being determined not to touch a sweet dish, you may think that I might be tempted. For one thing, this was prepared during Sankranti and another well..another reason.

Anyway with the diet plan going strong, I am surely not going to be making sweets but only post ones that were already prepared. The day has been hectic with work and the diet putting lot of pressure. Basically it was because I wasn't really prepared for it. Well that shows that I got to be more prepared. Work has been hectic the last two days which resulted in me working the weekend too. I completed the breakfast and hubby dear took the kids for a trip to his friends family in a town. They came back only late evening and recollected that they really enjoyed the trip.

They play with calf and ran around wild. These were some of the bounties that our friends sent back. This reminded me of my childhood spent cultivating. That's a story for another day for sure. For now enjoy the pictures.

Radish, Okra/ Lady's Finger and Cluster Beans.
Red Sorrel Leaves and Amarnath

Before getting on the recipe, check out my interview in Femina.

Coming back to the laddus, as I said I was really surprised that these are popped before making these laddus. You may have read this post where the Jowar were treated as just lovely pops just popcorns. Knowing how much Athamma enjoyed making this during Sankranti because she remembered her Mom. She said her mom used to make this in huge amount for the kids at home. Most times, before attempting to make the laddus, it was mostly consumed as just pops.

So just for the post we again popped them and they disappeared just like that!

Jonna Pelaalu Laddu

Jowar Pops - 1 cup 
Jaggary - 1 cup or depending on sweetness
Cardamon a pinch
Ghee as required to make balls
Method to prepare

Make the Jowar pops as explained in the post. Allow to cool. Then pulse it couple of times till you get a fine powder.

Grate the jaggary to a fine powder. Then again pulse both the Jowar and jaggary together. Remove and add 1 tsp of ghee. Mix it again. This should get you a texture that will hold it together.

Make tight balls from the mixture and adjust the ghee to see if the balls are holding it together.

Store in a container, this stayed for a week and was most delicious!

Enjoy every bite. Of course once you shed some weight!..:) Have a great week ahead.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Chintakaya Pulihora / Fresh Tamarind Rice ~ Andhra Special Recipe

For what seem to have been an insanely long time, I finally made this Chintakaya Pulihora last weekend for lunch. I have always known Athamma making this Chutney with fresh tamarind. But she never told me that she used to make a rice dish with the chutney too. Amma makes chutneys but never in this wide range as Athamma. As I have said many times, give an ingredient to Athamma, she will think how she can make a chutney out of it.

Well actually the previous night, seeing that the chutney reached its right stage, she mixed some rice and gave it to me for tasting. While I was eating that, I remembered the many occasions when Amma used to make such muddas, what we call as the "annam mudda". The memories that open up with this thought were so many to capture in one go. It conjured up images of childhood days in summer spent in moonlit nights, with cousins, eating "gorru muddalu".

That's Konda offering the bowl!

I am sure every Indian child must have experienced this. This is a tradition that must be so common in all Indian homes, where either the mother or granny would make all the young kids sit together, mostly in open area and get them to eat. She would mix the hot steaming rice in a big bowl with the pappu (dal) along with ghee. Make them into tight balls in the fist and offer it to each kid. This kindled the memories of many such times spent with cousins, eating like this. Where laughter and merry were many, one least noticed how much one ate.

That a "Mudda" could transport me to anon, while I was feeding my kids made me chuckle. Maybe I should plan for such moonlit dinner for my kids soon. Not that they don't have such gala times with their cousins, still such times are rare to capture in essence!
Yesterday Hubby dear took Konda for a Daddy daughter movie. Even before I could ask how the movie was, I knew Konda would've hardly watched it. Though she confessed it being the best. I know the popcorns were good!

Coming to the post today, I seasoned the rice with the chutney along with the usual Tamarind rice ingredients. It was just too good. I strongly recommend this be tried and enjoyed!


Chintakaya Pulihora / Fresh Tamarind Rice

Ingredients Needed

Rice - 1 cup

For seasoning:

Red chillies - 3
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 - 2 nos
Fenugreek - 1/4 tsp
Sesame seeds - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice for 15 mins. Pressure Cook rice till done. Spread it over a big bowl. Add oil to make sure the grains are separate.

Meanwhile, dry roast all the ingredients for the powder and grind it once it is cool.

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 dry powder, salt, mix well. Then add the Tamarind Chutney. Cook on sim till oil comes out.

Once its done, mix it to the rice. Alternately you can add the rice to the kadai and mix well.

Since Red chilis are added at different stages, please adjust to your taste. Also since the chutney is stored in fridge, the spice level would have gone down, hence we add more of the dry powder.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Chintakaya Thokku ~ Fresh Tamarind Chutney

Have you ever tasted a raw fresh tamarind? If you haven't, then you won't be able to understand the passion that attaches the senses to one who has tasted it and enjoyed it. I grew up in a town where tamarind trees were all over the place. We had many such trees in our village too. I am talking about when I was 8 years old. But those scenes are still fresh. And even much later I have had on many occasions enjoyed my share of fresh tamarind.

Then we had a never ending supply of these in our school campus. The fun comes out of eating these fresh tamarind is when you actually stand below a tree and pull down those fruits by yourself. Either by throwing stones or trying to pull it down with sticks. Whatever, the joy that comes out of your hard labour and when you pop it into your mouth. Ah!, actually you won't be able to do it right away, unless until you have one of those strong teeth, which doesn't shy out on biting a sour thing.

The sensation that hits you hard, on biting a fresh pulp, with water oozing out.and your teeth shrinking back because of the sourness. You can't but close your eyes in response to the reflex action that takes place. Yes, you won't know these unless you actually tasted it yourself.

If you haven't tasted one yet, then my advise to you will be is to,beg borrow or steal a fresh tamarind to experience this sensation.

Like all sour things, you will only hesitate for the first. After that how many goes in nobody knows. Even better than the fresh ones, those tamarinds that are naturally ripe in the tree. My God, that is even more exotic! Anyway I will talk about that in another post.

Today's post is all about fresh Tamarind and what you can make with it.

The country side in rural India is filled with many such beautiful scenes of lush Tamarind trees full with bounty. Whenever we go on long trips, we stop for a pick. Be it for the tender leaves or the fresh tamarind. Athamma makes both the Chinthaaku Pappu or Chinthakaya Thokku.

So during our recent trip, when we stopped for lunch at our usual spot, we found the tree with loads of tamarind hanging. We plucked some for the tokku.

Chintakaya Thokku ~ Fresh Tamarind Chutney

Fresh Tamarind - 1 cup (after pitting)
Salt to taste 
Fenugreek / Methi - 10 seeds

For Spice powder

Bengal gram/ Channa dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Methi Seeds - 5 7- seeds
Sesame Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili dry - 12 nos 

For Seasoning

Curry leaves - 5 
Red chili - 2 -3 
Turmeric a pinch
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 3 - 4 tsp

Method to prepare:

Since we are using fresh tamarind, which is very juicy and has seeds that won't come out very easily, you got to mash them well to remove the seeds. This is usually done using the mortal and pestle. You can continue getting a smooth consistency by grinding it and also adding the methi seeds along with salt.
Once the seeds are removed, you can further grind it smooth in a mixer or food processor. Then the tamarind is stored along with the ground methi and salt for couple of days. Normally during the day, it is just left to dry in the shade. 

When it is dried for couple days, you can season it and store it.

Grind the spices listed in the spice mix and keep it aside. This spices can be dry roasted and powdered.

Heat a pan with oil, pop the mustard, then add curry leaves along with the red chillies. Saute well. Then add the turmeric powder and then the ground spice mix.

When you have sauteed for 5 mins, add the ground fresh tamarind chutney. Saute again for 5 mins. Adjust spice and salt. Spice can be adjusted by adding Red chili powder. But this can be done before serving too.

This chutney is normally stored for many months. It takes various forms, mostly interesting one being Chintakaaya Pulihora. You can also store the extracted tamarind that is ground with just salt and methi as such. Use it in various forms. Athamma gave me rice mixed with just that Fresh Tamarind with salt and methi, it was too delicious to put in words. So you can store it just that way too, and season the chutney when you want to use it.

Notes: Salt has to be mixed and mashed, only then the tamarind extract gets that typical taste. Adjust the spice accordingly. If you are using Green chilis, you need to add them while grinding in the mixer.

Have a great week ahead!

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