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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 280,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 12 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Some of the visitors wanted the recipe for simple bitter gourd curry. I prepare this curryatleast twice in a month.

Ingredients

  • Bitter gourd (Karela or Pavakkai) – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 2 tbs
  • Grated Coconut – 3 tbs
  • Tamarind – lemon sized ball
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 tsp salt for marinating*.

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Method

  1. Cut the bitter gourd into half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut into thin slices.
  2. Add 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt and leave to marinate for 1/2 hour. Squeeze the slices well to remove bitterness.
  3. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract around 2 tablespoons of thick pulp.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add the bitter gourd slices.
  5. Add turmeric, salt and saute well. Saute on medium flame for 5 minutes. Add the tamarind pulp and cook for some time till the juice dries up.
  6. Saute on a low flame till the slices are golden.Add chili powder and  grated coconut and saute for  2 more  minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a side dish with rice or chapathi.

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*Marinating is optional.

Bitter gourd can also be prepared as pavakkai pitlai, Kuzhambu etc.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 460,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 8 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Potato podimas is usually prepared on festival days. It can be prepared quickly with just a teaspoon of oil.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbs grated
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbs chopped
  • Green chili – 1no
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Cashew – 4 to 5 chopped ( Optional)
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbs ( optional)
  • Salt – to taste

 

Method

  1. Wash and pressure cook the potatoes. Peel the cooked potatoes and mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and cashew.
  3. Saute till golden. Add chopped curry leaves and green chili.
  4. Saute for a minute and add the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  5. Add salt and coconut and mix well.Take off the heat.
  6. Add lemon juice and mix well.( Optional)
  7. Decorate with chopped coriander leaves.

Amma used to prepare pachadi almost everyday. All raitas or pachadis are very simple and can be prepared quickly.  Kothamalli pachadi is simple as well.

Ingredients

  • Kothamalli(Coriander leaves) – 6 twigs
  • Coconut grated – 2 tbs
  • Thick curd – 1 cup
  • Green chili – 1 no
  • Salt – to taste

For the seasoning

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp

 

Method

  1. Wash the coriander leaves and drain.
  2. Grind coconut, coriander,green chili and salt to a fine paste.
  3. Beat the curd well. Mix curd and ground paste well.Transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and fry till golden.
  5. Add to the coriander pachadi.
  6. Serve as a side dish.

Jaggery is widely used to make sweets for festivals in Tamizh Nadu. It is considered to be healthier than sugar. No festival menu is complete with out a payasam.Bengal gram payasam can be prepared quickly.

Ingredients

  • Bengal gram( Kadalai Parupu) – 2 table spoons
  • Coconut grated – 3 table spoons
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Jaggery – 3 table spoons
  • Cardamom – 3 nos
  • Ghee – 2 teaspoons
  • Cashew nuts – 6 nos

Method

  1. Pressure cook the bengal gram dal with 1 cup water. Dal should be soft.
  2. Grind the coconut along with cardamom to a fine paste.
  3. Mix milk, cooked dal and coconut paste in a heavy bottomed pan and bring to boil.
  4. Add the jaggery and mix well.The payasam is ready now. Transfer the payasam to a serving dish.
  5. Break the cashews into small pieces. Fry in ghee till golden and add to the payasam.
  6. Serve hot or cold.

Tips

  •  Never allow the payasam to boil after adding jaggery.
  • If you feel the jaggery is impure you can make a syrup by adding little water, strain through a filter and use.

I prepared a simple lunch for aadivelli this year. Manja pongal recipe is already posted and others will be posted soon.

Venthaya Kuzhambu

Venthaya kuzhambu is a great side dish for Manja Pongal. Vegetables like Okra, yellow pumpkin, brinjal and tomato  can be used for the kuzhambu.

Ingredients

  • Tamarind – Lemon size ball
  • *Fresh bean seeds – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – 4 medium sized
  • Sambhar powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chili – 2 nos
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Til Oil – 1 tbs
  • Rice flour – 2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

Method

  1. Soak tamarind in hot water for some time. Extract tamarind pulp adding 2 cups water.
  2. Cut tomato into small pieces. Heat til oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds.
  3. When mustard seeds crackle add hing, fenugreek seeds and red chili and saute till fenugreek is brown.
  4. Add tomato, beans and curry leaves and saute . Cover and cook on a low flame for 3 minutes.
  5. Add sambar powder and mix well. Add the tamarind extract and salt. Allow to boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Mix the rice flour in 1 tbs water and add to the venthaya kuzhambu.Boil for a minute and transfer to a serving bowl.
  7. Serve hot with manja pongal.

*A variety of fresh beans like avarai thuvarai etc are available during this season. I have used fresh kaaramani.

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