Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2008

A Prayer for Beloved Mumbai

There’s no recipe that I am sharing today – only my anger and grief – over the mindless terror and terrible happenings in the beloved city of Mumbai. Almost twenty four hours since terror hit the city claiming innocent lives, the war on the city with ‘an infectious spirit’ continues.  

Our prayers are with those who have lost their lives to this mindless violence, those who are victims to the conditions and continue to be trapped inside the hotels and their families. We pray that the city is able to tide over this crisis; is able to rest after and not erupt in flames becoming slave to narrow political agendas and is able to channel their resilience and anger into a movement that promotes greater safety and peace.

Read Full Post »

I know, I know, I promised to make a pickle today and show you how easy pickling can be with the North Indian Podi for Pickles that I posted yesterday. 

Its pouring in Chennai.  A huge tropical storm has hit many parts of Tamil Nadu and  left 32people dead, washed out many houses and devastated crops. The whole of Chennai is badly flooded. The last I remember witnessing such heavy rains in Chennai is about three years back when we had to use boats to commute in many parts of the city.  With all this howling wind and heavy rain, I can almost sense the doors of my balcony coming off the walls. There’s lots of water coming into my kitchen through the exhaust – most definitely not a good time for pickling. 

South Indian Pickle Podi is a spice mix that one can prepare and store for furture use while pickling in the south indian style. 

picture-304

Makes: approx 500 gms of the powder/spice mix used for pickling

Ingredients

  • Fenugreek – 1/2 cup
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 cup
  • Turmeric – 1 tbsp
  • Red Chillies – 2 cups (tightly packed)

3045200145_6ece46f5dc

Ingredients – photograph does not represent actual quantities needed for recipe

Method

  1. Microwave fenugreek and red chillies together on high for a minute. Or dry them out in the sun – so they lose any external moisture that may be present. 
  2. Grind all ingredients together to a powder.

Store in an air tight container. Keeps well for months. Use whenever you want to pickle anything the South Indian way. 

South Indian Pickle Podi – for the Recipe Marathon

picture-305

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaViji,  Kamalika,Pavani, RoochiKaruna

Read Full Post »

We tamilians are podi (powder) freaks. We podi-fy anything and everything for instant gratification and super quick cooking. Sambar podi, Rasam podi, Milagai Podi, Paruppu Podi, Thengai Podi, Karuvapillai Podi, Aingaya Podi, this podi, that podi – podi podi all around. I am not aware of any podi rhyme – but I think with so many podis around we surely must have one .

Because of this whole podi mania, we have at least two versions of any dish – one with freshly ground spices (araitha vittu) and another the regular way with our famous indispensable podis. Amma has decided to take this podi-fying business to the next level. On my recent visit to Bangalore, apart from many other things, she packed for me two containers for near instant pickling – one with a North Indian Pickle Podi that I can use to pickle anything the north indian way and another with a South Indian Pickle Podi that will give me a pickle with a south indian taste. Although there are pickles and more pickles – she choose the two most predominant styles and prepared the spice mixes accordingly.

picture-301 

Makes: approx 500 gms of the powder/spice mix used for pickling

Ingredients

  • Red chillies – 2 cups (tightly packed)
  • Black Cumin (Mangrail/ Kalonji) – 2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek – 4 tbsp
  • Jeera (Cumin) – 2 tbsp
  • Black Pepper Corns – 2 tbsp
  • Amchur – 8 tbsp
  • Turmeric – 2 tsp

3045197025_54c1bbb360

Ingredients – photograph does not represent actual quantities needed for recipe

Method

  1. Microwave all ingredients except turmeric together on high for a minute. Or dry them out in the sun – so they lose any external moisture that may be present. 
  2. Grind all ingredients together to a powder. 

Store in an air tight container. Keeps well for months. Use whenever you want to pickle anything the North Indian way. 

I will be preparing a small portion of pickle using this powder tomorrow to illustrate how pickling is super simple and super easy and super rewarding! See even the making of this podi is not going to take you much time. 

picture-303

North Indian Pickle Podi – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaViji,  Kamalika,Pavani, RoochiKaruna

Read Full Post »

Gongura Pickle

I am a huge fan of pickles. On any given day, you’ll find me having atleast a small serving of pickle rice for lunch. I love the fiery sour taste of pickle that blends so beautifully with the blandness of plain rice separated and mashed lightly with some sesame oil.  My fridge is usually home to many varieties of pickles – Avakkai, Vegetable Pickle, Tomato Pickle, Gooseberry (Nellikai) Pickle, Shallots Pickle, Gongura – anything works with me except lemon. 

As a child I remember staying over with my aunt at her amma’s place in Hyderabad after she had just delivered my cousin.  I was only 6 at that time, but I remember each meal being a feast with several pachadis and pickles. I reserved the best of my attention to the quintessential Gongura pickle.   

Amma packed a bowlful of Gongura pickle on my recent visit to Bangalore. Gongura is a sour green plant that is commonly used in Andhra Pradesh in many dishes. The taste of Gongura is exquisite – a certain kind of sourness that one cannot explain in words and can only be experienced. Gongura pickle’s lovely flavour comes entirely from the inherent taste of the leaves themselves and not from any kind of spices. There are many ways in which people prepare the Gongura pickle –  by grinding or by chopping the leaves. At home we prefer the latter. The leaves like most greens are a rich source of iron. 

gongurapickle

Makes – 1 cup of Gongura Pickle

Ingredients

  • Gongura (red stemmed) – 3 cups  
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Hing (Asafoetida powder) – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 2 tbsp (adjust to taste)
  • Red Chilli Powder – 3 tbsp 
  • Olive Oil/ Sesame Oil – 3 tbsp

Method

  1. Remove Gongura Leaves from the stem. Wash well and spread on a cloth to dry. Finely chop the Gongura leaves. 
  2. Heat Olive Oil and saute Gongura Leaves with turmeric and hing on a low to medium flame, stirring continously until the leaves are well cooked and water content of the leaves is diminished.  After the gongura is thoroughly cooked it will be reduced to about 1/3rd of the original quantity. 
  3. Add salt and chilli powder and saute on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Transfer to an air tight moisture free container, cool completely and refrigerate. Keeps well for 3 months (if you don’t gobble it up, that is). 

Gongura Pickle – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaViji,  Kamalika,Pavani, RoochiKaruna

Read Full Post »

Amma doesn’t like to share kitchen space with anybody – she believes that it is entirely her territory meant to be left solely for her cooking glory. She has these million “never stated but understood” rules that apparently only a select few of her breed, like two of my aunts, understand.

My appa and I, of course, disagree thoroughly with this unjust discrimination – we demand our fair  share of space and more importantly the right to experiment in it. Half of the quality time I spend with amma is in the kitchen. So much so that she barred me from entering the kitchen today. Thankfully, I was fairly satisfied with the couple of dishes made yesterday – the vanilla cake and these baked stuffed eggplants.

pb220362

Ingredients

  • Brinjal/ Aubergine/ Eggplant – 1
  • Onions – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Corn – 1/2 cup
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Garlic – 2 cloves (finely chopped)
  • Coriander – 4-5 twigs (finely chopped)
  • Paneer – 100 gms (grated)
  • Tamarind – a small piece (about half a walnut)
  • Sea Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

pb220354
Finely chopped onion with coriander, ginger and garlic
pb220356
Filling for the brinjals
Method

  1. Soak tamarind in some warm water. Cut the brinjal lengthwise into two halves. Scoop out the center to make a brinjal cup about 1/2 inch thick. Rub sea salt, some olive oil and tamarind in the insides and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Toast both halves on both sides with olive oil in a non stick pan. Cover and cook on a low flame until brinjal halves are partially cooked.
  3. Parboil the corn. Finely Chop the scooped portion of brinjal.
  4. Heat some oil in a skillet, saute the garlic, ginger, coriander and onions until onions turn pink. Add the chopped brinjal pieces and saute until done. Add the tomatoes, corn, turmeric, salt and chili powder and saute for a minute. Take off flame. Add 3/4 ths of the grated paneer and mix well.
  5. Take one half of the brinjal, scoop the filling (prepared in step  2 and 3) into the brinjal cup, top with some grated paneer. Proceed similarly with the other half.
  6. Bake at 200 C for 15 – 20 minutes until the brinjal is cooked well. Insert a toothpick into the brinjal’s flesh to check if it has turned soft and is thoroughly cooked.

Serve with rice or rotis.

Baked Stuffed Eggplants – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DK, Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii
Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya M, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Viji, , Kamalika,Pavani, Roochi, Karuna

Read Full Post »

Although I spend much of my time eating at amma’s place, I do a fair bit of cooking as well. For example this vanilla cake topped with white chocolate and pistachios that I made last evening. People looking for a basic vanilla eggless cake can make this recipe minus the ganache sandwich.
pb210352

Makes: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 1/4 cup
  • Milk Powder – 3 tbsp
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 3/4 cup
  • Baking Powder – 2 tsp
  • Cooking Soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla – a few drops

For the Filling and Topping

  • White Chocolate – 125 gms
  • Fresh Cream – 1/4 cup
  • Pistachio – 1/4 cup (whole)

3050316130_52c4d8ecda_o1

Method

  1. Line a baking dish 9 by 9 (or equivalent) baking dish.
  2. Powder the sugar well. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix the flour and milk powder. Fold this into the butter-sugar. Fold in the milk. Add vanilla and mix. Divide this batter into two parts. Refrigerate one part immediately.
  4. Add 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of cooking soda to one part of batter. Pour into the baking dish. Bake at 220 C for 40 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cake and transfer to a flat tray or cake holder. Line the 9 by 9 baking dish again.
  6. Take out the remaining batter from the fridge. Repeat step 4 to bake another cake. Cool completely.
  7. Chop the White chocolate to small pieces.
  8. Bring the Fresh Cream to a boil over medium heat.
  9. Take off heat and pour over the chopped chocolate in medium bowl. Whisk well until the ganache (chocolate-cream mixture) is smooth, silky and shiny.
  10. Spread half of this ganache on top of one cake. Place the second cake on top of the first cake and spread the rest of the ganache on top. Dot with pistachios.
  11. Refrigerate until the ganache is set, cut into pieces and serve. Can be served slightly warmed with ice cream on side.

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate and Pistachio – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DK, Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii
Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya M, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Viji, , Kamalika,Pavani, Roochi, Karuna

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 578 other followers