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Archive for July, 2012

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.

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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.

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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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Srirama navami – 30th April

Tamizh Varuda Pirappu -14th April

Chithra pournami – 6th May

Aadi Pandigai – 16th July

Aadi Velli Kizhamai – 20th,27th  July,3rd and 10th August

Andal Thiruaadipuram- 23rd July

Pathinettam Perukku-2nd August

Avani Avittam/ Upakarma-1st August

Janmashtami/Gokulashtami-9th August

Vinayaka Chaturthi/Ganesh Chaturthi-19th September

Varalakshmi Viratham-27th July

Kovil Kannapiran Srijayanthi-8th September (For Iyengars)

Puratasi Sanikizhamai – 22nd, 29th September and 6th and 13th October

Navarathri Pujai Arambam-16th October

Saraswathi Puja ( Mahanavami)-October 23rd

Vijaya Dasami (Aayuda Puja) -October 24th

Deepavali (Naraka Chaturdasi) -November 13th

Thiru Karthigai-28th November

Boghi Pandigai -13th January 2013

Pongal/Sankaranthi-14th January 2013

Mattu Pongal-15th January 2013

Karadaiyan Nonbu-13th March 2013

Tamizh Puthandu-14th April 2013

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Preparing rasam is simplest for an experienced cook but beginners want to know the secret behind the tasty rasam prepared by their mothers.I have used home grown tomatoes for this rasam. Rasam can be easily prepared by anyone in the microwave.

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes – 2 medium sized
  • Toor dal – 1 tbs
  • Rasam powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Hing – a small piece
  • coriander – 3 twigs
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – 3 cups

For the seasoning

  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Red chili – 1 no

Method

  1. Cut the tomatoes into pieces, place in a MW safe bowl and MW high for 2 minutes.Allow to cool and grind in the mixer to a puree.
  2. Pressure cook the toor dal. Mash the cooked dal and mix with the tomato puree into a MW safe bowl.
  3. Add rasam powder, hing, salt, water and MW high for 4 minutes.
  4. Chop the coriander leaves and add to the rasam.
  5. Heat 1 tsp ghee add the mustard seeds and red chili, when the mustard crackles add to the rasam.

 

Rasam can be serves with rice, or in a glass. Sambar powder can be used if you don,t have a separate rasam powder.

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Harvesting tomatoes that were never sown!

Around five years back, I suddenly planned a  face lift for our small garden area. After cleaning up the garden I bought a nice pot to be used as compost pit. We collected the vegetable and fruit waste in this pot and used it as manure. I used to throw the rotten tomatoes as well.

In our new duplex home we made planters on the compound wall and the parapet wall. My hubby mixed soil with the compost we had collected over the years  and planted some rose cuttings. After around two weeks the planters were filled with tomato plants. We re potted them and have harvested over 100 tomatoes till now. Another hundred can be plucked in a week:).

Thakkali Koottu (Tomato koottu )

Cooking with home grown vegetables is very satisfying and you know there are no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The aroma of freshly plucked vegetables is heavenly.

Ingredients

  • Raw tomatoes – 6 to 8
  • Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

For the paste

  • Grated coconut – 1 tbs
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Red-chili –  1 no
  • Oil – 1 tsp

For  the seasoning

  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 5 nos
  • Red chilli – 1 no

Method

  1. Slice the tomatoes into long pieces.Place in a MW safe bowl and mix with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. MW high for 5 minutes
  2. Pressure cook the moong dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  3. Roast the ingredients for the paste except coconut in 1 tsp oil, add coconut and grind to a smooth paste.
  4. Add cooked moong dal, ground paste and salt to the tomatoes and mix well.Add a little water to get Koottu consistency.
  5. Mw high for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Cut the red chili into small pieces.
  7. Heat 1 tsp ghee and add the mustard seeds and red chili; when the mustard crackles add the curry leaves. Add  the seasoning to the koottu.

Serve as a side dish for rotis,phulkas or rice.

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