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Archive for the ‘south indian’ Category

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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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.

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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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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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Adai is a distant, thick cousin of the dosa, a south indian pancake made with equal parts of rice and a combination of lentils one fancies. Adai-Avial (mixed vegetables dunked in coconut and yogurt) is a classic combination, a common place tiffin that people in this part of the world love. I am no expert on nutrition, exercise and the like. I can therefore make no claims whatsoever on the healthfulness of Adai. What I can, however, tell you with utter confidence is that this a breakfast combination that will keep you full for what will seem like an eternity. Traditionally Adais were thick pancakes, made by patting fistfuls of batter on the tawa. A pit would be dug (a hole, actually, a minor dent) in the middle of this enormously thick pancake to help with even cooking and to infuse some oil.

Growing up with my vegetable worshiping Appa, I always ate what were most definitely cabbage pancakes doled out as Adai. My Appa’s vegetable love was good in every other way, it elevated ordinary bland tasting fare to unimaginably delicious heights, except in this addition of cabbage to the Adai. The fresh home made butter on the side that was served with the Adai was the only thing I looked forward to. Until last week I had never met an Adai I could eat without feeling choked. My search for a palatable adai ended when I transformed this recipe for deep fried paniyarams handed down by my mother in law. I took the liberty of thinning the batter enough so that the Adai could be not just crisp but also feel less voluminous in the mouth.

Recipe handed down by my mother in law, who in turn got it from her mother in law.

Ingredients

  • Raw Rice – 1 cup
  • Moong Dal – 1/4 cup
  • Urad dal (black gram) – 1/4 cup
  • Channa dal (chick peas)- 1/4 cup
  • Toor dal (pigeon peas)- 1/4 cup
  • Red Chillies – 2 -4 no (crushed)
  • Curry Leaves – 2 twigs (finely chopped)
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece (grated)
  • Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
Method
  1. Wash the rice and dals (all four together) and soak overnight in enough water separately.
  2. Drain water from the rice and the dals. Grind the rice to a smooth batter with 1/2 cup of water. Add the dals and grind to a coarse batter with another 1/2 cup of water . Add salt, red chillies, grated coconut, curry leaves and ginger to the batter. Dilute with water (if necessary) to get a batter of pouring consistency.
  3. Heat a flat pan on medium and grease with oil. Pour a ladle of batter and spread in circular motion to make the adai/pancake. When one side turns golden, turn over and cook the other side. Remove from pan. Repeat with rest of the batter.
Serve hot with avial/ eggplant gothsu or any other coconut/roasted eggplant based side dish, milagai podi and fresh butter. Other Adais on The Yum blog:

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Tiffin/Palaharam in Tamil Nadu was once usually served in the evening as snacks.  That snack has been upgraded to breakfast fare, served with atleast one vegetable-lentil/coconut based side dish, thogayal/ chutney and curd. (If like my appa, you subsist on 95% vegetable diet, you will add a salad/soup).  In the not so distant past, people  ate what we eat for lunch as breakfast, a practice that is not uncommon even today. You know you are in Tamil Nadu if you see people waking up at 5am to eat a gigantic lunch at 9am.

Paniyaram with Poricha Kuzhambu, Green Tomato Chutney and Curd

No breakfast is repeated for atleast a month at Amma’s. Yes, she is that rare breed of modern day Tamilian not to have Idli/Dosa Maavu forever in the fridge, because she makes them just once in a month. And she doesn’t even go beyond the South Indian cuisine much as far as breakfast is concerned.  This isn’t surprising considering the agriculture obsessed South Indian culture that not just worships the grains but prepares them using a wide range of techniques. At times the breakfast may just consist of steamed or roasted vegetables served with suitable sides.  Variety needs inspiration, and it is a value to be incorporated from the earlier generation. Even on the standard Iyengar diet that excludes entire food groups including many vegetables, my Patti put together meals that were diverse with  fresh experiences in flavour and texture. Cooking techniques, not just the spices, were used to render different flavours.

Thayir Paniyaram

Thayir paniyaram is one such inspired recipe, created by altering the method of cooking for an existing dish (no prizes for guessing, but you may try).

tbsp=tablespoon, tsp=teaspoon, cup=standard metric cup measuring 250ml

Ingredients

  • Par Boiled rice – 1 cup
  • Urad dal – 1 tablespoon
  • Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (heaped)
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Red chillies – 2
  • Sour Curd (Yogurt) – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Method

  1. Wash and drain the par boiled rice and urad dal. Add to the sour curd(yogurt) and soak overnight for 6-8 hours.
  2. Grind to a smooth batter adding grated coconut, red chillies and salt. Add curry leaves towards the end of grinding the batter.  The batter must be thick but of pouring consistency (similar to cake batter).
  3. Heat the paniyaram pan, add a drop of oil to each of the moulds and pour the batter.
  4. Cover and cook over a medium flame. When the paniyarams start to puff up and  separate from the pan, turn them over and cook the other side. Transfer to serving dish. Repeat for the rest of the batter.

I served it with Green Tomato Chutney and Poricha Kuzhambu.

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