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Posts Tagged ‘Gravys(kuzhambu and kootu)’

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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Recreating dishes my Patti lovingly prepared for us is therapeutic. Not a day passes by without Amma or I reminiscing about the joyous moments we shared with Patti. I have had the privilege of tasting the worst tasting yam dish of all seasons and centuries  while pursuing  my Masters, not once or twice, but every week for an entire two years. The Poricha Kuzhambu with Yam that my Patti prepared offers a study in contrast. The sourness of tamarind perfectly combines with the yam, rendering it itch free (post consumption that is) with a sweet ,earthy, creamy taste.  The yam was left to dry for several days before use to avoid the infamous itch, especially while cutting.

Poricha Kuzhambu was usually prepared on Amavasai (new moon) when lentil based dishes (with the exception of moong dal) were avoided.  Amavasai Tarpanam,  ritual of water oblations, was performed. Food prepared was offered to ancestors and their blessings were sought. Traditional meal planning always included holidays for consumption of specific categories of food, including avoidance of all grains on certain days.

Poricha Kuzhambu

Poricha Kuzhambu

I made Poricha Kuzhambu for the morning’s breakfast to go with some mor paniyarams.  Since I din’t have yam on hand, I used Colacasia (Seppankizhangu) which works as delightfully with this dish.

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

Ingredients

  • Yam/ Colacacia (Seppankizhangu) – 11/2 cup (steamed and diced)
  • Black Chick Peas (Kala Channa) – 4 tbsp
  • Tamarind – lemon sized ball
  • Turmeric
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
For the paste
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli – 1
  • Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Sesame Oil – 1 tsp
Paniyaram with Poricha Kuzhambu, Green Tomato Chutney and Curd
Paniyaram with Poricha Kuzhambu, Green Tomato Chutney and Curd
Method
  1. Soak the Black chickpeas overnight.
  2. Wash and pressure cook the Yam/Colacasia and the Black Chickpeas (with water  and a pinch of salt). Peel and dice the yam/colacasia into big pieces.
  3. Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and squeeze pulp with 2 cups of water.
  4.  Heat sesame oil and roast all ingredients  for the paste, except coconut, until golden.
  5. Take off flame and grind to a paste.
  6. Heat sesame oil in a pan,  add mustard seeds.
  7. When the mustard starts to splutter,  add curry leaves, and on a low flame add the tamarind extract, turmeric, hing and salt.
  8. Bring to a boil and add the steamed yam/colacacia and the black chickpeas.  Simmer for three minutes.
  9. Add the ground paste and simmer for three more minutes.
Serve with Rice or Rice based tiffin varieties.

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This is my last entry for RCI Karnataka! I know all of you will be wondering , why so late! I could get the authentic recipes for these preparations only now!:)) The main ingredient used is Urali Kaalu ( horse gram)

rci-karnataka.jpg

Bas Palya

Bas Saaru

Ingredients

  • Horse gram – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Onion – 1 medium
  • Tamarind – 2 inch piece
  • Tomato – 1 medium
  • Garlic – 2 pods
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Pepper corn – 1 teaspoon
  • Jeera (cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chillies – 2 nos
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Grated coconut – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Coriander leaves – 1 twig

Method

  1. Wash and pressure cook the horse gram with 2 cups water and turmeric powder.
  2. Cut the onions and tomatoes roughly. Heat oil in a kadai, fry the red chillies.
  3. Add the onions and tomatoes and keep stirring on a low flame.
  4. Add curry leaves, garlic and grated coconut and fry for 2 more minutes. Allow to cool.
  5. Grind this mixture with tamarind, peppercorns and jeera to a fine paste.
  6. Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooked horse gram. Strain the water(stock) in to a MW safe container. The whole cooked gram will be used for the palya.
  7. To the horse gram water(Stock) add salt and the ground paste and MW high for 5 minutes.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice and ghee.
  9. Bas Palya

Bas palya

Ingredients

  • Cooked horse gram after stock is strained for the saaru.
  • Onion – 1 medium Finely chopped
  • Grated coconut- 2 table spoons
  • Green chillies – 2 nos finely chopped
  • Salt- to taste
  • Oil- 2 teaspoons
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Method

  1. Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When it crackles add onions, green chillies and curry leaves and saute on a low flame.
  2. Add coconut and saute for 1 more minute. Add the cooked horse gram and salt and saute for 2 more minutes on a medium flame.
  3. Your bas palya is ready.

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In bangalore tomato is available throughout the year. The only problem is , the price fluctuates from Rs.5 per kg to Rs.40 per kg with in a span of three months! I buy a few kilos when it is cheap and make this paste. The paste can be stored in the freezer for more than three months, in Tupperware containers. I am giving the timings for 1 kg tomato.
Fresh Tomato

Fresh tomatoes

Method

  1. Wash the tomatoes and drain the water.
  2. In a Microwave safe container, MW at 600 watts covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool for a few minutes and grind to a smooth paste. Pass through a strainer if required and grind again.
  4. Transfer the pulp to the same MW container and MW at 600 watts for 1/2 hour stirring once in 5 minutes.
  5. Pour this into a freezer container and allow to cool. Keep in the freezer and use as you like.
  6. Take out the pulp from the freezer 15 minutes before use. It is easy to scoop out with an ice cream scoop.

This is my entry for Srivalli’s basic MW cooking event.

meclogo.jpg

After cooking in MW for 10 minutes
After keeping for 10 mins in microwave

Tomato Paste

Storing in freezer container

You can use the pulp for Preparing

  1. Tomato thokku.
  2. All gravies for which you need tomato paste.
  3. Chutney
  4. Rasam
  5. Soup
  6. Tomato rice

Hope all of you find this preparation useful.

I have published a post on Microwave cooking tips almost 2 months back. That is my second entry for Srivallis event.

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Recipes for following have been posted below:

  • Parangikai Paal Kootu (Sweet Pumpkin in Milk, Jaggery and Cream)
  • Poori Payasam (A Unique Pudding)
  • Aama Vadai (Channa Dal based Vadai)

Parangikai Paal kootu (Sweet Pumpkin in Milk, Jaggery and Cream)

This is a sweet kootu which my hubby loves. I have not prepared for a long time as the tender parangikai is not easily available here. Tender paringi kotai is best for this recipe. Posting this on request for my fan Latha Balu.

Ingredients

  • Parangikai(sweet pumpkin) diced – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Jaggery – 1 table spoon
  • Turmeric – 1 pinch
  • Salt – 1 pinch
  • Cream – 1 table spoon(optional)

Method

  1. Add 1/2 cup water to the diced parangikai mixed with turmeric powder and salt and cook on a medium flame.
  2. When the vegetable is soft and well cooked add the jaggery and milk and just bring to boil. Do not allow to boil for long.
  3. Add the cream. If you like it thicker you can add 1 teaspoon rice flour to this and cook for a minute.

Tips

Tender vegetable is the best.

Use minimum water to get a thick kootu.

You can increase or decrease the amount of jaggery to suit your taste.

Aama vadai

P8280329
Aama Vadai, Beans Parrupusali, More Kozhambu
This vadai is made using channa dal or kadalai paruppu. I use cabbage and carrot to add nutritional value.

Ingredients

  • Channa dal – 1 cup
  • Urad dal 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig( finely chopped
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • salt to taste
  • Grated carrot – 1/2 cup
  • Finely chopped cabbage – 1/2 cup
  • Oil – 1 cup for deep frying

Method

  1. Wash and soak the dals for 1/2 hour .
  2. Drain well ,add red chilli, salt , hing and grind coarsely to a thick consistency. You must be able to make a ball.
  3. Add curry leaves , cabbage and carrots and mix well.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai and test the temperature by dropping a small piece of the batter. If it rises quickly you can start frying the vadas.
  5. Make small flat rounds on your palm or a plastic sheet with the batter and drop carefully into the oil.
  6. Fry both sides on a medium flame and drain on a kitchen paper.

Poori payasam

Poori Payasam

Ingredients

For the pooris

  • Rava – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1 tablespoons
  • Oil – 1 cup for deep frying

For the paayasam

  • Milk – 1/2 litre
  • Sugar 3/4 cup
  • Ghee 1 table spoon
  • Cardamom- 3 nos
  • Cashew nuts 6 nos
  • Saffronleaves – 6 leaves
  • Milk – 1 tablespoon for soaking saffron.

Method

  1. Mix the rava and ghee with little water and knead like a poori dough.Leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai. Knead the dough once again. Make small balls with the dough and roll into thin pooris.
  3. Test the heat of oil by dropping a small piece of dough into the oil. If it rises quickly oil is ready for frying.
  4. Keep the flame in medium and fry the pooris on both sides and drain the oil and take out on a kitchen paper.
  5. Heat milk in a deep pan on a low flame. Break the pooris into big pieces and add to the milk.
  6. When the pooris are cooked add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron leaves soaked in milk.
  7. Take off the flame and garnish with cashews fried in 1 table spoon ghee.

Tips

Do not allow the paayasam to boil after adding sugar.

Pooris must be fried in medium to low fire so the they stay white.

The pooris should be rolled super thin.

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Aavani avittam or Upaakarma falls on the Poornima(full moon day) in the month of Aavani (mid august to mid september). The Star Avittam also rises on the same day every year.

On this day all men and boys change their sacred thread (Poonal). For Thalai Aavani Avittam or the first festival after the upanayanam of the boys, Homa is performed using 1008 peepul twigs (samithu) reciting the Kamo karshi japam. Generally the changing of thread is performed in a common place in a locality which is usually a hall in the temple.

After a breakfast of Idli and Appam the boys(Brahmacharis) and men go to the temple where the sasthrigal or vadhiyar (priest) help them by teaching the mantras. Usually the men perform this ritual with out eating anything.

For lunch an elaborate menu is followed as this is the only festival exclusively for men.

I am planning the following Menu. Click on links to get the recipes. Some are posted below.

Pictures will be posted after neivedyam.

Beans parrupusali

Beans Parrupusali

Ingredients

  • Beans – 1/4 kg
  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – 3 table spoons
  • Channa dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and soak the toor dal for 1/2 hour in warm water.
  2. Grind to a thick paste adding red chilli, hing and salt.
  3. Wash and cut the beans to small pieces.
  4. Add hing, turmeric powder and 1 table spoon oil and micro high for 6 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds.
  6. When it crackles add urad dal and channa dal and fry till golden.
  7. Add the ground dal care fully and stir well. Cook on a medium flame stirring occasionally it the dal cooks.
  8. Add the boiled beans and mix well.
  9. Cook for 3 more minutes and put off the flame.

Inji thengai pachadi
Ingredients

  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Grated coconut 1/2 cup
  • green chilli – 1 no
  • salt to taste
  • Fresh curds – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig ( finely chopped)

Method

  1. Wash and chop the ginger, add coconut, green chilli, salt and grind to a fine paste .
  2. Mix with curd in a serving bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai,add mustard seeds. when it crackles add the urad dal and fry till golden.
  4. Add the curry leaves and pour on the ginger pachadi.

Elumichai saathamudu( lemon rasam)
Rasam

Ingredients

  • Toor dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
  • Tomato – 1 no
  • Lemon – 1 no
  • Curry leaves -1 twig
  • Coriander seeds 1/2 teaspoon
  • Grated coconut – 1 tablespoon
  • Channa dal 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hing – a small piece(Powder is also ok)
  • blackpeppercorns 1/2 teaspoon
  • Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Ghee – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash and pressure cook the Toor dal adding a pinch of turmeric powder.
  2. Cut tomato into small pieces and in a micro safe container micro for 1/2 minute.
  3. Fry the coriander seeds, channa dal, jeera red chilli, hing and pepper in 1 teaspoon ghee it golden.
  4. Add coconut to the fried items and grind to a smooth paste.
  5. Add dal, salt and 1 cup water to the tomatoes and micro high for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the ground paste and 1 more cup water and micro high for 3 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and add juice extracted from 1 lemon.
  8. Fry the curry leaves in 1 teaspoon ghee and add to the prepared rasam.

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With three birthdays and so many festivals in the month of aadi, There were too many heavy lunches. So last sunday I prepared a pathiya sappadu (saatvik khana – read healthy food that’s nice to your digestive system).It took just 15 minutes. So I am sending to Shaheens Express cooking event. I prepared Milagu kuzhambu (Black Peppercorns and Tamarind Gravy), Paruppu thogayal (a paste made of Lentils), Plain rice, pappad, Varutha Manathakali and Veepampoo (Roasted Black Nightshade and Neem flowers).

Ingredients

For Milagu Kuzhambu (Black Peppercorns and Tamarind Gravy)

  • Tamarind – lemon sized
  • Coriander seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Black peppercorns – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Channa dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Urad dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Oil- 2 teaspoons
  • Curry leaves 2 twigs

For Paruppu thogayal (Lentils Paste)

  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Red chillii – 1 no
  • Oil 1 table spoon
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Salt to taste

For plain rice

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Water 2 and 1/2 cups

For the varuvals (roasted items)

  • Manathakali vathal (Black Nightshade)- 2 table spoons
  • Veepampoo (Neem flowers) – 2 table spoons
  • Ghee 2 table spoons
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Heat 2 and 1/2 cups water in a small Hawkins Ventura cooker.
  2. Wash the rice, drain well and add to the boiling water, close the cooker.Takes around 5 minutes to cook
  3. Soak tamarind in hot water.
  4. In a kadai heat 2 teaspoon oil and fry coriander seeds, channa dal, urad dal, peppercorns, redchilli and hing till golden.
  5. Add curry leaves and fry for a moment and transfer to a plate.
  6. Heat 1 table spoon oil and fry toor dal, red chilli and hing till golden, stirring continously.
  7. Transfer to a container and leave to cool.
  8. Extract juice from tamarind adding 1 and 1/2 cup water, add salt and bring to boil in medium flame.
  9. Grind the fried items for milagu kuzhambu in to a powder and add to the boiling tamarind water and mix well.
  10. Let it boil for a minute and transfer to a serving bowl.
  11. Add salt and grind the toordal to a powder and add 1 cup water and grind furtherto a smooth paste.
  12. Add more water if required and transfer to a serving bowl.
  13. Heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee in a small kadai and fry the manathakali vathal (black nightshade) till it puffs. Add salt and transfer to a small cup.
  14. Heat 1/2 table spoon ghee in the same kadai and fry the veepampoo (neem flowers) till slightly black.Add salt and transfer to a cup.
  15. By now the rice will be ready with pressure released.
  16. Serve all these items with papads made in the microwave.

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