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Posts Tagged ‘Gravys(kuzhambu and kootu)’

Comfort food in our house means rotis with kootu, “thayir “(curd) and pickles. Dry vegetables can be, well, too dry for Chennai, and gravies can become too spicy. Besides there aint any quicker way to prepare vegetables than the classic Tamil Kootu way. There are of course a few ways in which one can make these mildly flavoured lentils depending on vegetables. I have made a plain version similar to what is usually used for cabbage.

For the actual Poricha kootu version, refer to the Drumstick Kootu I had posted earlier.

This is my entry for Shaheen’s Summer Express Cooking event. But this isnt really an express meal, in fact its pretty relaxed!!! And takes under 20 minutes.

Rotis with Snake Gourd in Lentils

Preparation time: 5 mins, Cooking time: 15 minutes, Serves: 2-3

Ingredients
For Kootu

  • Snake Gourd – 250 gms
  • 3/4 cup Moong Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tbsp Grated Coconut
  • 2 nos Red Chillies
  • 4 twigs Fresh Coriander
  • a pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Urad Dal
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for Cooking

For Rotis

  • 1 1/2 cups Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • Water to Knead
  • Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Put Moong Dal with 2 cups of water and turmeric powder to steam in a pan or pressure Cooker.
  2. Fry Red Chillies in a 1 tsp for oil. Turn off the heat and add Grated coconut. Keep aside for cooling. The coconut should have just a mild golden colour.
  3. Wash the Snake Gourd. Cut it length wise into two, remove seeds and slice into small semi circles.
  4. Wash and roughly chop the coriander leaves.
  5. Turn off the Cooker or Pan.
  6. Put the Snake Gourd in a Microwave Safe Bowl with Hing, sprinkle a few drops of water and Micro on High for 6 minutes.
  7. While the Snake Gourd is cooking, knead the Wheat Flour with salt and water into a firm dough. Knead till the dough is elastic. Add the Ghee to the dough towards the end, divide into 10 rounds and set aside.
  8. Grind the roasted red chillies and coconut to a fine paste with 1 tsp water.
  9. The Snake Gourd would have finished cooking in the Microwave and pressure released from the Cooker. Remove the Moong Dal and mash lightly.
  10. Add the Moong Dal, Salt and Coconut-Red Chilli Paste to the Snake Gourd in the Microwave Container. Mix well, and Micro on high for four minutes.
  11. Set the Roti Skillet on a low flame. Take a plate or a basket with a clean cloth on it to set aside the rotis.
  12. Press one round ball of the Roti Dough flat lightly with your palms on a flat surface. Roll over the pinwheel evenly, turning the flattened round slowly. Bring sides together and roll out into a circle again. This should give you a perfectly shaped (ok, may be fairly) round roti.*
  13. Put the roti on the skillet. Cook both sides for a few seconds on a low flame. Increase flame to high when small whitish or pinkish spots or air pockets start to appear. Cook the other side. Repeat this until brown spots appear on both sides.
  14. Proceed similarly with all the other rotis.
  15. Remove the Snake Gourd Kootu from the Microwave. Add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well with a ladle.
  16. Splutter mustard seeds and urad dal with a little oil on the stove. Add this tempering to the Snake Gourd Kootu.

Serve Hot with Curd and Pickles.

*It is always better to use dough that has been set aside for at least 20 minutes. Fresh dough may not puff much. Folding dough and rolling out again helps.

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We have 2 entries from our blog for the summer express cooking event hosted by Shaheen . One from Latha and one from Viji.

Puri and Kurma by vijisriram

This evening tiffin can be prepared within 15 minutes. We have to cut the vegetables previous day and store in fridge in tupperware containers. Below given is the recipe for puri and kurma for two people.


Ingredients :

For the puri

  • Atta – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Ghee – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 cup (for deep frying)
  • Water – 1/2 cup

For the kurma :

  • Carrots – 1
  • Potatoes – 2
  • Beans – 50 grams
  • Coconut grated – 1 tea spoon
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tea spoon
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Roasted gram – 1 tea spoon
  • Sunflower oil – 1 tea spoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Coriander leaves – a few

All the vegetables are previously cut and stored .
Potatoes, beans and carrots cut into medium size cubes and Onions chopped finely and tomatoes also cut finely and stored in the fridge.

Method :

  1. First mix atta with a tea spoon of ghee and salt.
  2. Knead it into a dough by adding water to it.
  3. Make 8 small balls from the dough.(Total 3 minutes)
  4. Take the already cut vegetables (carrot, beans and potatoes) from fridge.
  5. Micro wave high adding 1 teaspoon oil,1 tablespoon water and 2 pinches of hing for 4 minutes
  6. When the vegetable is cooking in the micro wave, Grind Coconut(grated), green chillies and roasted gram to a smooth paste.
  7. Grind onion and tomato into a smooth paste.
  8. Put on both the burners of the gas stove and keep in low flame.
  9. Keep oil for frying puris in one, and heat kadai for kurma in the other and pour 2 tea spoons of sunflower oil.( 4 minutes)
  10. First put the onion tomato paste, ginger garlic paste, fry for 1/2 minute till raw smell goes.
  11. Now, add the coconut, chilli, roasted gram paste allow it to fry for 1/2 minute, add the cooked vegetables and salt.
  12. Allow this to simmer for 2 minutes
  13. Garnish the gravy with coriander leaves.(3 minutes)
  14. Now start rolling the puris.
  15. Put the puri,in the kadai of oil which is heated well, wait for a second, so that the puri becomes fluffy.
  16. Now turn the puri again cook it for a few seconds.
  17. Remove it from fire.Make rest of the puris in the same way.(5 minutes)

Serve hot with puris.

Since we have cut the vegetables previously, cooking time for the gravy will be 7 minutes. And puris can be prepared within 8 minutes.

  1. Keep all the cut vegetables into a micro safe bowl .
  2. Add water and cook at micro high for 4 minutes.
  3. Keep this aside.
  4. Add oil in a micro safe vessel, add onion tomato, ginger garlic paste to it.
  5. Cook in micro high for 4 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut, chilli, roasted gram paste to it, add the cooked vegetables and salt.
  7. Cook in micro high for 3 minutes.

Garnish this kuruma with coriander leaves and serve hot with puris.

Tip :

Puris can be prepared immediately, after the dough is made.

If lukewarm water is added to knead the dough, puris will be soft for a very long time.

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This tasty side dish and can be served hot with rotis, puris and ghee rice.

Serves : 2

Preparation time : 30-45 minutes.

Ingredients :

  • Cauliflower – 1 medium sized
  • Potato – 150 grams
  • Onions – 2
  • Tomato – 2
  • Chilli powder – 1 tea spoon
  • Dhania powder- 1 tea spoon
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tea spoon
  • Badam Nuts – 2
  • Cashew Nuts -2
  • Grated coconut – 1 table spoon
  • Oil – 7 tea spoons
  • Salt – to taste
  • Kasoori methi – a pinch

Method

  1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and wash them with lukewarm water .
  2. Peel the potatoes and dice them into small cubes and pressure cook them.(Add the required salt ).
  3. Chop the onions finely.
  4. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces.
  5. Now heat 2 tea spoons of oil in a kadai and add the cauliflower florets, add salt to it, sprinkle water, cover it with a lid and cook.
  6. After it is done, keep it aside.
  7. Now heat 3 tea spoons of oil and roast the onions and tomatoes till the raw smell goes.
  8. Add badam, cashew nuts , chilli powder,ginger garlic paste, dhania powder, salt to it.
  9. Before removing it from fire add the grated coconut.
  10. Remove from fire and allow to cool.
  11. Grind the roasted ingredients into a smooth paste, by adding a little water
  12. Now heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a kadai, add the ground paste, cooked potatoes and cauliflower and simmer for 2 minutes.
  13. Garnish this gravy with a pinch of kasoori methi.

Transfer it to a serving bowl. Serve hot.

Variation :

You can use ghee instead of oil.

We can omit potatoes.

This gravy can also be done with capsicum and potato combination.

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This version of sambhar is usually served as a side dish for dosa and idli varieties. In weddings this is served with Venn Pongal. I learnt this from my daughter’s mother in law.

karaikudi sambar

Cooking is one thing, taking photos of food that you cook is quite another. Let’s see the amusing story behind the photo. My brother who had come down from Delhi was scheduled to leave in the morning to attend a conference. So the first time I set the sambar in a lovely serving bowl all ready to shoot, I was told that “attending conference” was priority – the photo needed to wait till Sampath finished his breakfast. After my brother finished his breakfast, I garnished it once more and pulled out a “jerige veshti” to set the scene for the much needed snap for the blog. Hunger pangs hit my husband, he wanted to eat. And so the Sambar had to wait again for its photo shoot. Just as he finished, and I went about transferring to another smaller bowl fair enough for the quantity left behind, my son arrived from his bath and said, “Amma, that looks very tasty. I’ll eat and then you take snaps”. Poor Sambhar, it had wait yet again for its moment of glory. Mid way through my son’s breakfast, my stomach started growling. Now who could resist rava idlis with sambhar. I finished my portion of the breakfast too.

All that was left was two ladle fulls, and this absolute amateur with the camera was left to salvage whatever was left. I transferred into a soup bowl, garnished and took a few snaps. Dont miss the “jerige veshti” in red, although I am still not sure what it is doing in the snap. I put this as part of the composition because my daughter said that ethnic stuff like this will pep up the presentation. 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • Toor dal – 1/4 cup
  • Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Onion – 1 nos
  • Brinjal – 250 gms
  • Hing – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 3 teaspoons
  • Red chillies 2 nos
  • Coriander leaves – 2 twigs

For the paste

  • Tomato – 1 medium
  • Green chillies – 2 nos
  • Coconut grated – 2 tablespoons

Method

  1. Wash and pressure cook the dals with turmeric and 2 cups water.
  2. Slice the onions into thin pieces and chop brinjal into small cubes.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai and add the vegetables, hing and fry for 3 minutes stirring continuously.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup water and cover and cook on a low flame till brinjal is soft.
  5. Grind the ingredients for the paste.
  6. Add the cooked dals and the paste to the vegetables and mix well.
  7. Add salt and simmer for 5 minutes.Transfer to a serving bowl
  8. Garnish with red chillies fried in 1 teaspoon oil and finely chopped coriander.
  9. Serve with

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Note: This post is not adorned with mouth watering photos that usually other food blogs contain (often unfairly). I say unfairly because these days I seem to be perpetually hungry because of browsing all of the colourful splash. May be we should make a food blog rule that all good food photos should follow after a warning – “Beware: Hunger inducing photos follow”. Getting back to the point, read on for a neat recipe.

Enlightment strikes in the most nonchalant ways. This time it struck me a couple of days back when my visiting mother in law causally gave me a recipe over a random chat. ‘Radish leaves are edible!!!”, I thought.

I usually leave the vegetable shopping to Satish – over the last one year he’s become an expert in picking vegetables from taro/arbi that does’nt turn ‘gooey’ to richly coloured eggplant with almost invisible seeds to radish that just has a mild taste. But this sudden enligtenment called for my rare appearance at Pazhamudir Nilayam yesterday, to scourge for radish leaves that are cut to be thrown away.

I had to convince the man near the radish stack that I was perfectly sane and definitely wanted only the leaves and not the radish. The girl at the sales counter was equally bewildered – “I cant bill for waste!!! What can you make out of this?!!”. I simply said, “I dont know, may be Masiyal” (which should make sense to any Tamilian). But she seemed even more confused. Perhaps, people who sell vegetables at Pazhamudir Nilayam need some cookery lessons.

Here’s the recipe for Radish Leaves.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 Radish Leaves
  • 1/4 cup groundnuts
  • 1 tsp chilli pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking

Method

1. Remove the thick stem from behind the leaves.

2. Wash the leaves thoroughly – remove every ounce of dirt.

3. Fine chop the Radish Leaves.

4. Microwave the groundnuts for 45 seconds on high to roast them. You can also roast them with oil on a stove. Keep aside the groundnuts for cooling.

5. Microwave the leaves with turmeric, hing and a few drops of water on high for 4 minutes. Alternatively you can do this on a stove. Ensure that the leaves are well cooked and drain any excess water.

6. In a kadai, pour 1/2 tbsp oil and add mustard seeds. add the cooked radish leaves after the mustards crackle. Keep the flame low.

7. Coarsely grind the groundnuts in blender. Add this to the leaves in the kadai.

8. Add salt and chilli pepper. Cook on a medium flame for a thirty seconds to a minute. Transfer to a serving dish.

Serve hot with rotis, rice (or even pasta!!) and curd.

I made this for the morning breakfast to go with a modified version of a traditional pasta recipe that is cheeseless. Yes, there are lovely pasta recipes that are to be served without cheese and taste incredilbly good. But that calls for another post.

FootNote: The leaves are a wee bit bitter, so Satish who has baby like taste buds din’t quite enjoy. I recommend for those of you who dont like even a pinch of bitterness – the same recipe with paalak keerai. I loved the ‘kai’ although I admit that this is not something that can be consumed in large quantities.

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A spicy gravy which goes well with breakfasts. Can also be served as a part of the lunch.

Ingredients :

  • Brinjal – 1/4 kg
  • Bengal gram dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Urad dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Pepper – 1/2 tea spoon
  • Chillies (red) – 4-5
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tea spoon
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Fenu greek seeds- 1/2 tea spoon
  • Grated coconut -2 tablespoons
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Tamarind – small lemon sized(soaked in water)
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tea spoon

For seasoning

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tea spoon

For garnishing

  • A few curry leaves

Method

  1. Dry roast bengal gram dal, urad dal, fenugreek, pepper, asafoetida, chillies, coriander seeds till golden
  2. Add  grated coconut and fry for 1 more minute till the coconut becomes golden.
  3. Slit brinjal into four (as we do for stuffing). Heat oil in a kadai. Add the seasoning. After the mustard splutters, add the slit brinjal, add salt and turmeric powder.
  4. Soak the tamarind in warm water and squeeze the pulp adding 1 and1/2 cup water. While the brinjals are half cooked add the tamarind pulp to it.
  5. Allow to simmer till the brinjal is fully cooked. Now add the powder to it and boil it for two seconds.
  6. Garnish it with curry leaves.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot with white rice or chappatis.

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This tasty dish is so quick. Goes well with manja pongal.

Ingredients

Tamarind – lemon size (soaked in luke warm water)

Red chillies – 5 nos (cut into 1 inch pieces)

Mustardseeds – 1/2 teaspoon.

Toor dal – 1 tablespoon

*Manathakkali vathal (sun berry or wonder cherry, dried)

2 teaspoons.

Sesame (Til) oil 1 tablespoon.

Curry leaves 1 twig.

Rice flour 2 teaspoons.

Salt to taste.

Method

Squeeze out the pulp from soaked tamarind by adding one and half cups water.

Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add toor dal and red chillies. When toor dal is almost golden add the manathakkali vathal and fry. It will bulge in a moment, pour the tamarind water and add chopped curry leaves and salt. simmer for 6 minutes. Mix rice flour in one tablespoon water and add to the kuzhambu. Boil for 2 more minutes in low flame. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot with Manja pongal or Rice.

* Ayurvedam.com

Manja pongal

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