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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

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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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.

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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We had a long weekend and I took to blog hopping and posting random musings – like this previous post on Nagapattinam with pictures of my family temple. While I was blog hopping I saw almost everyone showing off their cook books! After seeing Suganya’s Tassajara cook book, I had to muster some courage to show off my humble belongings! 🙂 . I have a modest collection of cook books. I gather most of my cooking knowledge from my mother and aunts, my friends and acquaintances and their mothers and patties, random people I meet on holidays like this person who cooks at a guest house in a remote hill station, chefs at marriages and functions at all kinds, cookery shows like that of Sanjeev Kapoor and now food bloggers and food websites. Having travelled throughout India, I have met a whole lot of interesting people and been introduced to their cuisine.

So here are my cook books with some memories. Hope you don’t find my narration boring! 😀

Just before my marriage, I was attending a Nirmal (a traditional art form) painting class, around 5 km from my home. I wanted to join the bakery course conducted in the same place. One day on my way back from the classes I lost my purse with around Rs.7! Rs. 7 in those days was a loooooooooot of money for a youngster. I was so upset that I created a scene after reaching home! My mother got scared seeing my crest fallen face and refused to send me to the class from the next day. I somehow convinced her and joined a painting class closer home, though I was pretty upset about not being able to attend the baking class. Since I was so keen to learn baking my Appa who travelled a lot as a part of his job at Telecoms bought a cake book from Manneys, Poona for Rs. 50. Yes 26 years back the book was only Rs. 50 !!


Woman’s Own Cook Book of Cake Decorating and Cake Making is a large collection of recipes published by Hamlyn Publishing, London. No author/s have been mentioned anywhere in the book. This book was my introduction to the world of baking. Though my mother baked eggless cakes in a round gas oven, I learnt baking and decoration from this book! For the rich fruit cake I follow the recipe from this book, omitting rum.

My Coo<a mce_thref=kbooks 4

The other book I cherish is my handwritten note book which is a treasure house of recipes from my mom and aunts, with exact measurements and rare dishes! This is the only book I follow 100%, with no modifications to the recipes. 🙂

My Cookbooks1
I am also fond of the Tupperware cook book in which some of my recipes were published. 😉

My Cookbooks 3

I have a few cook books by Tarla dalal – some of them are with my daughter now. I like her North Indian recipes – simple and practical. Supersoft naans with Navratna kurma is the first dish I prepared from her books. TarlaDalal comes across as a simple and lovable person in her cookery shows! 🙂

I would like to send this as my entry for “Show me your Cook Book” the event hosted by Nags (Nags, please do accept my entry even if it is 3 days late!:)

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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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Maavilakku
Maa Villakku

My ancestors are from the town of Nagapattinam – they were trustees of the Krishnar Kovil at Nagapattinam. About five generations ago, when Nagapattinam was beseiged by sea water ingress, and all land became barren and soaked in salt, my ancestors abandoned all property and the temple for the city of Srirangam to start a new life. In those days losing so much of property and wealth was considered a shame of great volumes and people quietly moved to another place to build a new identity.

Krishnar skipped almost four generations in popularity as “Kula Daivam” (concept similar to patron saint), often referred only in “thatha- paatti” (grandparents) stories of ancestors. For almost 130 years no one from the family visited the temple.

I am very happy to say that last week my sister in law Padma, my athai Komala and I visited Krishnar at Nagapattinam to peep in and say that we are still devoted to him. It was a wonderful journey and we were spell bound by the sculpture of Krishnar at Nagapattinam. I will do a detailed post on our journey soon.

We offered Maa Villakku to Krishnar – we used “Nattu Sakkarai” (a kind of yummy sugar) instead of Jaggery. Click here to see the recipe for Maa Villakku that I posted earlier.

I am linking to Maa Villakku recipe on the request of Gayatri who wanted it for Purattasi Sanikizhamai Balaji Puja (Puja to Lord Balaji on the saturdayof Purattasi month in Tamil Calendar).

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Ragi Rotti is another unleavened bread made in Karnataka. For previous ragi recipes from Karnataka refer to Ragi Mudde and Ragi Dosa.

Ragi Rotti
Ragi Rotti with Uchellu Podi

Ingredients

  • Ragi flour – 2 cups
  • Fresh Sabakki Soppu (Dill) or Fresh Coriander – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Onions – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Water
  • Green chilly – 2 finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients except the Oil and knead into a smooth soft dough. The dough is a softer than Wheat flour Roti dough. Divide the dough into 2 inch diameter balls and set aside.
  2. Spread a plastic sheet/ banana leaf on a smooth surface. Grease with a drop of oil. Take a ball of the dough and pat into a round pancake of 6 inch diameter. Use a little oil to aid in patting the roti.
  3. Transfer to a skillet and cook both sides over a medium flame until the roti turns brown in colour.
  4. Repeat for the remaining dough.

Serve hot with Uchellu Podi, Green Tomato Chutney, Vethal Kozhambu or Gojju.

Asha, Ragi Rotti for RCI Karnataka.

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Long before the Green Revolution supplanted traditional crops with paddy and wheat across India, there was Ragi, Jowar and Bajra. Ragi, Jowar and Bajra were traditionally cooked up in a likes cakes, pancakes or unleavened breads especially in places whose natural constitution made only one crop of a water sucking variety like rice in a year possible. They constituted the much needed dietary fibre content in the Indian spread.

Ragi or Finger Millet is associated with the labour classes – in a typical feudal set up the lady of the master’s house prepared ragi based foods for the farmers who worked on their lands.

As a baby, I was a snob at the other end of the spectrum – I hated canned cereals preferring traditional Kanji or Porridge. No I wouldn’t settle for anything less than Ragi Malt – a concoction of Ragi, Jaggery and Milk that I was fed daily.

Fortunately, a generation after the Green Revolution made ragi “unfashionable”, the grain seems to be picking up pace as a health fad. Elaboration of Ragi’s goodness cannot be missed in modern media – superior in mineral and fibre content as compared to rice, a health grain for the diabetic, food that digests slowly, food that can be grown with environment friendly practices, food that is cooling – ragi is now being heralded as the “wonder grain”.

Kezhvaragu (in Tamil) or Ragi Dosa is a preparation from Kongunadu’s cuisine. Describing Kongunadu is difficult but you can vaguely think of it as the stretch from Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Pollachi to Erode, Salem and Dharmapuri.

Ragi Dosa
These Ragi Dosas are medium sized ones. You could pour batter to make larger dosas.

Here’s the recipe:

Preparation Time: 20 minutes (includes soaking), Cooking time: 5 minutes, Yield: 10 – 12 Dosas/ Pancakes

Ingredients

  • Ragi # – 2 cups
  • Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander – 3 twigs
  • Curry Leaves – 4
  • Green Chilly – 1 no.
  • Jeera/ Cumin – 1tsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 4 1/2 cups (approximately, this will vary with how much water the flour soaks)

*cups= 225ml, approximately 8 oz

# Ragi flour doesn’t stand for long – so I suggest buying in fresh small quantities for best results.

Method

  1. Soak Ragi flour (Millet flour) in some warm water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Grind the Coconut, Green Chilly, Coriander, Curry Leaves, Jeera and Salt in a blender.
  3. Add this to the soaked Ragi flour (Millet Flour) and mix well. Add water to bring to Rava dosa batter consistency. Note: This will be somewhere between butter milk and dosa batter or fresh cream consistency.
  4. Dust a broad skillet or tawa with 1/2 tsp oil and heat it for 30 seconds. On a high flame pour the batter from outside towards inside to form a round. Cook on a high flame. Turn and cook the other side on a high flame. Reduce flame to low and turn and cook for a minute. Take out dosa on to serving plate.
  5. Repeat for remaining batter. Refer to Rava Dosa making technique to get lacy, crispy dosas.

Alternatively, one could make these like soft Uthappams

  • At step 3, mix water enough to bring to to dosa batter or fresh cream consistency.
  • Pour a ladle full in the center of a tawa on a medium flame. Cover and cook for 30 seconds on a medium flame. Repeat for remaining batter.

This recipe was handed down to me by my mother in law, Vasantha Ayyaswami – who makes many other dosas of Kongunadu in varying styles – having lived in Coimbatore for many years. So technically speaking, I have been introduced to this as part of Kongunadu’s cuisine.

But then I don’t see why people on the Karnataka side of the border would not be indulging in this Ragi delicacy. After all when I mixed the batter together, I was greeted by a very prominent almost musty smell of Malnad – if you have ever treated your nostrils to the fresh dew on earth from a mild early morning drizzle, you know what I am talking about. I must warn you that it’s a smell that refuses to go. 🙂

To further the argument, if you look at the ingredients closely, its almost like neer dose or pan pole. I can almost imagine obscure homes in remote bits of Shimoga cooking this up. For the record, google led me to one more person who seems to think of this as Pan Pole – Manjula at Dalitoy!!!

So Asha, do you think this could pass off as Ragi Pan Pole or Ragi Neer Dose?

rci-karnataka.jpg

Coming to think of it, I am sure your “toothless” Thatha must have savoured these besides the standard Mudde. 🙂

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