Friday, April 18, 2014

Pukhlein a Rice and Jaggery Sweet - Meghalaya Special

BM # 39
Day : 18
State : Meghalaya


Megh is rain in Hindi and Meghalaya has been rightly named after this word, as it means abode of clouds.This is the wettest place on earth and a perfect holiday destination.So on the 18th day we shall cook from Meghalaya.

Meghalaya is one of the of the seven sisters and home of three Mongoloid tribes, Its cuisine is different than the other north eastern states.The staple food of the people is rice with spicy meat and fish preparations.


This state has three main tribes Khasi, Garos and Jayantias, and the foods they prepare are similar to rest of the North East region. Fish cooked is bamboo hollow, fish baked banana leaves are a favourite among the people too. Spices and fat are again used sparsely, ginger, garlic, onions and green chillies is all that is needed to cook up the dishes from here.



Amongst the three tribes there is slight variation in the style of cooking. Garos use lots of soda in their cooking. Khasis prefer fermented fish dishes and also pork dishes.



Apart from this Khwai is a Meghalaya speciality . A day for a resident of Meghalaya starts with a mouthful of khwai, which is betel nut with lime. Initially I had a good mind to do a post on betel nut, as I just could not find any vegetarian recipe. Fortunately when I was in Delhi the staff boy who is from North East helped me to do this recipe .


Pukhlein
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup jaggery
Water
Oil for deep drying
Dissolve the jaggery in water, strain this water.
Cook this to a thick syrup.
Let cool.
Add the rice flour and make a thick batter.
Make balls and pat them flat.
Deep fry to a golden.


The basic was like malpuas, but with a vast difference in taste.Much later while browsing I realized that Puklein is also made in South, of course by a different name. Adhirasam. I have never made them, but while reading the recipes, I found them to be similar. I read about Puklein here, but on search one can't find a recipe for the same.




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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chak - Hao Kheer - Manipur Special

BM # 39
Day:17
State: Manipur

Manipur is one of the seven states of north eastern India. We shall cook from this state on the 17th day .This is one of the most beautiful states and is known as Switzerland of India.

Mani means a jewel and Manipur is a land of jewels. It's rich culture excels in every aspect as in dance, theatre, sculpture. I have always loved the costume that they wear for their traditional dance , the reason being my possession of my favorite doll as a kid . I was gifted a manipuri dancer doll by my uncle. The traditional outfit changed every year when i would celebrate the dolls birthday.Mom would make a beautiful dress for her and we had a small party where my friends got gifts like chocolates, small shoes , jewellery for the doll. I remember carrying her along with me after getting married, but in time it naturally had to be discarded. It sure is a nostalgic feeling.

Coming to today's dish. The search for Manipur led me to a few vegetarian dishes, and I tried one of their salads. Somehow no one liked it, as it lacked flavors. The salad had to be finished with powdered dried fish! I spoke to my parlour girls who are Manipuri, but I had no luck with vegetarian dishes. My search ended when I visited the Satvik Fair held in Ahmedabad. We had a stall of Manipuri students.They gave me the option of two three dishes,one being Ooti,which was on my list.Rest of the dishes required ingredients which are impossible to get here.They have a variety of mushrooms that they eat. These guys had sampled a few dishes, and even sold them. I tasted the dishes but felt we need to acquire taste. The Chak - Hao kheer was something I really liked, the purple color looked unique and the taste was as good as our kheer. I requested these students to give me some raw rice, unfortunately they could give me just about 1/4 cup.Coming to black rice! what is black rice?

Black rice is an excellent source of fibre, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Its colour changes to dramatic purple when cooked, so it is also known as “Purple Rice”. The purple color is due to the anthocyanins present in the rice which act as antioxidants. In China and some South-East Asian countries, it is commonly known as “Forbidden Rice”, as it was reserved exclusively for royalty in ancient China.


Coming to the recipe....
1/4 cup Black rice
125 ml milk ( full fat)
1/4 tsp Cardamon powder
Sugar to taste
Rinse the rice and soak for about 5-6 hours.
Drain the rice and transfer to a pot .
Add milk.
Cook on very slow fire making sure to stir it once in a while.
Cook till the rice is done, you could add more milk, if the rice absorbs this milk.
Adjust the milk according to the consistency of the kheer that you require.
Add sugar , raisins and cardamon powder.
Serve hot or cold.


The rice has a sweet nutty flavor and you actually do not need any nuts, though I added some raisins.
Chak-Hao kheer is served during all festivals and celebrations.
Here are some of the pics that I captured at the Manipuri stall at the Satvik Fair.

Jelly Ear ..this is a variety of mushroom, shaped like an ear!!

a dish made from jelly ear!!

The Chak-hao kheer and Black rice

Paknam is a dish made with another variety of mushrooms , where turmeric leaves are used

Thats the big red hot chilly that is a speciality of East ern India.

Manipuri students who put their stall.

All the dishes made by the Manipuri students had ingredients which are not easily available, they had called for these ingredients from Manipur.I have pics of two recipes and you can see that we have not even heard of these ingredients!



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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bharela Bataka - Maharashtra Special

BM # 39
Day : 16
State : Maharashtra

Maharashtra lies on the west coast of India and different parts of the state have very different types of dishes to offer. Even inside the state itself, one can find distinguishing flavours and food styles that make eating an interesting activity altogether. Maharashtrian cuisine is divided into two, Konkani, and Varadi. Though quite different, both use a lot of seafood and coconut.

Groundnut oil is predominantly used as a cooking medium. Tamarind and kokum are the souring agents that are used in this cuisine and the taste is often prominent in several recipes. Typically vegetarian dishes are flavoured with the very popular goda masala which is a mix of onions, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, green chillies and mustard. Another variant of vegetables dishes in Maharashtrian cuisine is characterized by the kaala masala, which is a black coloured spicy masala mix. 

A typical lunch or dinner usually starts with poli (bread), accompanied by one or more bhajis (vegetables) and a koshimbir (salad) along with some accompaniment usually pickle. This is usually followed by a second course of varan (thick dal), aamti (sour dal) or rassa (curry) with rice. The plate served has a specific place for each food item served. I have enjoyed cooking a traditional Maharashtrian meal or rather a thali, you could check here.

Non vegetarian food is a very important part of traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. Chicken, mutton and eggs are prepared and eaten in several forms. Kombdi vada is a classic Marathi recipe from the malvani region of Maharashtra. A large part of Maharashtra lies on the coastline. The food in these cities and villages makes the coastal influence apparent. Seafood is eaten in plenty. 

Ganpati Bapa Moriya - this joyous cry rents the air in the month of September when Maharashtrians go out to celebrate the birthday of their favorite God! The most delectable offerings during Ganesh Chaturthi are modaks, small rice or wheat flour dumplings stuffed with coconut and jaggery.

I have been to a few of the cities of this state and  of course nothing to beat Mumbai.
The city of dreams, the city of stars, city of bollywood..city of food!!
Five stars, seven star hotels, street food this city has so much to offer in terms of food.
The city is known for its distinctive street foods. Although street food is common all over India, street food in Mumbai is noted because people from all economic classes eat on the roadside almost round the clock .


Vada Pav is noted as the most popular street food in Mumbai. Every visit to Mumbai means it has to start with Vada Pav and end with Vada Pav, a few packed ..for back home.  Panipuri, Bhelpuri, Sevpuri, Dahipuri, Sandwiches, Ragda-pattice, Pav Bhaji, Chinese bhel, idlis and dosas , the list is endless.  On my last visit I captured some pics, These amazed me and I would love to share them with you guys..excuse the quality as they are from a cell . Can you see these guys...making dosas, and it is unbelievable to read their menu card.They have enormous variety and strange combos, but all of them taste out of the world. Do not miss the Sandwizza, they had more than 25 varieties of sandwiches.
In terms of non-vegetarian offerings omlette pav, kebabs and fish are found on Mumbai streets.



    


Kulfi and gola are among the desserts and coolants found on Mumbai streets. Apart from snacks, Mumbai has several juice and milkshake bars on the roadside that offer a variety of juices and milkshakes. Here are pics of a juice vendor who has more than 100 combinations to sell, he even gives you a tester..in a shot glass. What do you say to that?

Leaving the streets of Mumbai we move to Kolhapur.


Kolhapur is well known paradise for non vegetarian lovers, but it has many eating options equally wonderful for vegetarian food. Missal and Usal Pav are the two main dishes from this place. And today I am cooking from Kolhapur. This is a recipe from my friend who is from there and we all these potatoes .These are served with simple Parathas , Thecha (which is a garlic chutney) along with Onion Raita.



Bharela Batata
4-6 potatoes, boiled
Use medium sized potatoes.

Stuffing
4 tbsp grated coconut
2 tsps red chilly powder
1 tbsp jaggery
2 tbsp peanuts, coarsely ground
1-2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp onion, finely chopped
Coriander leaves, chopped
Salt to taste


Grind the above ingredients .
Boil the potatoes, chop a little head from the top, and scoop out the potato.
Save the head for closing back.
Stuff the above ground masala .
Heat a nonstick pan.
Add oil and a tbsp of sesame seeds place the stuffed potatoes, cover and cook, tossing and turning in between for even roasting.
Garnish with shredded coconut.
There is another version of Maharashtrian stuffed potatoes , which is a simpler version, but equally delicious.




Kanda Raita 
1 bowl beaten curd 
2 onions, finely chopped 
Salt to taste 
Roasted cumin seed powder 
Coriander leaves 

Mix all ingredients with the beaten curd, chill and serve. 
Red or Green chilly both can be used to pep up the curd.It is up to individual choice to choose from them.

Thecha
15 red chillies
4-5 pods garlic
2-3 tb sp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch fenugreek powder
Pinch asafetida
Lemon juice
Salt to taste

Grind chillies and garlic in a mixer.
in a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, fenugreek powder and asafetida.
Add the paste to this and cook till oil comes up.
Add salt and lemon juice.






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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mohanthal - Traditional Gujarati Sweet for Indian Cooking Challenge




It has been a while since I participated for the Indian Cooking Challenge.A lot has been going on since the past few months and this made it difficult to participate.I was on a break for nearly three months , I was sad to miss the challenges but at the same time happy because there is lot of good news.My daughter was blessed with a baby girl, my son got married and with so much hustle bustle it was practically impossible to work on these challenges.All the events went well , and I am back to the challenges.Hurdles never leave right?..this month I did not have my camera, but still decided to go ahead and click with my cell phone .

Anyway coming to Mohanthal,This is a sweet which is very common in our state and all my Gujarati friends make it so well. I have always had my reservations where Indian sweets are concerned.The reason is I hardly make them as no one is interested in sweets. Number two, we always have lots of sweets stocked up.The Sindhi custom is such that for every occasion sweets are distributed and hence the stock!! Back to Mohanthal..I called my friend to ask the perfect way of making it.I was glad that she explained me with her tips, only by the end of conversation she left me all jittery saying it is rather tricky, you may land up with either with a hard or a over soft mohanthal. I was so nervous!I built up courage and entered the kitchen, while making I called her twice .The final product turned out absolutely gorgeous, I was happy to see a well made delicious sweet.Here comes the recipe...



1 cup gram flour
100 gms mawa / unsweetened khoya
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp milk

Garnish
Almonds
Pistachios


Take the flour in a thali.
Make a small well in the center.
Add 1tb sp milk and 1tb sp ghee.
Rub in with your hands, add another tbsp of milk and ghee, rub again.
leave it for 20 minutes.
Sieve the flour to get coarse flour.
Add ghee in a pan and roast the flour on slow fire, till it is golden and lends a wonderful aroma.
Add the grated mawa and roast for a few minutes.
Remove from fire .
Make sure to stir at intervals even though it is off fire.

Syrup
Add just enough water to the sugar and place it on fire.
let boil, till you get a 1 1/2 string consistency.
remove from fire, keep stirring to bring it to room temperature.
once both the flour and sugar have cooled down mix them, without keeping them back on fire.Mix thoroughly and pour into a greased tray.
sprinkle nuts and let set.
cut into required size.


Important tips..
The milk and ghee added to the flour has to be a slow procedure, do not add in one go.

It's important to give a standing time after rubbing in ghee and milk.

Work on the roasting of flour first, once done then start with the syrup.

After the flour is roasted and off flame, stir constantly, the heat can make it dark in co lour.

To test the syrup, put a drop in a saucer, if it runs very lightly it is ready.

Mixing of flour and syrup should be off fire, and once mixed do not put back on fire.

Always pour in a greased tray or a low rimmed tray, I poured in a loaf tin, and as a result it was difficult to remove neat  pieces.

If it does not set , place it in the frig for a while.

Variations..

You could add..

Poppy seeds

Saffron




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Bhutte ki Khees - Madhya Pradesh Special

BM # 39
Dy : 15
State : Madhya Pradseh

We are half way through this marathon, today being the 15th day we shall cook from Madhya Pradesh. This is a special state as we have two family memebers who are from this state. My sister in law and my new daughter in law, both are from Indore.

Madhya Pradesh is the Heart of India . Madhya means centre in Hindi, Pradesh is city., since this state is right in the center of India, it is called Madhya Pradesh. The state is influenced by Gujrati and Rajasthani Cuisine, as these two are its neighbors but Malwa food is MP's own cuisine.

The cuisine in Madhya Pradesh differs from one part of the state to the other. The northern part and the western part of Madhya Pradesh have their delicacies centered around wheat-and-meat, whereas the southern and the eastern part of the state mainly concentrate on rice and fish .

Cities like Gwalior and Indore in Madhya Pradesh have a wide range of delicacies prepared from milk, while Bhopal being a royal state has a lot of non vegetarian dishes.Their kebabs, Biryanis , and meat preparations are very famous.

My sister in law  tells me they get the best of Kachoris there, the variety has Pyaaz ki kachori, Aaloo ki kachori besides the regular daal ki kachori. Indore. Is also very famous for its Poha, or beaten rice.

While talking of Indore I must tell you that this particular recipe was suggested by my daughter in law. While I was planning for this BM she told me about Bhutte ki Khees On reading the recipe, I realized it was like the corn khichdi that the Gujju's make, with a little difference.

Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh, has sumptuous food and the people of this region are impeccable at hospitality and food. If you will refuse to eat anything out of the dishes being served, you will notice people fussing all over you, pressing and serving you alternative dishes. That is considered to be the perfect “Mehmaan-nawazi” . Bundelkhand is famous for its soft juicy kebabs. Another very popular delicacy of the region includes Bundeli Ghost which is served with rice or ‘makai roti’. The food of Bundelkhand is “a perfect tribal food experience”. But for today it is Indore's famous Bhutte ki Khees.



For the Khees
500 gms corn
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 whole red chilly
Pinch asafetida
500 ml full fat milk
1 tsp ginger paste
2 green chilly, chopped
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Garnish
Cashew nuts
Raisins

Accompaniments
Onion, finely chopped
Fine sev ( gram flour vermicelli )
Coriander leaves

Boil the corn.
Let cool.
Hold the corn cob upright and with a sharp knife remove the corn kernels in thin layers this way we get finely chopped kernels.
Heat ghee.
Add mustard seeds,cumin seeds, asafoetida,whole red chilly.
Add the chopped kernels.
Sauté till absolutely dry.
Add milk and cook till all the milk is evaporated.
Add green chilly and ginger and cook for a few minutes.
Add salt, sugar and lemon juice , stir well.
Check the spice, the flavor should balance sweet, salty , sour and spicy.
Serve with cashews, raisins and with finely chopped onions , ready sev.

Note
Salt should be added right at the end or else the milk might curdle.
Instead of boiling the raw corn can be grated also, in that case one needs to saute the corn well, before adding milk.








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Monday, April 14, 2014

Sadya - Kerala Special

BM # 39 
Day : 14
State : Kerala

Beware...This is a long post!!
For our last mega marathon we had the theme A-Z, where we cooked dishes starting with different alphabets. I have plenty of book marks from that marathon, but one book mark was embedded into my head, which constantly was hammering me.With Valli announcing this mega marathon, where we are cooking traditional meals across India, my book mark got struck off. Yes, It was the Sadya recipes from Rajani's My Kitchen Trials.

I was amazed by her Sadya recipes, and as soon as this marathon was announced I knew it had to be Sadya from Kerela. This is one of the first posts that I did.The credit goes to Rajani for helping, she sent me the appropriate links, to make my work easy.

My second word of thanks goes to my daughter Barkha, who has spent a good ten years in Chennai and is well versed with South Indian Cuisine.She came in to help me cook this meal.

What is Sadya?
Sadya is a variety of vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a banana leaf in Kerala normally cooked on Onam ,weddings and special occasions.
During a traditional Sadya celebration people are seated cross-legged on mats. Food is eaten with the right hand, without cutlery. A Sadya could have as many as 64 dishes.Some say the reason for including so many dishes in the Sadya is to ensure that the diners will like at least two or three dishes.

The main dish is plain boiled rice, served along with other dishes collectively called Kootan , which include curries like Parippu, Sambar, Rasam, Pulisseri and others like Kaalan, Avial, Thoran, Olan, Pachadi, Mango pickle, Naranga curry, as well as Papadum, Banana, plain Yogurt or Buttermilk, and plantain chips.  Usually three or more varieties of Payasam are served.

I would love to write more on this but I feel Rajani has done a wonderful job on this and you should be reading her 30 posts describing everything beautifully and in detail .I was trying to think of an occasion to cook this meal...and I choose to I cook this on 1 st Jan to celebrate the New Year. I even made a floral rangoli, which is called Pookkalam In Kerala.


The dishes are served in a special order  and has a specific place on the banana leaf.This is my reference chart that I followed and these links  were a great help, although I have put down the recipes that I followed.


Side Dishes
Kichadi (Easy to do, so you needn't skip it)
Can be made with Ladies Finger, Cucumber, Beetroot, Lemon, Bitter gourd, Raw Mango (There are more choices, but these are the easy usual fare. Basically cook the vegetable and mix it with the coconut-yogurt mix). The first three are the most common.

Pachadi
Can be made with Pineapple , Mathura Pachadi (mixed fruit), Tomato, Papaya, Ripe Nendran Banana, Ripe Mango. Basically its a sweet fruit cooked and then mixed with yogurt-coconut mix. The second one is the most common one.

Avial
Pick your choice of vegetables. It can be beans, carrot, Snake gourd, ash gourd, cucumber, drum stick, cluster beans, plantain, potatoes (not traditionally added, but many do for convenience) etc. Choose at least 4-5 vegetables. This curry is a must. Raw mango can be added, but its better to avoid it as it might make the avial too sour at times. You can check out this recipe for step by step pictures. This is a must recipe. 

Thoran/Mezhukkupiratti 
Mezhukkupiratti is kind of a fry, so you can make that. Raw banana (on its own or a combination) is the most common one. Potato is also a good choice. Else choice of vegetables for thoran can be cabbage, carrot and beans(each on its own or a combination), beetroot. There are many more, but these are common. You can have both thoran and mezhukkupiratti or only one of the two. 

Olan
This is a fixed recipe. Choice of vegetables can be ash gourd alone or ash gourd with pumpkin and colocasia. Yard long beans too can be added, but its optional. Its cooked with black eyed peas or red beans. You can check out the recipe and step by step pictures here

You can skip koottu curry, Erisseri , Kalan etc

To mix with rice and have:

Parippu Curry
A thick gravy with lentils, with an addition of veggies.


Sambar
Your choice of vegetables. Can be ladies finger, pumpkin, drum sticks, cucumber, potato etc. You can use any basic recipe. 

Rasam
You can skip this if not interested. Try the Lemon rasam, for a different version , though I made the regular Rasam that I make ...you see rasam is a weak point with me.

Pulissery
Yogurt based gravy. Can be made with Ripe nendran banana, raw plantain, Ripe mangoes, taro, ash gourd etc. The basic recipe is the same for all. 

Moru
Spiced butter milk. You can make your favorite recipe also. 

Pickle
I had the lemon pickle.


Upperi 
Sharkara varatti (store bought is easy. But this is the recipe if you want to make at home)
Banana chips (Two varieties - this and this. Can be ready made too)

Payasam/Kheer: 
Any one or two kheer of your choice , I made Pal Payasam and Carrot Payasam

Other Items:
Rice
Pappadam 
Banana


Few important things about Sadya which I did not follow...

Rajani had told me that two varieties of banana chips are important...one sweet and one savory, I decided to get these from the Kerala store, but unfortunately did not get the jaggery ones, so put two varieties of savory ones.

The use of coconut oil in dishes...I have mentioned it in the recipes because it is important to get that right flavor, but knowing my family, I skipped it. It is upto you to decide on this.





Avial 
3-4 cups mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp coconut oil
Few curry leaves

To make paste
1.5 cups coconut, scraped
3-4 green chillies
1-2 tsp cumin seeds

Cut them into 2″ long rectangular pieces.
Pressure cook the vegetables, with little water, turmeric powder, pinch salt.
Cook for 2 whistles, let the pressure drop by itself.
rind the coconut, cumin and chillies into a coarse paste without adding too much of water.
Transfer the vegetables and the water to a pan.
Add more salt and coconut paste.
Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add yogurt, mix well, let boil for a minute.
Remove from heat and add coconut oil, few curry leaves
Cover for a few minutes for the flavors to infuse.


Parriappu Curry
1/2 cup of moong dal (split yellow gram)
A pinch of turmeric powder

Grind Together:
1/3 cup coconut , grated
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 shallots
2-3 green chillies

For Tempering:
2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
2-3 shallots, sliced
1 red chilli, torn into pieces
Few curry leaves
Roast the dal in a dry skillet until it turns a light golden brown.
Grind the coconut with the rest of the ingredients and some water into a smooth paste.
Pressure cook the moong dal with 4 cups water and a generous pinch of turmeric. Once done, mash well to a smooth paste.
Keeping the flame on low, add the ground coconut mixture and some salt to the dal. Cook for about 5-8 mins.
Heat oil for tempering and add the ingredients in the order given.
Mix well.


Olan
1 cup, pumpkin , diced
1 cup ash gourd, diced
1 cup red beans
1 cup coconut milk, thick
1-2 cup coconut milk, thin
3-4 green chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tsp coconut oil 
Wash and soak the beans overnight.
Pressure cook with sufficient water for about 3 whistles or until done, without getting mushy. Once done, keep aside.
Peel and dice the ash gourd, pumpkin. Slice the chillies into two pieces vertically .
Cook the pumpkin with minimum water.
The vegetables should not be overcooked, they should retain their shape.
Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add salt and add the thin coconut milk.
Let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the cooked beans and cook for a couple of minutes more.
Check the salt and adjust if its less.
Add the thick coconut milk, mix and simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
Take off the heat and drizzle some coconut oil on top of this curry and add some torn curry leaves.
Cover with a lid .
The recipe calls for ash gourd and pumpkin, I used only pumpkin.


Vazhakka Pullisery


Pineapple Pachadi


Raw Mango Khichdi
1 peice raw mango
¼ cup shallots
1 tsp ginger paste
2-3 green chillies, slit
1 cup curd
A pinch fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste

Tempering
¼ tsp mustard seeds
Curry leaves
1 broken whole red chilly
Coconut oil

Heat oil in a pan.
Add minced shallots,ginger and green chillies and saute for couple of minutes.
 Add finely chopped raw mango,saute and cook by adding 1/4 cup water,salt to taste on the medium flame.When mango turns to soft, remove from fire and let it cool.
Add curd to it and mix it well.
Heat oil and temper with mustard,fenugreek seeds,curry leaves and red chilly.
Add to the above mixture and mix well. 


Sambar
1 cup pigeon pea , cooked
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 cup drumsticks, pumpkin, ladies fingers.
Pinch turmeric powder
2-3 sambar powder
Pinch asafoetida
Salt
Water, as required to get to the right consistency

Tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
Curry leaves

Pressure cook the dal till done .
Once the pressure drops, mash with the back of a ladle and keep aside.
Add the diced vegetables, one cup water (or tamarind extract), 1 tsp tamarind pulp, sambar powder, turmeric powder, hing and salt.
Boil till the vegetables are cooked.
Bring this to a boil, adding 2 more cups of water.
Add the mashed dal and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Adjust the spices to taste.
Heat the oil.
Add the mustard seeds and let  crackle.
Add the fenugreek seeds and when it turns golden brown, add curry leaves.
Take off the heat and add it to the prepared sambar.
Mix and cover with a lid.


 

Lemon Pickle


Inji Puli
350 gms ginger, finely chopped
4 - 5 green chillies, finely chopped
2-3 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
Pinch asafoetida
Tamarind, a small lime sized ball
2 tbsp jaggery
Few curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds2 whole dry red chillies
Oil for frying ginger
Salt to taste

Fry ginger pieces in oil until brown and crispy. When it cools down, coarsely grind in a mixie.
Soak the tamarind in warm water(around 1.5 cups) and extract its juice.
Heat oil in a deep pan (use the left-over oil from frying ginger ) and splutter mustard seeds.
Add dry red chilies , green chilies, curry leaves and saute for a few more minutes.
Pour the strained tamarind extract to it.
Bring it to a boil and add chilly powder, fenugreek powder and hing.
Add the ground ginger and jaggery. Mix well.
Check for salt. Bring down the heat to low.
Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes stirring in between and switch off.
Adjust the gravy according to your consistency.
You can store it in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
Use it like a pickle though people like to use it as a curry.


Neer Moru

1 cup Curd

1 cup water

2-3 green chillies
1" piece ginger
Few curry leaves
Pinch asafoetida
Salt to taste

Grind the chillies, curry leaves and ginger in a mixie.
Add curd and water and blend until its frothy. Add salt and hing.
 Blend again and taste test.
Adjust seasoning and serve as the last course with rice or as a digestive drink at the end of the meal.



Pal Payasam
1/4 cup rice
1 lt full fat milk
2 tsp ghee
1-2 cup sugar
Cardamom powder
Nuts to garnish

Roast rice in 1/2 tsp ghee till it lends a aroma .
Add milk to the rice and cook till the rice is done.
Add sugar and simmer for 5 mins.
If you wish you can mash up the rice with a laddle.
Add carom powder and garnish with nuts.

Carrot Payasam
250 gms carrots, grated
3 tbsp ghee
5 cups milk
1-2 sugar
1-2 tsp cardamom powder

Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan.
Add the grated carrots and saute for two to three minutes and set aside.
Bring the milk to a boil in a deep non-stick pan and simmer till it is reduced to three-fourth its original quantity.
Add the sauteed carrots and mix well.
Add the sugar, mix well and cook till the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly.
Add the cardamom powder and mix well.


This was a memorable meal which we all enjoyed. The different family members liked different things, my son loved the Olan and Pineapple Pachadi whereas my hubby he    enjoyed the Avial and the Pariappu Curry. The maximum votes went to te pineapple Pachadi and there is a constant demand for it!!

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