Friday, July 31, 2009

Udipi Sambhar

I had seen the Udipi sambhar powder and rasam powder in a particular issue of the Mangaiyar Malar magazine. But what was given there was bulk quantity. I was wanting to make it for my everyday use, but kept putting it off. Then Sia announced the RCI-JULY event and had suggested few recipes. One of them was her Udipi Sambhar and there was the recipe for the powder just for one serving. I hopped upon it and tried duplicating her recipe. I followed as much as possible only substituting vegetables and the variety of red chillies. My tamarind is a bit aged and hence the sambhar is more brown than her recipe's picture. But I am delighted that it tasted excellent.
So Thanks Sia and I am sending ....rather rushing it last minute to your event.
I served with hot soft idlis so they feature in the picture too.

1 large Brinjal cut in large pieces
3 or 4 Drum Sticks, cut into long pieces
A fistfull of Madras onions/Sambar Onions
Any desired vegetable cut into slightly big pieces.
2-3 Green Chillies
½ cup Thuvar dhal
A small lemon size tamarind.
2 teaspoons udipi sambhar powder (see recipe below)
1tsp Jaggery (or more to suit your taste)
½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
Small bunch of Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Oil (Preferably Coconut Oil)
¼ teaspoon Asafoetida powder
Few Curry Leaves
Salt to taste
For Udupi Sambar Powder:
1 tablespoon Urad Dhal
½ tablespoon Channa Dhal
2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
½ teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
4-6 Dry Red Chilli (Preferably Byadagi variety, but I have used normal long variety, hence the brown colour to the sambhar)
1/4 cup fresh coconut scraped or dessicated coconut.

1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1 Dry Red Chilli
¼ teaspoon Asafoetida
Few Curry Leaves
1 tablespoon Oil (preferably Coconut Oil)
Wash and pressure cook the thuvar dhal and mash it. Soak tamarind in water for some time and extract the pulp.
Peel sambhar onions.
Heat some oil in a pan and add slit green chillies onions, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and few curry leaves.
Saute on medium flame for about 3 minutes till the onions turn glossy and translucent.
Microwave vegetables and add them to the above. Pour the tamarind extract and let it boil for a while on medium heat. Add the salt and then jaggery. Allow to cook for further few minutes. .
Meanwhile, heat the pan and dry roast all the ingredients for the sambhar powder, initially only the dry ingredients and later adding the coconut.
Allow them to turn golden brown.
Cool and grind to a smooth paste by adding very little water at time. Keep aside.
When the tamarind pulp has boiled enough, add the cooked dhal to it. Then add the ground sambhar paste. Simmer on medium heat adding some water if required. the sambhar should neither be too thick nor very thin in consistency.
Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds first, when they crackle add the red chilli and then the curry leaves. Once the curry leaves shine, take off the fire and add the tempering to the sambhar. Add chopped coriander leaves keep sambhar covered so the flavour is locked in.
Serve this Udupi Sambar with Idlis, Dosais or Rice
I hope this Udipi sambhar will make it in time for the RCI - July event, hosted by Sia of Monsoonspice initiated by Lakshmi.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Khaman Dhokla - Indian Cooking Challenge July 09

The dish we are presenting for Indian Cooking Challenge, an ongoing event, introduced by Srivalli is the most popular Gujarathi snack, Khaman Dhokla.
Srivalli had sent us the recipe and every point that were put across was discussed and cleared.
We were ready as ever for the challenge.
Here goes the recipe for spongy,delectable dhoklas.
Makes 20 medium sized pieces.

For Batter:
Bengal Gram flour / Besan - 200 grams (1 & 1/2 cup)
Curd - 1/2 cup (not very sour)
Water - 1/2 cup
Cooking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
For seasoning:
to be mixed to the batter (to be added just before steaming)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Green Chili - 1 - 2 long (as per taste)(make a paste)
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Citric acid - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Eno - 1 sachet of 5 grams (1 teaspoon) (green colour fruit lime)
+some more to sprinkle or dust the plate ( about 2 grams)
For tempering:
Sesame seeds
Mustard Seeds
Curry leaves
Grated coconut
Coriander leaves
Green Chillis
3 teaspoons water + 1 teaspoon Cooking Oil to be topped on dhoklas.

Method to prepare:
Mix first 1/2 cup curds with ¼ cup of water. To this, add the gramflour and mix well to get a lumpfree batter.
The consistency should be of idli batter, more of dropping than pouring consistency.
Gradually add more water if needed, else, add the soda.
Keep it aside to rise for 1 hour.
If you are using a pressure cooker, fill the pan with water, place a plate or ring over which you will have to use a deep plate for steaming the dhoklas.( Thali plate can be used for steaming.)
Just before steaming, grease the plate with little oil and dust with Eno fruit salt.
Mix the citric acid, oil, salt, sugar, green chili paste and turmeric powder to the batter.
Mix well. (This has to be done just before pouring to the plate.)
Meanwhile have the pan on stove, and let the water start boiling. When the water reaches the rolling stage, you can mix the eno to the batter , mix gently, while you mix you would see bubbles rising in the batter.
Immediately pour the batter to the plate.
Place the plate carefully inside the pressure pan and cover with lid. (You need not use the whistle) When the steam escapes the outlet in a gush, simmer and don't disturb for almost 5 -7 minutes.
After 5 -7 minutes, remove the lid and proof it using toothpick or knife. If the knife comes out clean and does not have any batter sticking, then the dhoklas are done.
Cover back and let it remain on flame for a further one minute and switch off the gas and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before opening the lid.
In a bowl, mix 3 tsp of water along with a tsp of oil. Remove the plate from the pan, pour the water and oil mix over the top.
For seasoning, heat a pan with oil, add curry leaves, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and finely chopped green chilies.
When mustard starts popping, remove and pour over the dhokla.

Cut desired size and shapes. Serve with green chutney, for which recipe is given below.
Some points to take care are :
The batter should be filled to only 1/2 as it will rise up.
After adding eno the batter should not rest.
Amount of sugar can be increased on preference.
If you want perfect shaped ones and not the crumbling, cut and handle gently.
Dhokla can also be steamed in kadai filled with water and a plated titled over it.
Green chutney

Green chili - 4-5 pieces.
Coconut - 4- 5 pieces
Coriander - a small bunch
Mint leaves few
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice -1 big lemon extract
Salt to taste
Take all the ingredients except coriander and lemon juice in a food processor.
Grind to a smooth paste.Then add the coriander and again grind.
Remove to a bowl, add the lemon juice.
Serve with Dhoklas.
I enjoyed making these dhoklas, now it is your turn to try and enjoy. Cheers !!!!


Shavige to Kannadigas is what sevai to Tamilians is also known as senthagai and semige. String hoppers is a fancy name I read in my Sumeet Mixer-grinder's cookbook. It is easy to digest because it is steamed and high in carbo hydrates because parboiled rice is the only ingredient other than salt and a little quantity of oil.
Grind to a fine batter 1cup of parboiled rice, add the salt. The batter is ready.
Take oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the above batter. Cook, stirring constantly until the water evaporates and the rice is collected in a well cooked, non-sticky lump. To test this you may try to roll the batter into a small ball, if it does not stick, then the batter has been cooked.

Allow to cool until your hands can tolerate the warmth. Shape into lumps that can fit into the shavige press.
Steam these prepared balls for about 12 minutes or a little longer.
Press them through the shavige press and collect the strings in a plate placed at it's bottom.
The basic shavige is ready.

You may serve them with very finely ground coconut chutney or gravy made using coconut milk.
Tamil homes delight in mixing this basic sevai with lemon, coconut, sesame seeds powder, cumin-pepper powder and in my parents home we also make payasam with coconut,rice and jaggery alongwith thayir sevai.You can be innovative once you have the basic recipe. You can look up Shanthi Krishnakumar's recipe posted recently for the varieties.

It is a bit of an effort to make sevai/shavige. Recently there is a new automatic sevai maker available in the Indian markets. Read about it on their website.
I have not used it. I still am faithful to my age old sevainaazhi. Just out of interest and having watched their demo video I thought I will let you know.

I am sending this recipe to RCI-July event currently hosted by Sia of Monsoonspice which is the brain child of Lakshmi of veggiecuisine.

I would also like to send this to Shanthi Krishnakumar's State Specials event.

Vegetables and Legumes Pulao

When I signed up for a membership with Tarla Dalal’s web site, they sent me two of her lovely cookbooks. I read them like how a child would read bedtime stories. Most recipes work out just excellent. She has put in her comments for each, which by themselves, are interesting . Whenever I try a recipe I add my comment under them with the date that I tried it first.
This pulao is adapted from her “ DESI KHANA- The Best of Indian Vegetarian Cooking “ book. She has a write up of vegetable and lentil pullao. The masala was different from my usual and it was a baked dish. That intrigued me and I substituted the thuvar dhal she had used in the original recipe by legumes of my choice and availability. This was the first time I made this and of course my notes are going on the book for later reference. Incidentally the same book has a pulao with legumes too.

For the rice:

½ cup uncooked rice
1/3 cup soaked legumes of your choice ( I’ve used whole moong, black chick peas, fava beans, green peas and black eye beans.)
¼ cup vegetables (carrots, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, bell pepper – cut as thin long strips and boiled.)
1 onion sliced fine and fried.
(Tarla Dalal had added some saffron to the rice.)
Salt to taste.
For the curry:
½ cup curds
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon sugar (optional.)
To be ground into a pate for the curry:
1 onion
Few kasmiri chillies
1’’ piece of ginger
1clove garlic
1 teaspoon cooking poppy seeds (khus-khus)
1 cardomom
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Other ingredients:
1 teaspoon ghee for greasing the baking dish.

Cook the rice until tender but grains are separated. Cool on a flat dish.
Cook the legumes until tender. Add some salt and mix with boiled vegetables. Keep aside.
Heat ghee in a pan and cook the curry until raw flavour subsides and ghee starts to separate. Cool and add the yoghurt. Mix well.
Preheat oven to 230 degrees C.
Grease baking tin with ghee. Spread fried onions in a layer. Then, make layers of the rice, legumes and gravy alternating them until all of each is used up.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Turn the baking dish over on a flat dish and serve hot with any raita of choice.
The yoghurt is used to give the pulao a tangy taste. The end dish had also the feel of having used crumbled paneer/tofu.
Using yoghurt is optional, the masala by itself is aromatic and sufficient. And by substituting ghee, a thoroughly vegan version can be enjoyed.

I would love to send this pulao to MLLA-13 Event, hosted by Harini of Sunshinemoms blog initiated by Susan.

Cauliflower peanut stirfry

I came across this recipe in Tarla Dalal’s ‘Cooking under ten minutes’ cookbook.
She had not added a picture to it. But , from the recipe, I assume it has some sauce to it. But I omitted the water she had added in the final stage and reducing the quantity of milk, I achieved a dry curry. I also added paprika, and in the place of butter used oil. The result was a stirfry which has juicy cauliflower florets that are complemented by the crunchiness of crushed peanuts. It made an excellent starter.
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup peanuts, roasted and crushed
1tablespoon oil
¼ tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons, crushed paprika
2 tablespoons milk

Wash cauliflower and cook in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain water and keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and add a teaspoon of the crushed peanut.
Saute for few minutes and lower the flame, add the milk and peanut butter. When they blend well add paprika and salt.
Add cooked cauliflower and toss them gently to be well coated with the sauce. Continue to cook until all moisture evaporates.
Serve hot as starters or with rotis/phulkas or pulaos.

This goes to JFI- Peanuts hosted by Cook's Hideout initiated by Indira of Mahanandi.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kreativ Blogger award

There can be no more recognition and encouragement than a comment on your work. But an award...??? Well that has thrown me off balance. I am reeling in delight.
Pavithra of Dishes from my kitchen , Ann of Happy and Healthy cooking and EC of simpleindianfood have kindly passed me this award.

Thank you Pavithra. Thank you Ann. Thank you EC. Love you ladies.
I would cherish this friendship forever.
The Kreativ Blogger award comes with some rules:-
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

So here I am telling you about myself, how interesting I will not know..
1. I love ( in the same order) reading, doing crosswords, eating and so cooking. I love all the special festival foods like, pongal, thirvaadhirai kali, kootu, kaaradai etc.
2. I am married to a Mangalorean, who gave up eating even eggs just for my sake. ( earlier also it was just eggs and occasionally Chicken.)
3. Just to amuse my daughter who was then about eight years of age, I used to cook for a whole week steamed treats, dosas etc. We used to coin names like Dosai week, aavi (as for steam)week , lentils week and so on.
4. My rasams are my star recipes. I have had freinds packing them home after my lunch parties. But between my sister, daughter and myself, we can have just kootu made of any vegetable, a full bowl and some yoghurt and our lunch is done.
5.I have once cooked for a particular Navrathri lunch, 33 items on the menu and will want to try repeating that feat again but with one dish atleast from different Indian Cuisines.
6. I am influenced by the rest of the family while selecting my wardrobe. They talk me into buying anything that they feel will suit me.
7.I am a gadget freak that my own kitchen in Coimbatore is fitted with more plugpoints than any other room in the house. I have on count about three mixies, citrus juicer, hand mixer, fruit juicer.......The mixies have more extra jars than the original package!!!! And the slicers,knives etc. etc.

Now is the next task. I love most other peoples blogs and am fascinated by them for lot many reasons. I would gladly nominate all of the fellow bloggers for this. However, I still have special mention for some, so would love to pass this on to,

Mahima of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen
Usha of Veg Inspirations
Jayasree of Experiments in Kailas Kitchen
Laavanya of Cookery Corner
Shoba of Anubhvati-Tastes from my kitchen
Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes
Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen

To all my fellow bloggers, thank you all for being supportive and encouraging. All of you are special. Keep creating magic on and on...

Coconut Thogaiyal

Thogayals and podis make very delectable rice accompaniments. Add some to hot steamed rice with some ghee and if we have a pachchidi to go with that is pure bliss.
This simple coconut thogaiyal is just one such dish. It is one of my husband's favourites too. So I make this quite often.

For thengai thogayal you may need
1 cup dessicated coconut
10 dry red chillies
4 teaspoons urad dhal
A small lemon size tamarind
½ teaspoon asafoetida powder
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons oil for roasting the dhal and chillies.
Oil and mustard seeds for tempering
Heat oil in a pan and roast the red chillies until they shine and are brittle, add the urad dhal and continue roasting until dhal is golden brown and the aroma of fried dhal arises. Switch off the stove.

Allow to cool.
Transfer this to the jar of a mixie and add tamarind, salt and the asafetida. Run the mixie at medium speed until the contents are powdered coarsely. Add the coconut and grind adding little amount of water until well blended still holding a coarse texture.
Transfer to a bowl. Temper with mustard seeds.
Serve with hot rice and vegetables.

This is yet another entry to Let's Go Nuts - Coconut event. hosted by Padmajha Suresh.


This is my 50th post friends. It is amazing that I have been doing this; in my teens would run away from -Cooking!!! My younger sister is an enthusiastic cook and is ever ready to present her skills. The only times I would be helping in the kitchen is when paatti makes Halwa and Mysorepaak. I don't remember when the transition from eating enthusiast to cooking enthusiast came by. Anyway, I have, in my opinion come a long, long way.
It was my husband's suggestion that I save the sweet for this post.

Thirattuppaal, is the sweet dish that features as one of the mainly made 'seer bakshanam' in a hindu brahmin custom, be it wedding, seemantham, first birthday or upanayanam. In fact, during the wedding, it is featured more than once. I don't know if I can restrict it to Tamilnadu, but can generalise to South India as this is the very same paal khova that most households do during festivals.
This is however, high in fat as it has, as major ingredients, the full cream milk and sugar .
To achieve 1/4 litre of Thirattuppaal you will need 2 litres of full cream milk and about 1/2 cup sugar. Since the milk supplies enough fat, it will not be necessary to add ghee, but cardamom powder is added for the flavour.
You will need a heavy bottomed deep and broad pan. You may use the base of the pressure cooker. It will be better if it has a sandwiched bottom, though not the copper bottom. I recommend that the ladle also has a long handle.
Keep this pan on fire and put the milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Keep stirring off and on. Remove the milk that sticks to the sides and put it back into the boiling mass.
Allow to boil until the milk thickens and has reduced to about 1/3 of the volume.
At this stage the milk will be more like a paste.The curdled texture will come soon.
Now add the sugar and stir. The sugar will initially melt and then thicken blending with the milk. Remove from heat when you can stir with the ladle and the milk leaves the sides of the pan at that instant but spreads back.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder and mix well.
The thirattuppaal will thicken as it cools.

The thirattuppal/ paal khova is done.
The cooking time may be around an hour and a half. However, the microwave version is faster. Personally I like this method because it felt slightly dry when done using microwave.
In my family it is the first sweet that is prepared during Deepavali. I have carried on that tradition until now.

I am sending this to Shanthi's STATE SPECIALS event.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Aval Puttu

My periamma makes pittu for 'Shivrathri' as one of the Thiruvilaiyaadal puranam story goes that The Lord carried loads of sand to help out an old lady who did not have a son to volunteer in the building of a dam across the river by the Pandya King. In return he wanted pittu to eat.
In Chennai, most people make arisi pittu on the Friday during Navrathri. It is a bit laborious to make arisi pittu, but you will be rewarded for your labour with the results. Aval pittu is much easier to cook. So I decided to have it on last Friday for neivedhyam and am posting the recipe that I enjoyed.
1 cup beaten rice/poha/aval (thick variety)
1/3 cups powdered jaggery
¼ cup dessicated coconut
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
10 cashew nuts broken and fried in little ghee
2 tablespoons ghee.
A pinch of salt.
In a heavy, roast the beaten rice turning it constantly until it puffs up. Cool and transfer to the jar of a blender and pulse on very slow speed to crush the poha coarsely.
Add a pinch of salt to the crushed poha and add ¼ cup of warm water and mix with the tips of fingers.Take care that it does not form lumps but hlods the coarse texture. Keep aside and let it soften. Transfer this to a clean cloth, cover as a bundle and steam for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, cool on a broad plate and add the coconut.
Dissolve jaggery in 50 ml water and place on the stove. Allow to boil and thicken to form a syrup. Test the thickness by dropping few drops in water and trying to collect them in tiny balls that are soft. At this point remove from the heat.
Pour this over the spread poha –coconut mixture. Mix well. Add Cardamom powder.
Put ghee in a heavy pan on the stove and when ghee is warm, add to the above mixed ingredients. Toss for a couple of minutes and add the nuts.
The pittu is ready to serve.
This goes to Steamed treats event hosted by Shruthi.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kathrikkai puli gothsu

Any recipe that has some phrases reading ' Varuthu araitha, Araiththu vitta' (வறுத்து அரைத்த, அரைத்துவிட்ட ) will catch my attention. I have so much love to roast ingredients, pound and cook them in a recipe that I virtually try any recipe that sports such phrases. The following recipe, according to my mother is my Thaththa's favourite. Thaththa, my paternal grandfather lavished lot of love on the three of us, me and my sisters. I was named after his mother and he always called me 'Ennoda amma' (என்னோட அம்மா). So this is a dedication to Namakkal thaththa. He was a man of many virtues, a standing figure in that small town, well respected and very loving.
Coming to the recipe which I am sending to Sanghi's Fall in love with purplish brinjal, is an adaption from my mother's recipe with an addition of some 'araithu vitta' (roasted and powdered) ingredients from my very own culinary skills. The recipe calls for charring big size brinjals. But a tip my grandma gave my mother is to rub a drop of oil on the surface of the brinjal and steam it to remove the outer skin works well too.

With two fairly large brinjals, you will get about 1/2 cup of puli gothsu.
Purplish brinjals 2 medium large,approximately weighing 350 grams.
Tamarind one large lemon size ball, soaked in water and pulp extracted.
Salt to taste.
Green chilli 2 long pieces.
Curry leaves few.
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon.
Channa dhal 1/2 teaspoon.
Asafoetida powder a little.
Ginger 1/2'' piece cut in thin strips.
Oil 2 tablespoons for cooking and tempering.
Finely cut onions and garlic are optional.
Dry roast and powder the following:
4 dry red chillies
11/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon channa dhal.

Wash brinjals and wipe them dry. Rub one drop of oil over the surface and holding with tongs, turn it over alow flame until outer is well charred. ( I read in Jayasri's- Samayalarai-cookingisdivine blog, that making small slits with a knife randomly on the brinjals ensures that the inside is cooked too.) Cool and peel the charred skin. Mash the pulp and keep aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the tamarind paste and dry powder.
If you would like to use onions and garlic, keep them ready.
Put a pan on the stove, put in 2 tablespoons of the oil. When oil is hot add mustard seeds. Allow to crackle and add curryleaves, ginger, asafoetida and green chillies. Saute for two minutes.( Add onions and garlic now.)
Add the tamarind extract and salt. Simmer for few minutes before adding the mashed brinjal.
Keeping the heat low add the powdered ingredients and mix well. Add some water if it is dry.
Switch off the stove when the gothsu is thick and ingredients are well blended.

Serve with steamed rice, idlis, venpongal as the Naagainallur cooks would (without onions and certainly no garlic) or with rotis and phulkas.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rawa Bonda

I am posting yet another deep-fried snack adapted happily from Samaiththu paar ( சமைத்துப் பார் ) cook book by S. Meenakshi Ammal. Very simple, easy to make it is one evening time snack that can be conjured up with ingredients that will mostly be readily available in most Indian households.

Semolina/ Bombay Rawa 1/2 cup
Thick yoghurt (slightly sour) 1/4 cup
Green Chillies 4 pieces
Curry leaves few
Coriander leaves about 15 strands
Ginger a small piece
Cashew nuts 10 Optional
Asafoetida 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying. ( the author has recommended use of vanaspathi....our grandmothers..were a different generation)

Mix all the ingredients listed above from Semolina thro' salt. Keep aside for an hour.
Heat oil in a deep pan and deep fry small lemon size balls until golden brown. These bondas are on the crisper side.
Serve with green chutney, recipe of which is given below.
The above quantity makes 15 such bondas.

Green Chutney:
Grind to a chutney the following
Coconut 2 tablespoons dessicated
Green chillies 2 large
Coriander leaves a fist full
Juice of 1/2 a lemon or 2 tablespoons yoghurt
Serve this with bondas.
I am sending these to
Event hosted by EC.

Paruppu Adai

'Eat lentils in the morning' was what my daughter's Chemistry teacher in school advised her whenever she refused to have the ulundhu vadai served for breakfast with idlis. I never understood why that was a hit combination just as how Adai and Avial go hand in hand. I guess it is a balanced meal that way. But I would love to savour each for their own goodness.
Adai is one of my mother's favourite dishes, but not my father's. So she hardly makes them anymore. But as luck favours her; their neighbour is my dad's uncle and adai is a common breakfast or dinner item at least once in a fortnight in their home. Delightfully, my mother receives her share from them.
However, I am not as lucky to have a free adai, so make my own sans avial because my adais are heavily loaded with onions and grated vegetables. I love to eat them with one small piece of jaggery and some butter and my husband has them plain or with ketchup!!

Now to the recipe that will make 6 thick adais:
Wash and soak the following lentils,
Soy beans 2 tablespoons
Horse gram 1 tablespoon
Masoor dhal 1/5 of a cup
Channa dhal 1/5 of a cup
Moong dhal 1/5 of a cup
Urad dhal 1/5 of a cup
Fenugreek 2 teaspoons.

You will also need
Jowar flour 1/5 of a cup
Broken wheat 1/5 of a cup
Alternatively soak 1/2 cup of rice, so you can grind with the dhals. ( I use millet grains/rice/white whole jowar as alternatives depending on availability.)
Adjusting to taste add green and redchillies to the grinding.
Salt to taste.
Oil for the adais.
Use any vegetable chopped to add to the batter. ( I've used in this recipe onions, cabbage and drumstick leaves.)

Once the dhals and rice or any grain has been soaked long enough, put them with the chillies in the blender and grind to a coarse batter that is semolina consistency.
Add salt and leave for fermentation for at least 10 hours.
Prepare required vegetables and add to the batter.
Heat the pan and pour the batter and spread to thick circles.
Add oil to the pan and let the adai brown on the under side. Turn over and cook until done.
Serve with avial, milagai podi, desired chutney or with butter and jaggery.
Lipsmacking heavy breakfast is done.

I would love to send this legume filled dish to MLLA-13 Event hosted currently by Sunshinemom, initiated by Susan,
and to

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Easy Adai Paayasam

I learnt this from my neighbour, in Chennai. Putting our daughter’s education on top of our list of priorities, I stayed put in Chennai until her primary years of school were done with. We had very friendly and helpful neighbours. This lady was just a few years younger to my mother and showed lot of concern and care, which I appreciate very deeply. She was, then around 60 years of age and doing her M.A. in Sanskrit. She would pass on to me some of what she learnt and had thought relevant. In the same way she would drop tips for my tailoring and culinary skills. One such recipe is this payasam. Though it is very similar to the adai pradaman, I would not dare to name it so, because it is not the same.
2 tablespoons raw rice
¼ cups powdered jaggery
¼ cups coconut milk
2 cardamons powdered
Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes. Grind to a very fine paste in a blender.
Add water to make a thin liquid, somewhat like milk.
Keep three or four flat steel plates handy, lightly greased.
Put the steamer on stove. Pour the ground batter thinly on one of the prepared plates.
Steam this for a minute and a half.
Meantime, keep one more plate ready. As you remove the first, put this in.
By now, the first adai will be ready to come off the plate. Take it out and keep aside.

Repeat the above steps until all batter is used up.
Cut the cooked batter into thin strips and those into pieces.
Bring some water to boil in another pan. Drop the adai strips in boiling water and continue to boil for a few more minutes.
Mix powdered jaggery with little water. Once dissolved, strain this to remove impurities.
Put back in the pan and let the jaggery boil, add the adai strips and coconut milk.
Taking care not to let the coconut milk over-boil, cook the payasam on low heat and allow the mixture to blend. Add powdered cardamom. Remove from fire and serve as desired.
I would like to send this as my entry to Let's Go Nuts - Coconuts event.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Neer Dosa

Neer dosas are speciality Manglore dosas. These lovely, thin, lace-like dosas need just rice that has been ground to a very fine batter. I seriously don't know what is the best combination for neer dosas for I have mostly made them with coconut chutney or a masala gravy my sister was given by her Manglorean landlord in Goa. It just tastes as good with either of them.

For neer dosas you will need,
1 cup raw rice
2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut (optional, for even without coconut they turn out well)
salt to taste
Oil to grease the tawa
The tawa should be a flat one not caved in the centre and has to have a lid that will close to trap the steam within.

Soak the raw rice for 2 hours. Grind in a blender to a very fine batter. Add salt.( if you are adding coconut, grind with the rice.)
Keep in reserve extra water as you will be adding to the batter some water after pouring each dosa to keep the consistency thin.
Put your tawa on the stove. When optimally hot, add cooking oil on the tawa and spread to coat it.
Pour ladle fulls from the edges towards centre or more in a linear motion than circular. You cannot spread from centre with the back of the ladle as with the rice-lentil combined dosas.
Cover with the lid.
Cook dosas for a minute or two before opening the lid.
The edges may have lifted on their own. Carefully prise them out of the tawa and place on the serving plate.
Arrange them separated initially until they cool as otherwise they are bound to become a sticky pile.
Serve with coconut chutney which is ground very finely.

I am sending these dosas to Padma's Dosa Corner event
to Sia's RCI -Udipi-Manglore cuisine event originally started by Laksmi.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Onion Bajji

My dad's elder sister, my athai, makes the best bajjis ever. Her bajjis and bondas are so famous that my daughter and nephews call her 'Bajji Paatti'! Our uncle was an expert in making bajjis and vegetable biriyani. We were always treated to such delicacies on our every visit to their lovely home. The onion bajji, I am about to share with you today is the signature recipe of both of them.

2 big onions - keeping the closest peel intact, cut in rounds.(thus the onions will hold shape)
1 cup of chick pea flour
1/3 cup of fine rice flour
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon redchilli powder
1/4 teaspoon soda -bi-carbonate
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
oil for deep frying.
Keep onion rounds spread on a plate.
Seive all the flours together with bicarbonate of soda, chilli powder and salt.
Put this mix in a bowl and gradually add water to make a batter resembling that of idli batter, more on thicker side than rarer.
Place a pan with oil on the stove. When oil is hot, taking care not to disturb the onion rounds, dip them one by one in the batter and drop them in the oil, so many as will fit in the oil.
Deep fry turning once or twice in the oil, until they are golden brown.
If making larger quantities, mix the flours and separate them in batches. Add water only to a particular batch just before frying.

Serve golden bajjis with coconut chutney.
Raw bananas, potatoes, brinjals and big bajji chillies can be fried in the same way.
This is another entry for EC's WYF: Fried Snack event.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pappadam Canapes

I usually microwave pappadams for my husband. I had packed two 50s pack of MTR pappadam in the container along with other foodstuff leaving Bahrain to Ghana. I happened to watch these curl themselves like caps and wondered if I can do a filling and serve. That was a brainwave which resulted in my innovative starters. Also, on most occasions I sprout green gram for salads. There stemmed my idea for 'protein rich filling'. And I got one dish easily microwave cooked and rich in protein.

You may need:
6 small size pappadams.
Few drops of oil to rub on either side of pappadams.
1/4 cup of bean sprouts.
2 tomatoes chopped.
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds soaked until soft.
2 tablespoons onion paste.
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste.
1/2 teaspoon green chilli paste.
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder.
Few curry leaves chopped.
Few coriander leaves chopped.
Salt to taste.
1teaspoon mustard seeds.
1teaspoon oil for tempering.

Rub little oil on both sides of pappadams. Arrange in a single circle on an absorbent tissue on the turn table of the microwave. Microwave on 100% power for 40 to 50 seconds. Keep aside.
In a microwave safe bowl put oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the mustards and allow to crackle.
Add the fenugreek and all the pastes. On medium power cook them until slightly dry.
Drop the sprouts, sprinkle some water, cover and cook for 4 minutes.
Open, stir and add chopped tomatoes, salt and redchilli powder. Cook covered again on medium power for 2 minutes. Let it stand for further two minutes.
Open and mix well. Add chopped curry leaves and coriander leaves.
Just before serving, arrange the curled pappadams on a plate and fill them with the beans filling and serve as starters with stirfry hot and sour soup.
I am forwarding this to MEC: protein rich Foods from Microwave hosted by Ramya originally started by Srivalli.

Stirfry hot n sour soup

After my success with barley in my carrot soup, I am now obsessed with using it in most soups. But this hot and sour I tried with brown rice. I had Cooking under ten minutes book by Tarla Dalal and another interesting cookbook for a Hawkins Kadai,each of which had a stir fry soup and a stir fry salad respectively. I combined both recipes and using brown rice (Basmati brown rice) I made stirfry hot and sour soup. Serve the soup with pappadam canapes; the combination tastes very good, you can add herbs to suit your taste.

Carrot - 1
Beans -5
Green bell pepper -1 (small)
Red bell pepper - 1 (small)
Spring onions - a small bunch of about 8 sprigs
Garlic -1 pod (optional)
Red chillies -2
Tamarind - 1 pea pod size
Brown Basmati rice - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Clarified butter (ghee) or for a no fat version, extra virgin olive oil to stir fry the vegetables.

Wash the vegetables and cut them in thin long strips.
Soak garlic, tamarind and red chillies in little water for a while and grind in a blender to a very fine paste.
Wash the rice, drain and dry spread on a cloth for about 1/2 an hour.
Place a heavy pan on stove with some of the ghee and roast the rice for a few minutes. Then add water (about 1/2 a cup) to it and cook rice till tender. Grind in a blender to a liquid. Keep aside.
In the same pan, put more ghee and stir the garlic-chilli-tamarind paste. Stir until the raw flavour of garlic subsides.
Then add the cut vegetable strips. Stir fry until vegetables are tender.
Now add the rice paste, salt, pepper and more water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soup thickens.
Serve piping hot with pappadam canapes.
This quantity makes 2 servings.
I am sending this soup to Shanthi Krishnakumar's Lovely Winter Recipes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Race Kuzhambu

The Samaithu Paar (சமைத்து பார்) by S. Meenakshi Ammal is my cookbook Bible. My sister purchased it for me sometime in 1988, and I may have tried 80% of the recipes in these 20 years. I cook these regularly and just love the variety the three volumes offer. The Race Kuzhambu (ரேஸ் குழம்பு) is one such kuzhambu that tastes excellent.

This is best made using tender brinjals or ladies finger. However, you can use drumsticks too.
The following measure of ingredients will serve 4.
Ladies fingers/Okra 8 to 10, cut 2'' pieces or brinjals 2- cut in eights.
Thoor dhal, Urad dhal, Channa dhal and Moong dhal - 1 teaspoon of each.
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon.
Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoon.
Black pepper - 4 -6 corns.
Red chillies - 6.
Fenugreek seeds -1/2 teaspoon.
Rice - 1/2 teaspoon
Tamarind - a small lemon sized ball.(aged tamarind will taste best)
Salt to taste.
Oil (preferably gingely oil) -2 tablespoons.

For tempering:
Oil -1 teaspoon.
Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon.
Curry leaves - few sprigs.
Green chillies - 2.

Wash, dry and cut ladies fingers or the brinjals and cook until soft.
In a pan first roast without oil the rice. Next roast the fenugreek seeds.
Put oil in the pan and roast separately the dhals until golden.
Roast the redchillies, peppercorns and the coriander seed.
Put all the above roasted ingredients in a spice blender and grind to a fine powder.
Soak tamarind and extract the pulp.
Place pan back on the stove, add oil and temper the mustard seeds. Add the greenchillies and curry leaves and saute for few minutes.
Add the tamarind pulp and the cooked vegetable. Let the tamarind water simmer until the raw flavour subsides. Add salt and the powder with some more water. Bring to a boil and lowering heat simmer for few minutes.
Serve hot with steamed rice.