Friday, March 28, 2008

Ginger Rasam, Beans+Orange Pumpkin (Parangikai)+Carrot Lazy Kootu


My Entry for Click event.
The picture was taken with a Sony Cybershot, 7.2mp DSC-P200

Beans+Orange Pumpkin (Parangikai)+Carrot Lazy Kootu

Why is this kootu called lazy? Well, Kootu mostly is associated with roasting, grinding, and slowly mixing it into the gravy. But, this Kootu can be done, when you are feeling lazy and not up to roasting.... you get the point.
What you need:
1/2 cup moong dal (may be a small handful of tuvar dal if desired)
1 1/2 cup each of beans, Orange Pumpkin, Carrot (cut in desired shapes, lenghths, etc.)
1 tsp of jeera
a dash of hing
*2 spoons of coconut -* means optional
1 1/2 spoons of sambar powder
*Half teaspoon of turmeric powder
Salt as needed
For garnish:
1 teaspoon of oil
Half a teaspoon of mustard
1 red Chili
Some curry leaves, and coriander leaves
--->In a vessel, wash the dal once, and cover with enough water; add turmeric powder* and salt. --->Once the Dal is half cooked, add the vegetables, sambar powder;(Click on the link for sambar powder recipe), jeera and hing. Make sure there is enough water;it'll all come together in 22-25 min time.(medium flame on stove;keep stirring every few minutes)
--->Turn the stove off;take another vessel and add the oil, red chili, mustard; once the mustard sputters , pour it over the cooked mixture and add the coconut* and curry leaves and coriander leaves.
--- you can add 2 or 3 green chillies to the vegetables to pack a punch too!
This goes well with hot rice or rotis.
Ginger Rasam
This is just regular rasam but you add some ginger along with the tomatoes.
Here goes.
What you need: (This is for 2 people)
A tiny ball (grape tomato size) of tamarind
You could use tamarind paste (about 1/4 teaspoon), but do not expect the rasam to be tasty :(
One medium sized tomato (chopped as desired)
1/4 cup of uncooked Tuvar Dal (pressure cooked till soft)
2 inch piece of Ginger
1 tsp of jeera
1/2 tsp salt (more or less as needed)
1 tsp of rasam powder (in our house, it is the same as sambar powder but sambar and rasam taste completely different!!)
2 and 1/2 cups water
Dash of Hing
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
To garnish
1 tsp Ghee or Oil ;
1/2 tsp Mustard;
1 Red chili
1 strand Curry leaves
2 strands Coriander Leaves
--->Take 2 cups of water and soak the tamarind in it. Extract all the juice from it and filter the water. You can use your hand to filter and it is ok if some tamarind escapes(!) your hand and falls in to the pot!
--->Add the chopped tomatoes, jeera, ginger, salt, hing, rasam powder, turmeric powder.
--->Let it all come to a boil. (medium high flame, keep watch, you don't want it to boil over)
--->Once it is all boiling, add the extra half cup of water, the cooked Dal,reduce the flame and let it again come to a boil.
And now garnish as mentioned for the Kootu above.
Kootu was made in an utensil made of "Hindaleum". I really don't know which metals combine to make this alloy. This is a "hand me down" vessel from my Mom. I love this because, you can put it on the stove directly unlike "eeyam"(an alloy if tin and aluminium, for which the melting point is very low). I will never forget the yummy potato curry my grandma made in this, once upon a time in Kerala, (feels like so long ago).
Rasam was made in an Eeyam Utensil (As mentioned above, an alloy of Tin and Aluminium), You have to put the liquid directly in it and then keep on fire otherwise you Will end up making a hole in bottom. and when you lift it, you have got to use a cloth. If you use a tong, it will make a mark... very picky metal! This is a "hand me down" from mother in law.


This picture was taken by my son Varun (14 years).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Vazhaikai Manjal Kari (Raw Banana Yellow Curry)

This is made in weddings or at home during any ceremony. One of the traditional recipes.
You will need
5 or 6 green bananas
1 tsp of turmeric powder
salt to taste
Dry roast and powder (3 tsp of Dhania, 2 or 3 red chillies and 2 tsp of Channa Dal)
1 tsp Mustard
2 Red Chillies
2 tsp of oil
8 to 10 curry leaves
Please follow the podimaas recipe on directions how to pre cook the bananas.
When the cooked bananas cool, peel them and cut them in square pieces.
Take a kadai, and add some oil,red chillies, turmeric powder, salt and the bananas.
Keep it on a medium high flame and roast the bananas, add a little more oil if desired
Add the roasted powder and mix well.
Garnish with curry leaves and serve.

Spinach Rice

My Sister in law (Cousin's Better Half) Bhairavi made this Spinach Rice.
Tasted as good as it looks.
You will need
1lb Spinach (whole or chopped) (If Whole, chop in food processor)
2 1/2 cups of cooked rice (not squishy)
1 bunch cilantro
5 to 6 Green Chillies
4 tsp of oil
1 tsp of Mustard
1 tsp of Urad Dal
2 tsp of jeera
2 pinches of hing
2 Red chillies
2 Strands of Curry Leaves
2 handfuls of roasted peanuts (optional)
Grind the cilantro and G chillies in to a thick dry paste.
Take a Kadai and add oil, mustard, red chillies, Urad Dal, Curry Leaves, Jeera, Peanurs, Hing and when it all sputers, add the cilantro chilli paste and fry till fragrant, and then add the spinach and fry for less than 5 minutes and then add the rice and salt to taste.

Dahi Chaat

My (Cousin) Sister Aparna made this wonderful chaat.
She brought over everything to my house and assembled it for us. Yummy!!!

Thidir Elumichangai (Instant Lemon Pickle)

Thidir means sudden in Tamil.
This pickle is generally made in weddings.
This lasts long in the fridge as long as you take care of it. ( By not using a wet spoon or accidentally dropping some water in it)

You will need
5 yellow lemons
Pickle chili powder (this is different from the red chili powder, since they use different kind of red chillies, if you don't have it, you can use red chili powder)
Red Chillies

Wash the lemons, and put them in a vessel and cover them with water.
Let the water come to a boil and let it boil for a good 10 minutes.
now drain the water slowly and wait for the lemons to cool.
Take them out and cut them the way you want.
Save all the juice and put it all back in the vessel
now spread the mixture flat in the vessel and dived in 4 parts.
You will need chili powder as much as the 1/4th part of the lemon. and salt about 3/4th of the chili powder. Hing will be less than 1/4th of the salt.
(This is all done in proportions)
3/4th of lemon = chili powder
3/4th of chili powder = salt
1/4th of Salt=hing
Now add the chili powder and salt and hing.
In a separate vessel heat up oil (enough to cover the lemons) and add the mustard and red chillies and once the mustard sputters, pour it over the mixture and mix immediately.
Make sure the lemon is completely soaked in oil.
One it cools, carefully store in a dry container and store in fridge.

Mashed Potato?? or Potato Soup??

My daughter Varsha made this dish, (she is 11).
She wanted to make mashed potato but it tasted more like potato soup!
I don't know the exact recipe for it but had a vague idea.
We used 2 boiled potatoes, mashed them
added a tsp salt and
a Tablespoon of sour cream
and a Tablespoon of butter
and mixed it all up with a hand blender and
Varsha wanted to garnish it with some italian herbs!!

Poosanikai Mor Kootu (Wintermelon in yogurt gravy)

You know, I have seen in some homes, they make mor kootu (yogurt gravy) only if it turns sour.
Not in my house. My Maternal Grandma, Mrs Vimalam Ramamurthy, would make fresh yogurt and then use that to make the Kootu or Avial.
I also have to say, making this kootu is an art. You have got to be careful not let the yogurt separate.

What you need to make this wonderful dish.

For Soaking (at least half an hour before)
--- 2 tsp Jeera
--- 1 tsp rice
--- 1 tsp Channa Dal
--- 2 or 3 green chillies (add more if you like it spicy)
--- about 5 tbsp of coconut

For the Kootu
----take about 8 cups of winter melon (washed, take of skin and cut in 1 inch pieces)
---1/2 cup of water
--- salt (add to taste)
--- 3 cups of thick yogurt ( I use store bought mostly because of the thickness, since the one I make at home tends to be watery (I use skim milk to make yogurt at home)

---Take a vessel, and add the winter melon, and the water and salt.
---Keep on low fire.
---Winter melon has lot of water content, so you don't need to add too much water.
when this is boiling, grind the masala, which has soaked to a smooth mixture.
---add the masala slowly and stir it well
---reduce fire and add the yogurt to this
---heat only for 5 to 10 minutes making sure the yogurt doesn't separate
--- give tadka to this with oil, mustard, red chillies and curry leaves.

You can eat this with rice or rotis

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Lonely Brinjal----> Brinjal Raita!!

Hmmm, What do you do with one brinjal?
well, this is a japanese brinjal hence the size is a medium.
I roasted it on an open fire this time, (did not want to start the oven for ONE brinjal!)

It is roasted on all sides now. I have peeled the skin on one side, so as to spoon out the insides.

I have started spooning out. You have to be careful so as not to take any of the burnt skin away. Do this when you have a lot of concentration!

It is all spooned out in a nice looking bowl!

The next step is add a little salt, and about 3 to 4 tablespoons of curd.
Take some oil and add some mustard seeds, green chillies, red chillies and curry leaves and let it all sputter and pour it over the mixture,
you have your very own, Brinjal raita ready to eat!