Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Asparagus Curry

As the name suggests, this is a south indian version of the Asparagus.
To make this for 4 people,
You need
Asparagus - (choose thin ones_ 2 bunches
Oil - One teaspoon
Mustard - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chili - 1
Urad Dal - 2 teaspoons
Curry Leaves - 5 or 6
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Water - 1/4 Cup
---> Cut off the stems of asparagus
---> Chop the asparagus in to small pieces.
---> In a non stick pan, add the water and asparagus and salt and cover it and steam this in a slow flame.
---> Keep a watch on it, if the water evaporates fast , then the vegetable will burn, so keep it on a slow flame and keep stirring.
--->One the color changes and all the water is evaporated, add the tadka to this.
For tadka,
---> In a small pan, add the oil and when it heats up, add the mustard seeds (Once it starts bursting) add red chili and urad dal and roast till the dal turns in to a golden color, add it while hot to the curry.

This goes with Rasam, Dal, Chapathi, or Rice.

Mor Kuzhambu (Yogurt Gravy)

Just to demonstrate that the Nagini Style Mor Kuzhambu can be made with any vegetable, here I used Okra or ladies finger, (fried in a little oil, with salt) and them put in the gravy.
If you plan on adding Chayote or white pumpkin, you have to cook them first in water and slat, and then add it.

Just enjoy with hot rice.....

Paruppu Urundai Mor Kuzhambu (Steamed Lentil Balls in Yogurt Gravy)

This item has become kind of a delicacy now a days...... This can be made with either Toor Dal or Channa dal or a mixture of both. My mother used to make this very often and she would use them in Mor Kuzhambu or put them in regular Tamrind base gravy (Puli Kuzhambu) or also make Rasam with it.In any way you use it, it will be the star of your menu.
To complement this, you can make a regular Keerai Masiyal.
It is kind of a long proceedure, but well worth the effort.
Since the main ingredient is Dal or lentils, it is a very healthy meal filled with proteins.

Paruppu Urundai
To make around 20 balls:
Toor Dal -- 2 cups
Hing -- 1/2 Teaspoon
Green Chili -- 4 to 5
Red Chili -- 3 to 5
Salt -- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons
Soak 2 cups toor dal, or (1 cup toor, 1 cup channa) for 2 to 3 hours.
Similar to making the Paruppu Usili, you start by draining the dal of any water and grinding it with hing, and the chillies, and salt and grind to a coarse to smooth paste. You can add a little water and make a LITTLE runny. (this is where it is a little different from the Usili, for Usili the dal paste should be dry).

Oil - 2 Teaspoons
Mustard - 1 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves -- 2 strands
---> In a kadai, take the oil, add the mustard, curry leaves, and add the dal mixture and saute till it becomes a little thick.
---> Switch off the stove and wait till you can handle the heat of the dal mixture.
---> In a vessel, brush it with some oil so that the balls wont stick to the bottom of the vessel.
---> Now, take about a tablespoon of the dal mixture and make a ball and arrange in the oil brushed vessel.
---> Put the vessel (with all the balls) in a pressure cooker and steam it in a pressure cooker without the weight for 15 to 20 minutes on a medium flame.
---> After you switch off the cooker, take the balls out (so they don't end up sticking together,and let cool.
---> In whatever gravy you choose to float them, put them in that and eat while it is hot...

Mor Kuzhambu... (Nagini Style)
This time, I chose the Mor Kuzhambu to be the gravy.
There are over 15 kinds of Mor Kuzhambu, this one is called Nagini Style, named after Mrs Nagini Kumar , my aunt Mrs Subha Raman's friend.
It is made with yogurt, Coconut, Red Chili, Fenugreek.
You need about 4 to 5 cups of the kuzhambu for the 20 balls to float.
Yogurt -- 3 to 3 1/2 cups
Red Chili - 3
Fenugreek - 3/4 th teaspoon
Coconut - 1/4 cup
---> Roast the fenugreek and red chili in a bit of oil until the fenugreek turns a rosy color.
---> When it cools, add this to the coconut and make a smooth paste in a mixer.
---> Blend the yogurt well, with water and make it like a thick soup.
---> Add the masala you made with coconut and heat on a low flamed stove, and be careful so that this doesnt curdle.
---> Give a tadka to this with oil, mustard, curry leaves and red chili and hing.

Enjoy with hot rice.

Paruppu Urundai Rasam
My niece Sandhya is allergic to coconut, so I put some of the balls in rasam so she also could enjoy them.
For the rasam, you generally make what is called a "Gottu Rasam" or as my patti (Grandma) calls it a mottai rasam :)
This is made with Tamarind water, rasam powder, salt, turmeric powder and a tadka with mustard and red chili, Tomatoes are optional in this kind of rasam, but I added them, since Sandhya loves tomatoes..
Tamarind -- about half a table spoon of raw tamarind
water - 2 cups
Rasam Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Hing - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt - as needed
Oil - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 4 to 5 leaves
Red Chili - 1 or 2

---> Soak tamarind in 1 and 1/2 cup warm water and extract all the pulp
---> In a vessel add the tamarind water, rasam powder, salt, hing, cut tomotaes, turmeric powder and bring to boil on a slow medium flame.
---> Once the tomatoes have cooked, add the remaining water in a way that adds some froth to the rasam and wait till it comes to a boil.
--->Once the rasam is frothy on top, switch off the stove and give the tadka, with oil, mustard seeds and red chili.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Deepavali!!!!!

Happy Deepavali!!
For this year, I made Laddu, Peda, Gulab Jamun (from mix), Mixture and Thenkuzhal....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Golu 2009

Navarathri started on September 19th. Just like last year I had two big Parties...

Only this time, I had them back to back.... one on Sep 19th Saturday and the other on Sunday Sep 20th...

Menu for Party on September 19th



Coconut Chutney

Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Milagai Podi

Vatha Kuzhambu Sadham (Rice)

Urulaikizhangu Kari

Aplam (PapadS)


Paneer Sabji

Kollu Sundal

Neer Mor

Javvarisi (sabudana) Payasam

Menu for Party on September 20th


Kanjeevaram Idli


Coconut Chutney

Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Milagai Podi

Milagu Kuzhambu Sadham (Rice)

Urulaikizhangu Kari


Pachai Pattani Sundal (with Mango)

Neer Mor

Javvarisi (sabudana) Payasam

I had made lots of Bell Pepper Chutney, earlier in the week, enough for both the parties. That was the hit Chutney in both the parties. On Saturday, the Vathakuzhambu sadham was a hit also and on sunday the Milagu Kuzhambu sadham was a hit.

The new addition to this year’s golu was the Kali Doll that I got from Calcutta, and the Vittal and Rakumayi doll which I got in Chennai. The Marriage set is also a new addition to my collection this year.

I would like to mention some of my friends who helped me make these parties a grand success...

Drum Roll Please......

First of all to Gayatri a.k.a. Gayu, my daughter's friend, who dutifully came on a nice Friday evening, to help us unwrap the dolls and arrange them on the steps. She also helped in making the streets of India exhibit...

To Mina, who came after playing tennis to rearrange some of the dolls on the shelf.

And thanks to my husband, and my kids, Varun and Varsha who helped in the unpacking of the dolls, in arranging the cricket set and the other dolls and also packing all of them again, sealing the boxes and special thanks to Varun for dismantling the Golu Shelf and putting them back in the basement!!

As for the Parties here is my thanking speech

For the Saturday Party Many Many Thanks to

Suman , Priya and Madhu.

Suman Helped in peeling and cubing the potatoes, Washing the coriander, Frying the Aplams, garnishing everything.....

Priya helped in Making the Potato curry, frying the aplams

Madhu helped in washing all the vessels I had used that day......

And to Bairavi, Suman, Priya, Harshi, who helped in making the idlies during the party....

For the Sunday Party, Many Many Thanks to

Aparna, Asha, Bairavi, Vasanthi who helped in making the idlies while the party was going on....

Chutneys for Chaat, Pani Puri Water

These recipes are all Mina's

When she makes the chutneys, she never adds water, instead she adds Lemon Juice so the chutneys last a long time.
All of these last two to three weeks in the fridge and nearly 6 months in the freezer.
But, if you take it out to thaw from the freezer, use it right away.

My friend Veena, makes the chutneys, fills them up in an ice cube tray and has bhel whenever she feels like it, That is a good idea, tooo!!
Green Chutney

Makes about 2 cups of thick chutney. To use, take a tablespoonful and add two to three tablespoons of water to make it thin and then use.
Coriander - 3 Cups (filled tightly in measuring cup)
(Cleaned, Washed, drained and dabbed with a paper towel to take out excess water
Raw Peanuts (Shelled) 2 Cups
Green Chillies - 12 Washed and dried (add more if you want spicier)
Lemons - 2 to 3 (squeeze out the juice and discard the seeds)
Salt - as needed for taste

Grind everything together, to form a smooth thick paste....

Sweet Chutney
This recipe makes 4 cups of Sweet Chutney!
Dates - about 3 cups (pressure cooked with 1/4 cup water)
Thick Tamarind water - about 1 cup
Jaggery or sugar - to taste
Salt - to taste
Chili Powder - roasted - 1 teaspoon
Jeera Powder - roasted- 1/2 teaspoon

Grind everything together, to form a smooth thick paste....
When you taste this, it should taste both sour and sweet at the same time (Khatta Meeta)

Garlic Chutney
Garlic - Cloves from 6 to 7 garlics
Red Chili - Equalling the amount of Garlic
Salt -as needed
Lime juice - to make it easier to grind
Dhania Jeera Powder - as needed

Again mix it all to make a smooth paste....
Just add a dab of this to your Chaat to experience the pungent taste

I don't have a picture of this, I will post the picture, when I make this next time)

Pani Puri Water (Look for this picture in Harshi;s Pani Puri Water Picture)
Pudina (Mint) leaves - 2 Cups (filled tightly in measuring cup)
(Cleaned, Washed, drained and dabbed with a paper towel to take out excess water
Green Chillies - 4 or more if you need this spicier
Lemon Juice - 3 or 4 tablespoons
Coriander - 1 cup (filled tightly in measuring cup)
(Cleaned, Washed, drained and dabbed with a paper towel to take out excess water
Black Salt - 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - to taste

Grind everything together, to form a smooth thick paste....
When you taste this, it should taste kind of salty with an after taste
Again, this is very thick, you should just take a tablespoon of this paste and add up to 3 or 4 cups of ice cold water and then use it...