Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cranberry Pickle (Thokku)

I know Cranberries are not in season now, but when it comes again, you can make this pickle.

You will need

Cranberries - 2 Bags
Gingelly Oil - 4Tablespoons
Mustard seeds- 1 Teaspoon
Red Chili - 3 or 4
Red Chili Powder or Pickle Powder - 1/4th of the amount of Cranberry Paste
Salt - 1/4th of the amount of Chili Powder
Hing -
1/4th of the amount of Salt

To make the Pickle
---> Wash the cranberries well in water and take out the ones which are squished.
---> Drain and Pat them dry
---> In a heavy bottomed pan, (on a medium flame) add 1 Tablespoon oil and put the cranberries in, it will start to burst and become squishy in under 5 minutes
--->Mash them with a wooden spoon and switch the stove off.
--->Let them cool and once they are cool, transfer them to a mixer and make a paste.
--->In the same pan, add the rest of the oil and add the mustard seeds and red chillies
--->Once the start bursting, add the cranberry paste, add the turmeric powder and Pickle powder and mix well.
--->Cover the pan and let it all cook together on a small to medium flame for about 5 to 10minutes, until the color of the paste darkens
--->Let cool and transfer to a dry container.

Goes well with Bread, Dosa, Adai, Curd Rice, Chapathi etc..

Grilled Sweet Potato Slices

Grilled Sweet Potatoes!
I ate this in Whole Foods! I usually am very picky about eating samples in stores! But I saw her making this in front of me on a very clean grill.... so I tried one and another and so on....
This is by far the simplest appetizer you can make with less than 5 ingredients..
You need
Sweet Potatoes -- Sliced in thin slices
Oil - to brush over the Griddle
Salt and Pepper - Mixed

all you do is slice the potatoes and place them on an oil brushed griddle or skillet and roast on a very medium fire until it browns a bit on both sides and sprinkle salt and pepper and eat...
You can never stop at one.

How to make Poli? (Puran Poli)(A Soft bread with a sweet Filling)


Even though it feels like a lot of steps, trust me the end result is worth it!

You Need:
To make the Dough:
2 cups of Maida
3/4cups of whole wheat flour,
a pinch of Turmeric Powder
1 and 1/2 tablespoons oil.

To Make the Pooranam:
1 and 1/2 cups of Channa Dal
1 and 1/2 cups of Jaggery
2 Handfuls of Shredded Coconut
2 Tablespoons Ghee
1 Tsp Elaichi Powder

Poli is usually made on the last day of the Tamizh Month Maarkazhi.
That day is called "Bhogi". This is when you get rid of all the old things in the house, clean the house..kind of like spring cleaning ....

I was not really great in making this since I always would try and make it like a Paratha..
So I called in the Poli Expert, my sis in law Bhairavi, to help me.
Here is how she does it....

To make the dough:
She usually makes the dough a few hours in advance so it helps it to stretch well.
To make about 18 Polis she used about 2 cups of Maida and about 3/4cups of whole wheat flour, a pinch of Turmeric Powder and about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons oil.
She made the dough by hand and made it into a nice ball.

Here is dough she will use a few hours later.....

To make the Pooranam (filling)

As you can see Step by step
----> Roast about 1 and 1/2 cups of Channa Dal until you can smell it and it turns in to a rose color.
---> Pressure cook it in the cooker and you may add little water.
---> Once it cools down, put this in a food processor and add about 2 handfuls of shredded coconut (optional) to this and grind to a smooth paste.
---> It has to be smooth and creamy before you proceed.
---> Transfer to a microwave safe bowl and add jaggery to this.
---> Put this in the microwave for 3 minutes at a time until you get to the point where the jaggery has completely melted and has incorporated in to the channa dal mixture
(look at the last picture)
---> You can add some ghee and Elaichi(Optional) to this and make it smell nice..

And then you proceed to make the Poli,

Pinch off a small piece of dough and stuff with pooranam (The pooranam amount should equal two times of the dough) and cover completely with the dough and proceed to flatten it with your fingers and roast on a tawa and you can eat Hot Polis
(Optional) you may add some ghee once it is cooked on one side before you turn it over....


Sunflower Seeds!

The seeds in the picture are Sunflower Seeds.
Bee from Jugalbandi guessed it right!
These are with the Shells. More info on them can be read here.