Friday, 28 February 2014

Mango carrot Thokku

Last week, I got lots of Mangoes from India, specially from my inlaws home. I tried some interesting recipes out of it and this thokku is signature recipe of all. Droolling right ? Yes today's interesting recipe is Mango carrot Thokku. Usually the traditional recipe dint add carrot. But my mom used to add carrot as it will enhance the taste of thokku.This thokku is perfect combo for curd rice and rotis. Try this recipe at home and your comments are always welcome. Lets check today's recipe. Mango Carrot Thokku.

Ingredients :

Mango (unripe) - 2
Carrot - 3/4
Red chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Sesame oil - 5 tbsp or as needed
Salt to taste

Method :

Take mango and peel the outer skin using peeler. Grate this into thin slices. 
Peel the skin of carrot and grate it to thin slices.(Picture shown).

In a pan, add sesame oil, followed by spluttering mustard seeds. Add the grated mangoes and carrots. Fry it in a low medium flame for 6-10 minutes. Cook until the mangoes become soft and get shrinked.I always add carrot as it balance the sourness of mangoes.

Now add red chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well followed by adding a pinch of Asafoetida (Hing). Fry it for another 5-9 mins in low flame. Add oil if necessary or if you see it getting burned or dried up.Keep stirring for every 2 mins to avoid burning at the bottom.

Finally add fenugreek seed powder and fry for 1 min. Now you can observe that oil is oozing out from the mango-carrot thokku mix. This is the perfect and correct consistency.
Check for salt and switch off the flame.

Transfer it to air tight container. Always use clean spoon everytime and dont use wet spoon. Enjoy fresh home made thokku with curd rice.

Vaazhaikai Bajji (Plantain Bajji)

When it comes to snacks that can go as favourite snack during tea time, definitely Bajji comes to our mind. Of all Bajji types, Banana or plantain Bajji is evergreen traditional signature recipe among south Indians. The crispiness of fried batter and the fried vegetables inside definitely gives heavenly taste. That too I always prefer to eat hot sipping with a cup of Tea. If you ask me the best side dish for Bajji, I would say the famous " white chutney aka coconut chutney". Nom Nom !!! Unfortunately I dint prepare chutney as I had Bajji with Tea. But that as well sounds delicious. :)

The recipe I have given is the basic for raw banana bajji, but you can follow the same steps and try with different veggies such as Chow chow, Cauliflower, brinjal, potato and onion.

Ingredients :

Vazhaikai / raw banana / Plantain - 1 big
Kadala Maavu / Besan flour -3/4 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp
Corn flour - 3/4 tsp (Optional)
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Omam or Ajwain - 1/4 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 pinch 
Salt - as needed
Oil for deep frying

Method :

Wash and peel the skin of Raw banana. Slice it lengthwise into thin pieces. Keep it immersed in water till you use to prevent discolouration.

In a wide pan, add besan flour, rice flour, corn flour, ginger garlic paste, ajwain, hing and a pinch of baking soda. Dont add too much baking soda as it will drink too much oil when frying. Mix them well followed by adding garam masala and red chilli powder. Now add water little by little and enough salt. Whisk it well to make it as soft batter. The batter consistency should not be too thick nor too thin. It should be in the consistency so that it can coat easy to plantain / raw banana.

In the mean time, heat a kadai and add required oil for deep frying. Now add the sliced plantain to the batter (drain the water as much as possible), dip & coat the batter to it. When the oil become hot, add the batter coated plantain to it and fry till golden brown on both sides. 

Always do it in low medium flame.Once it gets fried crispy on both sides, remove it from oil and drain the excess oil using paper towel. 

Serve it with hot Masala tea or Ginger tea. Enjoy yummy tea time snack.

See you soon in next interesting post !!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Poondu Milagu - Mango kulambu

Poondu kulambu is a perfect recipe in rainy days. Not only it soothes throat, also it also aids for good digestion. This recipe is bit tangy and garlic flavoured. I dint make it as proper consistency as normal kolambu, but it will be like thogayal or thokku consistency which will be bit thicker. As I told you early, I got lot of Mangoes from India. I added few pieces to enhance the taste of this recipe. I never expect that mangoes and garlic will add flavour and taste. Indeed it is a perfect combo and can go well with rice top up with Gingelly oil. When I write this blog itself, am drooling :) :)  Yes it is a perfect & must try recipe. Lets check this and your comments are welcome.

Ingredients :

Pepper corn - 1 1/4 tbsp
Jeera / cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Garlic pods - 30 (or 1 cup)
Mango - 1/4 cup (sliced)
Toor dhal - 1 tbsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tbsp
corriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 2 spring
Dry red chillis - 4 (increase or decrease depends on taste)
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized ball
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Mustard - 1 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida -1 pinch
Sesame oil - 5 tbsp (or as needed)
Salt to taste

Method :

Soak the tamarind in water for about 20 mins. Extract 1 cup of thick tamarind water and keep it aside.

In a pan, add 1 tsp of sesame oil, followed by adding pepper corn, jeera, garlic pods (10 pods), red chilli, corriander seeds and curry leaves. Roast till it becomes golden brown. Transfer it to a plate. Now in the same pan, with 1/2 of oil, add urad dhal & toor dhal. Saute till it become golden brown. Tranfer it to the plate where we put roasted pepper & garlic. Allow the contents to cool.

Now transfer the roasted ingredients to a mixie and grind it with 1/4 cup of water to a smooth paste. Now the paste is ready.

In the same oil, add 2 tbsp of sesame oil, followed by spluttering mustard seeds. Now add the sliced mangoes and remaining garlic pods (20 pods atleast).Saute it for 2-4 ,minutes till the raw smell goes off. Now add the thick tamarind extract (around 1 cup of extract) and smooth paste (prepared from grinding roasted ingredients). Add salt, turmeric powder (optional) and a pinch of hing. Allow it to cook for 10-15 mins in a low flame. Keep stirring for every 4 mins to avoid burning. 

Cook till it become thick and started boiling. (when it boil, you can observe bubbles all over). At this stage, reduce the flame and you can observe the oil oozes out. This will look like thokku consistency. Switch off the flame and adjust salt if necessary. Transfer it to air tight container.

Serve it with hot rice and papads. This can be used for 1 month if properly stored. As well this is very good for digestion as it has garlic and pepper corns.

Orange, carrot-ginger Juice

Everybody wants fresh and supple skin with more immunity. I am sure orange-ginger-carrot satisfies & promise you to get all benefits as you wish. Here in my place, I see mandarin oranges in every shop, especially when it comes chinese festival seasons. I usually prepare only orange juice at home and never tried the combination of orange and ginger. Its a perfect drink with wonderful benefits. It also helps to ditch caffeine addictors and to start best day in the morning.  Yeah !! Orange is good for skin. Sometimes I feel not wasting orange skin, I usually prepare pickle from that.(Recipe to be posted soon).  Ginger is perfect for digestion and it relieves nausea and bloating. Carrot is a perfect antioxidant and rich in folate & potassium. I added bit of lemon in my recipe. Having all benefits, Lets try this recipe atleast once in a week. I am sure you will now kick off readymade preserved shop juices. Try it, I am sure you will love it. 

Ingredients :

Oranges - 2 (peeled)
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Carrot - 1 big
Lemon - 1(Optional)
Honey - 1 tbsp 

Method :

The recipe is pretty quick and can be prepared jiffy.

FIrst peel the skin of oranges. Wash carrots and peel the skin off. Chop it into pieces. Peel the skin of Ginger and chop it to pieces.

Now put all these in mixer blender and grind it smoothly. Transfer it to serving glass and squeeze 1 tsp of Lemon juice. Add 1 tbsp of honey and serve !!

Enjoy fresh healthy juice !!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Banana Chocolate smoothie

Banana chocolate smoothie is a perfect breakfast meal especially in morning rush hours. I am very bad in eating fruits but great lover of chocolates:). Since the valentine's day is coming soon, being a chocolate mad, I am thinking to celebrate with healthy chocolates recipes. The first thing that come to my mind is simple smoothie yet healthy & delicious. Yeah Yeah !! I used ripe banana for my recipe. Since banana has natural sweetener and hence I dint any sugar / honey for the taste. But if you are sweet tooth, add 1/2 tsp of honey or your desired level. Lets check today's recipe. Try this healthy smoothie at home and your comments are always welcome.

Ingredients :

Ripe banana - 2 small (or 1 big)
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1/2 tbsp
Milk -1 1/4 cup
Honey - 1/2 tsp (Optional)

Method :

The preparation is very simple. Just slice banana into small cubes. 
Put the banana,cocoa powder and milk into the blender.

Blend till it become smooth & frothy. Add honey if desired.

Pour it in glasses and enjoy healthy smoothie. Always enjoy it chilled. Optional is to add crushed ice while blending. If desired you can add scoop of Icecream as well. You can make variations by adding nutella or peanut butter or caramel sauce instead of cocoa powder. Variation is based on your imagination & taste. 

Enjoy healthy breakfast smoothie. See you soon in my next interesting post!!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Carrot Sambar

Carrot sambar is a signature dish in my family. Ofcourse it doesnot need many ingredients too. I am sure no south Indian family skip the cooking of sambar atleast once in a month. Yeah !! We too not exceptional in that case :) Sambar with paruppu rice definitely takes you to heaven !!

Carrots are rich in Beta carotene and rich in alkaline elements. They also aid in digestion by increasing saliva and supplying the necessary minerals. Recent research shows that regular consumption of carrots reduce the risk of gastric ulcers  & reduces cholesterol.It is an excellent source of potassium. Ofcourse it is very good to nourish skin by preventing dry skin and skin blemishes. 

Considering all good benefits lets go for today's south Indian sambar. Carrot Sambar. This is a basic recipe. You can choose any veggies of your choice to prepare sambar. Commonly used veggies are lady's finger, brinjal, beans, drum stick, radish.

Ingredients :

Carrot - 2 Medium
Shallots - 1/2 cup (If not use normal red onion - 1 )
Tomato - 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
Ginger - 2 tbsp (grated)
Green chilli - 1 or 2 (depends on taste)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - lemon sized
Sambar powder - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Toor dhal - 3/4 cup
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Oil as needed
Salt to taste

Method :

Soak tamarind in hot water for about 20 mins. Squeeze and extract the juice. Make atleast 1 1/2 cup of Tamarind juice. Keep it aside.

Wash and pressure cook toor dhal together with grated ginger (optional) for 3 whistles. Ginger when cooked with dhal will give nice flavour to sambar.

Wash and peel the skin of carrots. Cut into circles (or any desired shape). Wash & peel the shallots and chop the tomatoes to fine pieces. Slit the green chillis and keep all ingredients ready.

In a pan, add oil followed by adding shallots, green chillis & 1/2 spring of curry leaves. Saute it for a while. Now add tomatoes and cook till it becomes mushy, followed by adding carrots. Now add the tamarind extract (around 1 1/2 cup) and 1 tbsp of sambar powder. Add 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder & hing. Cook it till the raw smell goes off & carrot becomes soft & well cooked. Add 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 cup of water. Allow it to boil. The process will usually take 7-10 mins in a medium flame.

Once it started boil and carrots are well cooked, add the dhal to it. Add 1 cup of water if necessary. Adjust the salt to taste.

Finally temper it with mustard seeds, jeera and fenugreek seeds. Use 1/2 tsp of Ghee for tempering. It will enhance the taste. Add fenugreek only at the last and dont let it to boil as it will give bitter taste. Garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with rice.

Enjoy typical south Indian sambar with papads.

Mint Barley Drink

Barley is a perfect drink for summer. Being living in a tropical country, where the climate is totally unpredictable. Sometimes it will be hot sunny and suddenly in the evening heavy pouring of rain. Gosh !! Sometimes the climate will be too annoying especially when it is too hot. Usually when its summer, there are high chances to get stomach upsets and sometimes abdominal irritations. On such cases, the most reliable home made recipe to stay hydrated  is " Barley Drink". Whenever I go Toast Box, my hubby always insist me to drink "Barley water". I always avoid until I taste it. They usually add lemon juice to enhance flavour. But now I have become true addict of Barley Drink. In my recipe here, I added few mint leaves & cumin seeds to enhance the taste better. Try this summer coolant at home and stay hydrated.

Ingredients :

Barley - 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp (crushed)
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Mint leaves - few
Salt - as needed
Sugar - 1 pinch
Water - 5 cups

Method :

Wash barley and clean it. Cook it in a wide pan by adding atleast 5 cups of water. Bring it to boil till it become soft. (If need, you can pressure cook it for 2 whistles).

Once it cooked soft, add the crushed cumin seeds and cook it in a low flame for another 10 mins. Let the flavour of cumin seeds get incorporated with Barley. Once it cooked soft, mash the barley & cumin seeds with laddle hand till it become mushy. Now add mint leaves and allow it to boil for another 2 mins. Stain this drink in a seive. Allow it to cool.

Once it cool, add 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice and a pinch of sugar. Add pinch of salt if necessary.

Enjoy the summer Mint flavoured Barley. It is an effective thrist quencher.

Vankaya tomato Koora (Brinjal tomato curry)

This recipe is bookmarked from my friend's hand book. She is one of my secret admirer of my blog and ofcourse she is a great cook and sometimes my inspiration as well. She being from Andra, always cook some exotic hot spicy recipes. One of her signature dish is Spicy Brinjal curry. I never expect Brinjal sprinkled with Sesame-groundnut taste heavenly. Yes today is such combination of the recipe. This is a perfect recipe for brinjal lovers, who wants to cook spicy dish in less than 30 mins. Try this recipe and your comments are always welcome.

Ingredients :

Brinjal /Egg plant - 2
Tomato - 3 Medium
Onion - 1 Big
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
Corriander powder - 3/4 tsp
Red chilli - 2
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 3/4 tsp
Ground nut - 2 tbsp
Corriander seeds - 1/2 tsp
Corriander leaves - 1 tbsp (to Garnish)
Salt to taste
Oil - as required

Method :

Cut onion lengthwise and keep it aside. Chop the tomato into cubes. 

Wash and cut brinjal into desired shape. I prefer to cut lengthwise. Don't expose brinjal to air for long time. It will change the colour and sometime spoil the taste.

In a pan, add 1/4 tsp of oil, followed by roasting groundnuts, corriander seeds and sesame seeds. Cool the contents and grind it to coarse powder. Keep this masala aside. We will use this masala to sprinkle with Brinjal at the end.

In a pan, add oil deep enough for frying. Throw the brinjal and deep fry it till it become brown. (that is half crispy).Drain out the excess oil in kitchen towel and keep the fried brinjals aside.

In a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, followed by spluttering mustard seeds, Jeera and red chilli. Saute onion till it become glossy.For this recipe, you no need to saute onion to golden brown. Once onion turns glossy, add Ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off.

Now add chopped tomatoes and cook till it becomes mushy. Now add turmeric powder, corriander powder and garam masala. Add 1/4 cup of water and allow the masalas to get cooked (around 3-5 mins) and mixed with tomatoes. 

Now add the fried brinjals and adjust the salt. Cook it for another 5 mins with the lid closed.Dont let the Brinjal to become mushy as it used to cook fast. Finally add the groundnut sesame powder and mix it well. Switch off the flame. Garnish with corriander leaves and serve it with Roti or rice.

I hope you enjoyed today's recipe. See you soon !!

Mixed vegetables chutney

If you have some left over veggies and if you dont want to throw (like me), you can prepare such a easy delicious chutney. Yes today being Friday, am pretty lazy to prepare dinner because I am eagerly waiting for weekend. As well today I had a chance to chat with my wonderful school friend after a long long time. Being in happy mood, I dont feel like cooking :). But who can stop the stomach from scolding. Yes atleast to fill my tummy, I have to eat something. Suddenly this easy chutney came to my mind. Actually there is no great recipe to post on. But being a food blogger, I dont want to miss the chance to post this. Try this quick left over veggies chutney. It go very well with Idly / dosa or even just with toasted wheat bread / chapathi.

Ingredients :

Onion - 1
Tomato - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 3/4
French beans - 5 to 6
Garlic cloves - 2
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Green chilli- 1 or 2 (depends on taste)
Tamarind - small ball sized
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Channa dhal - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Hing - 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - as needed

Method :

In  a pan, add oil, followed by cracking cumin seeds. Take good care not to burn cumin seeds. Now add channa dhal and urad dhal. Saute till golden brown. Once done, add green chilli , tamarind ball and garlic followed by adding onion. Saute till the onion become transparent. Now add tomatoes and cook till it becomes mushy. Now transfer this contents into a plate and allow it to cool. In the meanwhile lets cook beans and carrot as Beans used to take bit longer time to cook.

In the same pan, with 1/2 tsp of oil, add carrot and beans. Add 1/2 cup of water and allow the veggies to cook till soft. Once its done, remove it from flame and allow it to cool. Now put all these in a mixie and blend it to fine paste. Adjust the salt to taste. 

Finally temper it with mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Serve it with Idly / chapathi.

Enjoy healthy mixed veggies chutney :)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Pesarattu (Andhra Style)

Are you getting bored of normal Idly / Dosa / Roti ? Then try this easy & healthy recipe, Pesarattu. It's an Andhra style lentil crepe typically served with Ginger chutney. My dad's native place is near Andhra Border and so whenever I visit my grandparents house, I used to have chance to taste some yummy Andhra style dishes. Of such is the Famous Pesarattu made from Green moong dhal. Traditionally Rava upma wrapped in the center of Pesarattu is a very good combo breakfast. Its full of protein and filling breakfast with the flavour of Ginger. And most importantly Pesarattu batter doesn't need any fermentation for long hours. You can easily make a crispy crepe once you grind the batter. Lets check this healthy recipe.

Ingredients :

Green moong dhal - 1 cup
Raw rice - 3 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Green chilli - 2
Garlic clove - 2 (Optional)
Onion - 1 (Finely chopped)
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp (Optional)
Jeera - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida / Hing - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp

Method :

Wash and soak green moong dhal and rice overnight or atleast 7 hours before grinding.
Remove the skin of Ginger and chop it to fine pieces. 

Grind the soaked dhal +rice together with Green chillis, ginger, garlic and Jeera. Grind it to a coarse batter (something like adai batter consistency, but I prefer to have smooth batter). The batter shouldn't be too watery like regular dosa batter. Once done, add salt, curry leaves and hing. Mix it well. Allow it to stand for about 15 mins. You no need to let it ferment for long hours. In the mean time, chop onions and keep it ready.

To make pesarattu, heat the tawa. Take laddle full of batter and spread it to tawa like how we do it for normal dosa. Add oil and sprinkle the chopped onion on the top of dosa. If you like sprinkle grated coconut as well. Once cooked, gently flip it over and smear little oil to get bit crispy and even cooking on both sides (like golden brown colour). 

Serve it with upma filling or you can have it as such too. Enjoy with chutney of your choice !!

Idli milagai Podi

Idli milagai podi is an quick side dish when we don't have time to prepare sambar / chutney. It is a unique dipping condiment.Not only it can be used as sidedish, sometimes I like to use it as " Curry powder" while cooking some veggies.  Pieces of Idly / Dosa broken & dipped in milagai podi will takes you to heaven. Sometimes you never count the Idly / Dosa when you have delicious milagai podi. There are some secret tricks to enhance the aroma of podi. Of such is adding roasted sesame seeds and Jaggery powder. In my recipe, I used to add curry leaves & garlic (as am great lover of Garlic, you can add if you like). Lets check the recipe.

Ingredients :

Split urad dhal - 1/2 cup

Channa dhal  / Kadala Paruppu - 1/2 cup
White sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Red chilli - 5 (Increase or decrease depends on taste)
Hing / Asafoetida - 1/2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 2 springs
Garlic cloves - 4 (Optional)
Jaggery - 2tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tbsp

Method :

Dry roast sesame seeds till it start to pop up. Keep it aside.

In a wok, add 1 tbsp of oil followed by adding curry leaves & garlic cloves. Roast till it become golden brown. Keep it aside.

In the same wok /pan, add urad dhal and channa dhal till it turns brown. Roast till the dhal start to get golden brown. Always do it in medium flame as dhal used to get burn easily. Once done transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool.

Finally in the same pan with 1/2 tsp of oil, add red chillis and fry till it become crispy. Switch off the flame and allow the contents to cool.

Once cool, powder the sesame seeds first in the mixie to a fine powder,(Don't grind sesame seeds too much as it may ooze oil) followed by grinding roasted dhals (channa + urad), garlic, curry leaves & red chills. Finally add Jaggery & hing and give a quick blend. The consistency can be either coarse or smooth powder depends. My family prefers bit coarser.

Mix everything and adjust the salt. Now nice garlic flavoured Idli milagai podi is ready. Store it in an airtight container to retain the flavour. Don't make it as large batch, always suggest to make small batches and finish in 1-2 months to maintain the flavour & freshness.

Enjoy fresh homemade Idli podi top up with Gingely oil.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Kumbakonam Kadappa

South Indian mess (hotel) foods are simply amazing. Especially the taste and the ingredients they add to enhance the taste. Of such recipe is Kumbakonam special Kadappa. When I study my undergrade in Tiruchy, atleast once in a month, I had a chance to taste yummy hostel foods. (Thanks to my Junior friends, who secretly help me to enter collage hostel without informing hostel warden :p ). Kumbakonam kadappa is an authentic onion-garlic- coconut based gravy cooked with potatoes & lentils. Its a perfect accompaniment to Idly / Dosa / Poori. I made this recipe bit spicy by adding more masalas, but its optional & you can less it if you dont want it to be too spicy. Lets check the yummy recipe.

Ingredients :

Moong dhal - 1/2 cup
Potato - 2
Onion - 2 Medium
Carrot - 1/4 cup (Sliced lengthwise, optional)
Green chillis - 3
Cinnamon -1 piece
Bay leaf - 1
Cloves -2
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 3 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

To grind  :

Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Garlic - 4 cloves
Green chili - 1
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Roasted gram /Pottu kadalai - 1/4 tsp

Method :

Wash and Peel off the potato skin. Cut this into cubes.
Wash and dry roast the moong dhal for a minute. Pressure cook it together with cubed potatoes.Once done mash it with laddle head. Keep it aside.

In a mixie, grind coconut, garlic, green chilli, fennel seeds & roasted gram. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of water and make it as smooth paste. Keep it aside.

In a pan, add oil, followed by spluttering Mustard seeds and bay leaf. Now add cinnamon & cloves. Fry it for a while, followed by adding onions. Saute till onion turns glossy. Now add carrots (optional) and sprinkle some water to cook fast. 

Now add the coconut ground masala & mashed potato-dhal to it. Add 1 1/2 cup of water and adjust the salt to taste. Mix it well till it start to boil or till it reaches gravy consistency. Keep stirring in between and always do it in low medium flame to avoid burning. Add 1/2 cup of water (if necessary) if the gravy is too thick. Switch off the flame. Check for the salt and finally squeeze 1/2 lemon (3 tbsp of lemon juice). Mix it well and garnish with curry leaves.

Serve it with Dosa / Poori. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Chickpea Avacardo Salad

I have tasted Avacardo salad few times in Subway. Though am not a great fan of this, everytime when I see this in SuperMarket, I used to think that I have to try some dish with this. But never get a chance except trying Milkshake. That too not a great taste indeed :(. But last week, being long weekend, it happens to have dinner in an Italian Restaurant. There we ordered Guacamole (avacardo) dip with Nachos. I never expect Avacardo will taste heavenly delicious and my betterhalf loved it (though he is not great fan of western foods). We try to replicate the same dish at home (though I did some variations from the original recipe) for our evening snack. It came out well and I would like to post this recipe for everyone. I have used canned chickpeas & seedless cucumber with addition of chat masala to make it Indianised version. Try this recipe and I am pretty sure you will love it. Lets check the recipe.

Ingredients :

Ripe Avacardo - 1
Cumin seed powder - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tbsp
Tomato - 1/4 cup (Finely chopped)
Onion -1/4 cup (Finely chopped)
Green chilli - 1 (Finely chopped)
Chickpeas - 1/4 cup (I used canned chickpeas)
Seedless cucumber - 1/4 cup
Parsley - 2 tbsp (Finely chopped)
Lemon - 1
Chat masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method :

Always choose ripe avacardo for salads. Ripe avacardos are the one which has black spotted skin.
Cut the avacardo into two. Remove the big seed inside and scoop out the pulp. Gently mash the pulp using fork.

In a wide bowl, add onion, tomato, green chilli,parsley and chickpeas. (If you are using fresh chickpeas, pressure cook it for 2 whistles till it become soft. Since I used canned ones, I just need to wash and drain the water to use it). Mix it well, followed by adding chopped cucumber and mashed Guacamole (Avacardo). Now add pepper powder, Jeera powder, 1/4 tsp of sugar and salt. Mix everything so that the spices add more flavour to cucumber & avacardo. Finally add chat masala (Chat masala adds Indianised flavour to the salad) & squeeze lemon juice. Lemon juice helps to maintain the green colour of Avacardo and gives tangy taste to the salad. Adjust the salt (If necessary) to taste. Serve immediately or you can refridgerate and serve it with Nachos or tortilla chips. Actually we had it as spread on wheat bread !!

Enjoy healthy salad !!

Ginger Onion Chutney (Allam Pachadi)

No south Indian Dinner / breakfast is complete without proper side dish. That too for Idly / Dosa / Pesarattu, definitely Chutney is a good combination. This recipe is from my library borrowed Andra's cook book where they call it as "Allam Pachadi". Hearing the name itself, I find its pretty interesting and tasty chutney. Yes this is Ginger flavoured onion chutney. I modified the original recipe to my taste and add tomatoes to get more tangy taste.The original recipe uses Jaggery and I skip it because I want it to be bit spicy & tangy. Try this recipe and am sure you will love it (Especially for the Ginger flavour). Lets go to the recipe.

Ingredients :

Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece
Onion - 2 Medium
Tomato- 1 small
Garlic Cloves - 4
Red Chilli - 1 or 2 (Depends on taste)
Tamarind paste - 1 tbsp
Corriander seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Channa dhal - 1/2 tbsp
Urad dhal - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method :

Cut the tomatoes and onion into cube sized.  Remove the stalks of red chillis and break them into small pieces.

In a pan, add oil, followed by adding channa dhal and urad dhal. Saute till the dhal become golden brown. Now add red chillis & corriander seeds. Fry them till it become brown. 

Add the chopped ginger & garlic. Fry it for 2mins. Now add the cubed  onions & tamarind paste and saute till it turn translucent. Add tomatoes and cook till it become mushy & soft. Finally add the grated coconut & 1/2 tsp of Hing. Switch off the flame. Allow it to cool.

Now make a fine paste of all these in a mixie with 2 tbsp of water. Usually tomatoes will have some moisture and so there is no need to add extra water. (Just sprinkle 2 tbsp water if necessary). Transfer it to serving bowl.

Temper it with Mustard & curry leaves. Serve it with Dosa / Idly /Pesarattu.

Masala Chaas (Spicy Buttermilk)

Its the beginning of summer here and everyone wants to have cool body. Usually this spicy butter milk will be a part of our sunday lunch. Not only it is a coolant for body, it is a perfect refreshing mint flavoured drink. I always prefer to add Ginger in all my cooking recipes as it is very good for digestion. As well Curd is very good in curing Urinary tract infections. In this recipe I have added mint (Pudina) leaves and spice powders to add more taste. When we were in India, we always prepare Yogurt at home, whereas here the situation is totally different.  So i adapted to start buying Nestle curd. WIth curd, there are many refreshing recipes to prepare. One of those is Spicy Masala Chaas. Try this recipe at home and your comments are always welcome.

Ingredients :

Curd /Yogurt - 1 cup
Mint leaves - 5 - 6 leaves
Roasted jeera - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/8 tsp (Optional)
Green chilli - 1 (Small)
Ginger - 1/2 tsp (Grated)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Chat Masala - 1/8 tsp
 Hing - 1/2 pinch
Black salt - 1/6 tsp
Water - 1 1/2 cup

Method :

In a mixie, add Ginger, green chilli, roasted jeera. Make it as a fine powder.

In a bowl, add 1 cup of curd and 1 cup of water, followed by adding hing. Now add the powdered jeera +Ginger+Green chilli.  Whisk it well till it becomes frothy. Now add the chopped mint leaves and black salt. Add 1 tbsp of Lemon juice and mix it well. Now the spicied butter milk is ready. I prefer the conistency to be bit thin. You can make it as thick if you wish.

Pour it in a glass. Garnish it with Chat masala and serve chilled.

Enjoy the spiced Butter milk in this hot summer.

Beans Paruppu Usili

Paruppu Usili is a traditional South Indian recipe. It is a combination of crispy & spicy dhal cooked along vegetables. It can accompany well with Mor kolambu or any arachivitta sambar or any simple pepper rasam. This recipe is all time favourite from my childhood. I dont have chance to cook it for a long time. I used to cook this only when my mom came from India. May be I am pretty lazy:) When I bought beans yesterday, I thought to prepare normal beans stir fry. But somehow my mind changed and ended up with this yummy usili. For this recipe there is no restriction of using particular veggies. You can use cluster beans, carrot, vazhai poo or cabbage. Lets go for the recipe. Beans Paruppu usili.

Ingredients :

Green beans (Cluster beans) - 200gm
Hing - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

To soak :

Toor Dhal - 1/3 cup
Channa dhal - 1/2 cup
Red chilli - 2 (Increase or decrease depends on taste)
Garlic cloves - 2 (Optional)
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece

Method :

Soak the above mentioned ingredients under the table " To soak". Soak the dhals together with red chilli atleast for 2 hrs before cooking. Once done, drain the water and grind it as coarse paste together with Ginger and Garlic (garlic is optional, you can skip if you dont like the taste). You can add curry leaves and grind together as well. Add 1/4 tsp of salt while grinding. Dont add water while grinding, Just sprinkle little water if necessary.

Now grease the idly plate with oil.Steam the coarsely grinded dhal paste for around 8-10 mins.Once done, cool it and crumble it to tiny pieces using hands or fork. Make sure it doesn't end gooey. Keep it aside,

In the mean time, chop the beans to desired size. I prefer to chop it finely.In a pan, add the chopped beans with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Add 1 cup of water and allow it to cook till it become soft. (Don't add too much salt in the beans as we have added salt in the dhal already). Now the cooked beans is ready.

In a pan, add oil, followed by spluttering mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Add the cooked beans and crumbled dhal. Toss it well in the medium flame.Adjust the salt to taste. Cook till the dhal completely blend with beans. Serve it with rice and rasam.

Happy weekend !!