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Thursday, July 28, 2016

MINI TIFFIN / MINI TIFFIN -1 / MINI TIFFIN COMBOS

How to make mini tiffin at home, Mini Tiffin, Mini tiffin combos

Mini-tiffin has become popular nowadays in restaurants. Typical south indian mini tiffin has idli, vadai, pongal, dosai and a sweet alongwith filter coffee. Being a foodie myself, I just wanted to make a different combo and made these at home. With a little effort, we can make mini-tiffin at home with different south-indian tiffin varieties.  Who would not love to eat a mini-tiffin like this? Even I couldn't resist to taste these yummy delicacies. Needless to say, I relished it. This will make a perfect brunch. I did not make any sweets, but you can make it during special occasions and also when guests come home. I have given the recipe links below, click on them to know the method of preparation. Do try and surprise your family with these pleasures.

Neer Dosai with coconut and jaggery
Kanchipuram idly with molagapodi
Rasa vadai
Rava pongal with sambar - Rava pongal recipe will be posted later
Hot South Indian filter coffee

Enjoy mini-tiffin making at home. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

QUINOA VEGGIES SOUP / CHUNKY VEGETABLE AND QUINOA SOUP / QUINOA VEGETABLE SOUP / VEGETABLE QUINOA SOUP

How to make Quinoa veggies soup?

This soup, a meal by itself is an easy, healthy one-pot soup loaded with veggies like zucchini, squash and quinoa which has protein and high nutrients. A best soup for all, irrespective of age, and an easy to make healthy soup which can be taken during postpartum period.

INGREDIENTS:

Cooked quinoa - 1 cup
Zucchini - 1 (chopped into chunks)
Yellow pumpkin - 1 cup (chopped)
Spinach - fistful
Coriander leaves - fistful
Vegetable broth / water - as needed
Dried thyme / ajwain - 1/2 tsp.
Oregano / dried herbs - 1 tsp.
Black pepper powder - to taste
Chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp.
Bay leaves - 2
Tomato - 1
Lime juice - 2 tsp.
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt -to taste

How to make quinoa vegetable soup?

METHOD:

Cook quinoa as instructed in the pack. Chop veggies to bite-sized chunks. Blanch tomato, peel the skin and puree. Roughly chop and blanch spinach, keep aside.

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add bay leaves and chopped pumpkin and saute for a while.  Add tomato puree and saute for a minute. Now add vegetable broth / water. When it comes to a boil add cooked quinoa, salt, thyme, chilli flakes and oregano. Reduce the heat and cook until the pumpkin is tender. It should not be overcooked. It should be crunchy. Now add  spinach and zucchini and allow it to boil for a couple of minutes. Switch of the stove and add lemon juice. Stir well. Season with black pepper powder, mix well and serve warm.

NOTE:
The veggies should be cooked but crunchy. Do not overcook veggies. You can use any summer/ winter/fall vegetables of your choice. Veg.broth/ water can be added more or less to get the desired consistency.
Variation: Onion, garlic can be added.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

BAGHARA BAINGAN / HYDERABADI BAGHARA BAINGAN / BAGARA BAINGAN (NO ONION NO GARLIC)

BAGHARA BAINGAN, HYDERABADI BAGHARA BAINGAN, BAGARA BAINGAN (NO ONION NO GARLIC)

Brinjal / Eggplant is a versatile vegetable used in all the cuisines worldwide. Bagara baingan is a popular Indian cuisine with eggplant/brinjal. Hyderabadi Baghara baingan was developed in Medieval India during the Mughal Empire with some ingredients like shahjeera, kalonji and cashews to make the dish rich and flavourful. 'Baghaar' means tempering. Tempering is a cooking technique in which spices are fried in oil or ghee to enhance the flavours, done at the beginning of cooking a dish, or added to a dish at the end of cooking. So you can name it as 'Bagara baingan' or say it as 'Hyderabadi Bhagara baingan' according to the ingredients used for the 'Baghaar'. I cooked it the 'NO ONION NO GARLIC' way. Keep an eye on the notes if using onions and garlic.

INGREDIENTS:

Small brinjals - 12
Tamarind - a keylime size OR Tamarind paste - 1.5 tablespoons
Ginger paste - 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Grated jaggery - 1 tsp.
Hing - a generous pinch
Finely chopped coriander leaves - few
Oil - 4 tablespoons
Ghee - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste

To temper:
Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

To dry roast and grind to a paste:
Coriander seeds - 3 tablespoons
Dry red chillies - 3
Peanuts(deskinned) - 2 tablespoons
White sesame - 1 tablespoon
Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Dry coconut (kopparai) or dessicated coconut - 3 tablespoons
Cinnamon - 1" stick (optional)
Shahjeera - 1 tsp.
Kalonji - 1/2 tsp.
Cashews - 4


METHOD:

Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water, extract juice, strain and keep aside.

(NOTE: If using onions, fry onions in a spoon of oil, add a pinch of salt and saute until it becomes translucent. When cool grind it to a paste and keep aside.)

Dry roast the ingredients given in 'To dry roast and grind to a paste' separately one by one and when cool grind to a paste. NOTE: Kalonji and Shahjeera can be used in tempering as well. If using for tempering, skip it here.

Slit brinjals criss-cross with stem intact, rub little salt and stuff a spoon of the above ground paste and keep ready. Reserve the remaining paste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add the slit and stuffed brinjals with little turmeric powder and little salt and fry until the brinjals change its colour. Cook it covered in low flame for 3 minutes. Turn it to all sides in between. Remove the brinjals carefully, without breaking and keep aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and ghee, temper with the given ingredients, and add the ginger paste. (NOTE: To those who use onion/garlic, add onion paste and ginger-garlic paste now and saute well). Add tamarind extract, chilli powder, salt, jaggery, hing and allow it to boil until the raw smell is diffused. Now add the ground paste and cook for 5 minutes in medium flame until it thickens. Stir frequently. Now add the shallow-fried brinjals, simmer the stove and cook until oil leaves the sides and everything is mixed well. You can add water to get the desired consistency. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice topped with ghee, roti or jeera pulao.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

MELKOTE PULIYOGARE / MELUKOTE PULIYOGARE / MELKOTTAI PULIYODHARAI

HOW TO MAKE MELKOTE PULIYOGARE, HOW TO MAKE MELUKOTE PULIYOGARE, HOW TO MAKE MELKOTTAI PULIYODHARAI

Melkottai / Melukote also called as Thirunarayanapuram is located in Mandya district, Karnataka.  It is surrounded by scenic attractions. It is a famous pilgrimage centre for Sri Vaishnavas.There are two temples. Cheluva Narayana swamy temple,which is famous for 'Vairamudi sevai' and Yoga Narasimha Swamy temple in the nearby hill. Recently, I visited this temple. The temple prasadam 'Melkote puliyogare' is absolutely divine and heavenly. Though the basic ingredients are same, there is a difference in taste between Tamil Nadu temple Puliyodharai and Melkote Puliyogare. Both taste divine with slightly different ingredients. Mess and hotels in the local area also serve this. Some temples in Karnataka also add roasted black til in the 'pudi'. Do plan a visit to Melkote. Personally, I like the spicy Tamil Nadu puliyodharai. Coming to the recipe (Source:Melkote temple), the measurements were given in 'kgs' and I am posting in cups for easy reference and preparation. I dedicate this to Sri Manavala Mamunigal sannadhi of Melukote. 

INGREDIENTS FOR MELKOTE PULIYOGARE:

Cooked rice 
Puliyogare gojju (Pulikkachal)
Puliyogare pudi (Mael podi)

Ingredients for gojju:
Tamarind - tennis ball size - 2
Achu vellam (Moulded jaggery) -  2 pieces (approx.1 cup)
(Note:The achu vellam which we get  in TN is small whereas in Karnataka we get big ones too.)
Til oil / Gingelly oil - 1/2 cup
Grated or finely chopped dry coconut (Kopparai) - 1 tablespoon

To temper in gingelly oil:
Mustard seeds
Groundnuts 
Kondakadalai (Black chenna)
Dry red chillies
MSG brand asafoetida 
Curry leaves
Cashews

Ingredients for Puliyogare pudi:
Coriander seeds - 1/4 cup
Dry red chillies (Byadge variety) - 1/4 cup (cut into pieces and measure)
Gram dhal (Kadalai paruppu) - 1/8 cup
Turmeric stick - 1" piece or Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 tablespoon

METHOD:

Crush jaggery. Soak tamarind and jaggery in lukewarm water and extract thick pulp. Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the extracted pulp. 
Stir frequently and allow it to boil until it becomes like a paste. Now add the temperings and keep aside. This is the temple style puliyogare gojju. 
Click here for home style karnataka iyengar puliyogare gojju. 
Click here for home style Iyengar Puliyodharai.

In a kadai, dry roast the ingredients given for mel podi one by one and powder it when cool. This is the puliyogare podi.

Soak rice alongwith turmeric powder for half an hour. Cook rice in such a way that the grains are separate and not sticky. In Tamil, we say it as 'killu padham'. Spread the cooked rice in a plate, add fresh gingelly oil and allow it to cool. When cool, add gojju, mel podi and salt to the cooked rice, according to requirement. Mix gently without breaking the grains. Garnish with dry coconut and Tulasi. Offer it to Perumal. Melkottai / Melkote / Melukote special puliyogare is ready.

NOTE: 

Mel podi and gojju can be made more using the above ratio and stored in an air-tight container. 
Raw rice (pachcharisi) should be used. The cooked rice should not be mushy. The grains should be separate without sticking.
Only byadge variety chillies are used which give the colour to the puliyogare. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

VADUMANGAI PACHADI / ARACHU KALAKKI

HOW TO MAKE VADUMANGAI PACHADI, HOW TO MAKE ARACHU KALAKKI

This traditional pachadi is a quick and tasty pachadi, popularly known as "azhugamanga pachadi", again NOT with the rotten mangoes as the name says, but with brined baby mangoes or soft old maavadu/vadu mangai which has lost its crunchiness in a year. It is usually served as a side dish with South Indian thali. This is a traditional Tanjore brahmin recipe . It is called as 'arachu kalakki' in Kerala. Click here for Vadumangai thogayal (azhugamanga thogayal) 

INGREDIENTS:

Vadumangai / Tender mangoes in brine - 8
Green chillies - 1 or 2
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Thick curds - 1 cup
Salt - if needed

To temper:
Oil / Coconut oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Dry red chillies -1

METHOD:

Whisk curd smoothly. Take maavadu or brined mangoes, grind with chillies, coconut to a paste. Add it to the curd alongwith very little salt if necessary (brined mangoes have salt in it). Mix well and temper with the given ingredients. Curry leaves can also be added for tempering.

Serve as a side dish with South Indian thali. You can also have it with hot steamed rice with fried appalam or pappadam. 



NOTE: You can also make this with brined amla or cooked and mashed yam.
The seeds of baby mangoes have medicinal benefits. So it is not necessary to remove the seeds. However, you can remove the seeds if if it is big and not so tender.