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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. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

MAAVADU THOGAYAL / VADUMANGAI THOGAYAL

MAAVADU THOGAYAL, VADUMANGAI THOGAYAL , FORGOTTEN FOOD, VADU MANGAI RECIPE, MAAVADU RECIPE

My grandma makes this traditional thogayal. Now, you can say this as a forgotten food as I never came across this recipe anywhere while browsing and thought of sharing this traditional recipe with all. My grandma used to make this thogayal with the old, soggy, one year old vadumangai/maavadu, just after/before the fresh batch of seasonal maavadus are ready. This is called 'azhugina mavadu thogayal', NOT literally made with the rotten ones, but with the soggy ones which has lost its crunchiness in a year, without wasting it. Mine was crunchy even after a year and I did not have any soggy ones!!! However, you can also make with regular maavadu. My grandma also makes a pachadi / raita with this, like nellikkai pachadi, which is quite common.

INGREDIENTS:

Maavadu - 15 (one year old)
Urad dhal - 2 tablespoons
Chenna dhal - 2 tablespoons

Toor dhal - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 3 or 4

Salt - to taste
Hing - a generous pinch
Curry leaves - few
Oil - 1 teaspoon



METHOD:

Heat oil in a pan and fry the given ingredients (except maavadu) until golden brown. When cool, dry grind coarsely, add maavadus, very little salt (as maavadu has salt and chillies in it) and grind again to a coarse paste. This thogayal should be coarse as shown in picture and should NOT be a fine paste. Sprinkle very little water if necessary. A perfect combo for curd rice. You can also mix with hot rice and ghee, but tastes great with curd rice. 


NOTE: The seeds of baby mangoes have medicinal benefits. So it is not necessary to remove the seeds. However, you can remove the seeds if it is not so tender.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

SAMBAR VADAI / HOTEL STYLE SAMBAR VADAI / RESTAURANT STYLE SAMBHAR VADAI

HOW TO MAKE SAMBAR VADAI, SAMBAR VADAI, HOW TO MAKE HOTEL STYLE SAMBAR VADAI, HOW TO MAKE RESTAURANT STYLE SAMBHAR VADAI

I am a great fan of vadais. I would love and relish to eat sambar vadai anytime. Sambar vadai is my alltime favourite. Sambar vadai is vadai soaked in plenty of sambar yet with its crunchiness on top and not too soggy. Just follow the tips and Hotel sambar vadai will be ready at home. 

SAMBAR RESTAURANT STYLE (HOTEL SAMBAR):

INGREDIENTS:

Toor dhal - 1/4 cup
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
Pearl onions - 1/4 cup
Tomato - 1
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
Sambar powder - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Hing
Oil
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few

To fry in oil and grind to a paste:
Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons
Methi seeds - 1/8 tsp.
Pottukadalai (need not be fried) - 2 tsp.
Poppy seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 2
Pearl onions - 6 (raw)

Scraped coconut (optional)

METHOD:

Pressure cook toor dhal with turmeric powder, mash well and keep aside.

Soak tamarind in lukewarm water and extract juice.


Heat oil in a kadai and fry the items given in "To fry in oil and grind to a paste" (except pearl onions and scraped coconut) until golden brown. Grind to a thick paste alongwith 
raw pearl onions and scraped coconut (if using,I didn't use) using little water.

In the same kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add curry leaves and pearl onions alongwith a pinch of salt and hing. Saute until translucent. Now add the chopped tomatoes, sambar powder, required amount of salt, and tamarind extract. Allow it to boil. Now, add the mashed toor dhal and ground paste. Let it boil until the raw smell is diffused and semi-thick. Transfer it to a bowl. Hotel sambhar is ready at home.

Take a cup of this sambar in a bowl. Add little water, a generous pinch of salt and mix well. Keep it ready to soak the fried vadas.

INGREDIENTS FOR VADAI:

Whole white urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 1 (finely chopped)
Ginger - 1/2" piece (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves - few (finely chopped)
Salt - to taste
Oil - to deep fry

METHOD:

Soak dhal in water for an hour.

Grind the soaked dhal in a grinder to a smooth paste using very little water. The batter when dropped in water should float and that is the consistency. When smooth and fluffy, take out the batter, add salt and other given items and mix well and fluff it with your hands. Do not add salt in the beginning. The batter doesn't double if added in the beginning. Add salt only when the batter is smooth.

Heat oil, wet your palms with water, take out a ball from the batter and flatten it using your hand and put a hole in the centre. (OR) can use a plastic cover (OR) banana leaf.

Carefully drop them into the oil and turn it on all sides and cook until golden brown.

Take the fried vadas from oil, and immediately soak it in the diluted sambar mixture and allow them to soak JUST UNTIL THE NEXT BATCH OF VADAS GET READY. DO NOT soak it for a long time.

PRESENTING SAMBAR VADAI (RESTAURANT STYLE):

INGREDIENTS:

Vadai - 8 (You will get approximately 8 vadas from the above measurement)
Hotel sambhar - As needed
Carrot grated - 1 tablespoon (optional)

Coriander leaves finely chopped - to garnish (I have added it in vadai batter)

FOR TEMPERING :
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Ghee - 1 tsp.

METHOD:

Arrange diluted-sambar soaked vadais in a cup or plate, pour hot hotel restaurant style sambhar over the vadais. The sambhar should neither be too thick nor too watery. Add the tempering. Garnish with grated carrots and coriander leaves. Serve hot. 

Restaurant style sambar vadai is ready.
P.s. The picture above is without onions. Even without onion we get the texture.