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Monday, May 2, 2016

MURUNGAI ILAI PODI / DRUMSTICK LEAVES POWDER

How to make drumstick leaves powder? How to clean murungai ilai easily? How to make murungai ilai podi?

How to make drumstick leaves powder? How to clean murungai ilai easily? How to make murungai ilai podi?

Murungai ilai / Drumstick leaves are known for its medicinal values . It aids in lowering blood sugar, cholestrol, and blood pressure. It is effective in treating anaemia as it is rich in iron. It aids in milk secretion for lactating mothers. Also it has enormous health benefits. You can google for it. To be precise it is nature's multi-vitamin.

HOW TO CLEAN DRUMSTICK LEAVES EASILY?
Many people do not buy these leaves because removing the leaves from the stalk is a troublesome job. To make it easy, just roll the drumstick leaves tightly in a newspaper and leave it overnight. The next day, tap it on the paper and leaves will shed by themselves. Discard the yellow leaves. After tapping like this, few very small stems can be removed easily. Left out tiny stems will stay at the bottom when washing the leaves. This is the easy way to clean drumstick leaves.

This powder can be made with more dhals, but I prefer to have it rich-green coloured, with more leaves, as I like the flavour of leaves to be more than the dhals. A big bunch of leaves bought will make only 1 or 2 cups after dried.

INGREDIENTS:

Drumstick leaves /Murunga ilai (dried) - 2 cups tightly packed
Toor dhal - 2 teaspoons
Chenna dhal - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Dry red chillies - 3
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 teaspoon

METHOD:

Wash drumstick leaves, take just the leaves, discard the stem, pat them in a towel without water and dry it in shade, on a newspaper for a couple of hours.

Heat oil in a pan and fry dhal and chillies until golden brown, transfer it to a plate. In the same pan, dry roast drumstick leaves until crisp and transfer to a plate OR microwave for a few minutes, stirring in between until dry. When cool, dry grind the dhals & chillies first coarsely. Add drumstick leaves and salt and grind to a fine powder. Store in an air-tight container. Tastes awesome with hot rice and ghee. 
Goes well with idli, dosa and curd rice as accompaniment. You can sprinkle this powder on dosas and eat like podi dosa. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO SANDWICH TOAST / QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO TOASTED SANDWICH / QUINOA SANDWICH TOAST / QUINOA TOASTED SANDWICH

QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO TOASTED SANDWICH, QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO SANDWICH TOAST, Quinoa sweet potato sandwich recipe, Sandwich with quinoa sweet potato filling,

Sweet potatoes have enormous health benefits. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of sweet potatoes decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index scale. Quinoa cooking and benefits can be seen here.  So, instead of the usual potatoes for a sandwich, I made this healthy sweet potato and quinoa filling.


QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO TOASTED SANDWICH / QUINOA AND SWEET POTATO SANDWICH TOAST, Quinoa sweet potato sandwich recipe, Sandwich with quinoa sweet potato filling

The above picture  is pretty much self-explanatory. Anyway, the recipe also follows:

INGREDIENTS:

Whole wheat bread OR any bread of your choice - 10 slices
Melted ghee to spread - as needed

For the filling:
Cooked Quinoa - 1 cup
Boiled, peeled and mashed sweet potato - 1 cup
Carrot - few slices
Organic cucumber - few slices
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp.
Chat masala - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 3 tsp.
Coriander leaves - few

METHOD:

Cook quinoa as per instructions given in the pack.

Spread a generous coating of melted ghee on one side of all bread slices. Keep ready.

Combine cooked quinoa, mashed sweet potato, salt, chilli powder, pepper powder, lime juice and mix well. Add finely chopped coriander leaves and mix again. 

Take a slice of bread, spread the quinoa, sweet potato, mixture on the side without ghee, place sliced carrots and sliced cucumber on top of it. Add a generous pinch of chat masala on the carrot, cucumber slices. Now cover it with another slice of bread. The ghee-spread side should be on the outer side. Toast these slices in a tawa on both sides until golden brown or in a sandwich toaster. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or tomato sauce.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

KIDARANGAI PICKLE / WILD LEMON PICKLE / KADARANGAI OORUGAI

Kdaranga oorugai recipe, How to make Kidarangai oorugai?, Kidarangai oorugai, Kadarangai oorugai

Kdaranga oorugai recipe, How to make Kidarangai oorugai?, Kidarangai oorugai, Kadarangai oorugai

Kidarangai/Kadarangai is a citrus fruit which has a thick skin and tastes sour. It is different from Narthangai (Citron). The English name is Wild Lemon. It is widely used in making pickles. 

There are many ways  of making this. For making instant kidarangai oorugai, some roast the whole fruit in oil and then cut it, some saute it in oil after cutting it. Sometimes while sauting in oil, the colour changes black. 

My version of making it is slightly different and I prefer this method, though I have tried all methods. 

INGREDIENTS:

Kidarangai / Kadarangai  - 2 (big sized)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Rock salt - 1/4 cup
Asafoetida - 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Gingelly oil - 1 ladle (approx. 1/2 cup)

To powder:
Red chillies - 15
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp.

METHOD:

Wash and wipe the kidarangai dry. Powder the salt in a mixie and keep ready. Cut kidarangai into small pieces. (After cutting, mine was approximately 3 cups). Discard the seeds. Add the powdered salt and turmeric powder, mix well, transfer it to a ceramic jar / sterile bottle and close the lid. Mix well daily, using a dry spatula, for 2 days. When doing like this, the fruit will absorb the salt and become soft, because kidarangai has a very thick skin.

Dry roast fenugreek seeds. Fry red chillies in a spoon of oil. Be careful not to burn it. Grind both to a fine powder. This is the pickle powder.

After 2 days, add the pickle powder on top.

Heat a kadai, pour gingelly oil, add mustard seeds, when mustard seeds splutter add hing. Take it off the stove and when warm, pour over the pickle powder, mix well. Kadarangai pickle is ready. Store in a sterile glass bottle or ceramic jar. Goes well with curd rice.

Note: Salt and pickle powder can be adjusted according to the size and sourness of the kidarangai. You can add more salt if kidarangai is too sour. Pickle powder can also be adjusted according to the size of the kidarangai. Make sure that there is oil above an inch of the pickle. This tastes perfect after a week.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

THIRUPULLANI PAL PAYASAM

 Thirupullani palpayasam, How to make Thirupullani palpayasam

Thirupullani temple is one among the 108 divyadesams, located 8 kms. from Ramanathapuram. This temple dates back before Rama avatar. It is said that the childless King Dasaratha worshipped "Adhi Jagannathar" in this temple and offered HIM paal payasam (milk kheer) and was blessed with four sons. So, Tiruppullani temple is famed for paal payasam. Childless couple come here and pray to get children. It is believed that childless couple will be blessed with a child, if they take a holy dip in 'Sethu', worship the deity 'Santanagopalan' and offer ‘paalpayasam’ (milk kheer) to Him and partake the  payasam prasadam. This temple is closely associated with 'Ramayanam'. This is the place where Rama built the bridge to cross the ocean and reach Lanka. Sri Vaishnavas perform 'Sethu snanam' at nearby 'Sethukkarai' seashore, which relieves one from the sins. Lord Rama camped in Tiruppullani before crossing the ocean. Sri Rama reclines in 'Dharba grass' in this temple and is called 'Dharbasayana ramar'. The place is called 'Saranagathi Kshetram' because of the surrenders made by Samudraraja, Vibhishana and Mahodadi. 

And coming to palpayasam, the taste of  'Pal Payasam' at this Kshetram is unmatched. When I enquired about the preparation of this payasam to my friend Sri.Raghuveeradayal swami from Tiruppullani, he immediately contacted the madapalli and Sri.Sudarsan babu who makes this kheer in the temple's kitchen gave me the recipe which is with very little ingredients and the bulk measurements. I have given the measurements in small quantity. Do make this at home and offer to 'Sri Rama' on 'Rama Navami' and Sri Krishna on  'Krishna Jayanthi'. The 'Palpayasam prasadam' is available daily at the temple from morning 10 A.M. upto noon. Do schedule a visit to the temple and this place which stands as a witness to history. 


Thirupullani palpayasam, How to make Thirupullani palpayasam

INGREDIENTS:

Milk - 1 litre
Jaggery powder (naattu sarkarai in Tamil, brown sugar) - 1/2 kg.
Rice - 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 3 (to powder)
Cashews and dry grapes (optional) - It is said that Kind Dasaratha did not add any of these as he was in sorrow being childless. While on Yathra, he worshipped and prayed Jagannathar and  offered palpayasam with the available ingredients at that time.  

METHOD:

Heat a heavy bottomed pan, pour in 3 cups of water. When water boils wash and add the rice and cook until very very mushy. Now add milk and allow it to boil until thick, stirring frequently. Finally add brown sugar/ jaggery powder, powdered cardamom and mix well, cook until the raw smell goes. Switch off the stove. Add ghee fried cashews and dry grapes if you feel so. 

Thirupullani palpayasam is ready, Offer it to "Perumal".

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

KHANDVI

How to make Khandvi? Khandvi (Gujarati recipe)

Khandvi is an absolutely delicious, traditional savoury snack of Gujarat, made with gram flour and yoghurt and a perfect option for breakfast or evening snack. My daughter-in-law Shruthi, makes perfect, soft textured khandvi rolls. Making translucent and paper thin khandvi is truly an art, in which I should say she is an expert. Recently she made khandvi and sent this picture to me. The wonderful yellow colour caught my eyes and here is the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Gram flour (besan) - 1 cup
Fresh curd - 1 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Ginger-green chilli paste - 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Hing - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1/4 tsp.

To temper:
Oil - 3 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Finely chopped green chillies - 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

To garnish:
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons
Grated coconut - 2 tablespoons 

Gadgets:
A flat bottomed tray, spatula

METHOD:

Whisk curd and water. Combine besan with green chilli-ginger paste, turmeric powder, hing, salt and lemon juice. Add curd gradually and mix well without any lumps until smooth.

Grease the back side of the tray and the spatula with  1/2 a spoon of oil and keep it ready. 

Heat a pan, add the mixture and cook on a low flame for about 10 minutes. Stir continuously until it becomes thick and glossy. Switch off the stove. (NOTE: Once the batter is out of the stove, you have to spread the batter very fast while it is hot). Spread the mixture on the back of the greased tray while it is hot. Immediately level it with the spatula, as thinly as possible.

When cool, cut lengthwise into 1½-2" wide strips. Roll each strip gently to small cylinders. (You can either sprinkle grated coconut before rolling OR you can use grated coconut for garnishing)

Arrange the rolls in a serving tray, temper with the ingredients given in "to temper"and pour over the khandvi. Garnish with coriander leaves and coconut. Serve immediately with green chutney.