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Monday, August 30, 2010

SIMPLE DHAL


INGREDIENTS:

Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Tomatoes - 2
Dhania powder - 1 tsp.
Sambhar powder - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 2
Grated ginger - 1 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Hing - a pinch
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Lime - 1
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Onion - 1 (optional)
Salt - as per taste

METHOD:

Pressure cook toor dal with turmeric powder and hing.

In a pan, heat oil, temper with jeera, chopped green chillies,ginger and curry leaves (if adding onions add in this stage). Add chopped tomatoes and sambhar powder. Saute till the raw smell is diffused. Add pressure cooked dhal alongwith salt and coriander powder. Mash well and allow it to boil. Turn off the stove, transfer it to a bowl and squeeze a lime. Mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with phulka. Can also be had with rice.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MIDHI PAVAKKAI FRY



These type of small, baby bittergourds are called "midhi pavakkai" in Tamil.

INGREDIENTS:


Bittergourd (midhi pavakkai variety) - 1/2 kg.
Salt - as per taste
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Oil - 2 tablespoons

METHOD:

Select tender midhi pavakkais. Wash well and half them. Marinate it with salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water completely using your hand. Discard the seeds if any, during this process.

In a kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds and urad dhal and when golden brown, add the marinated bittergourd and chilli powder and fry till it is cooked and crisp.

Monday, August 23, 2010

VEGGIES AND PANEER MASALA


INGREDIENTS:

Mixed vegetables - 2 cups (beans, carrot, capsicum,peas and cauliflower)
Crumbled paneer - 3/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 1
Onion - 2
Tomato - 2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp.
Garam masala - 2 tsp.
Coriander powder - 2 tsp.
Kasoori methi (crushed) - 2 tsp.
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Oil or butter - 3 tablespoons
Salt - as per taste
Coriander leaves - few

METHOD:

Grind one onion, one tomato and chillies to a fine paste. Saute in a tablespoon of oil till oil leaves the sides. Keep aside.

Crumble paneer. Dice all veggies to small cubes. Chop one onion and one tomato to fine pieces.

Heat oil, add cumin seeds. While they sizzle add chopped onions. When they turn translucent, add the capsicum, tomatoes and g.g.paste, saute for 3 minutes and then the diced vegetables. Pour in 1/4 cup of water alongwith salt and cook covered till 3/4th done. Add the crumbled paneer, ground and fried paste, garam masala, coriander powder, chilli powder and cumin powder. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Stir in between. Crush kasuri methi with your palms and add to the masala. Mix well and transfer it to a bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with phulkas, kulchas,naan and rotis.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

POTATO STRINGS GRAVY


This is a very quick to make side dish.

INGREDIENTS:

Potatoes - 3
Onion - 2
Tomatoes- 2
Green chillies - 1 or 2
Ginger - a very small piece
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp.
Dhania powder - 1 tablespoon
Garam masala - 1 tsp.
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Butter or ghee - 1 tablespoon
Salt - as per taste
Coriander leaves - few

METHOD:

Peel potatoes, shred or grate to long, neat pieces (like a matchstick) and transfer it to a bowl of water to prevent discolouration. Julienne onions. Grind tomatoes, ginger and green chillies to a paste.

Heat oil and butter in a pan, add cumin seeds, onions and turmeric powder. When translucent, add the ground paste. Saute till it diffuses the raw smell. Add in the potato strings, saute in high flame for a minute, sprinkle some water and cook covered. Stir in between to prevent charring. When 3/4th done add salt, chilli powder, dhania powder and garam masala. Saute for a while till crunchy (The potato strings should be visible and not mushy). Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with any Indian flat bread.

Monday, August 16, 2010

RED CABBAGE & POTATO CURRY


INGREDIENTS:

Chopped red cabbage - 3 cups
Chopped potatoes - 1 cup
Onion - 1 (chopped)

Oil - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Dhania powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - as per taste

To temper:

Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Split urad dhal - 1 tsp.

METHOD:

Heat oil, add the "to temper" ingredients. When golden brown add chopped onions, saute till translucent. Add all other ingredients, saute well, sprinkle some water and cook covered till done.

Friday, August 13, 2010

CHAYOTE SUKHI BHAJI


INGREDIENTS:

Chayote(chow-chow) - 3
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Tomato- 1
Sambhar powder - 1 tablespoon
Dhania powder - 1 tablespoon
Garam masala - 1 tsp.
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt - as per taste
Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon

METHOD:

Chop chayotes. Puree the tomato.

Heat oil, temper with cumin seeds and turmeric powder. Pour in the tomato puree. Saute for 3 minutes. Add chopped chayote, sambhar powder, dhania powder and salt. Sprinkle water and cook covered, till crunchy( Should be crunchy and not mushy). Take off the lid and add garam masala. Garnish with coriander leaves. Tastes heavenly with phulkas, pooris, rotis and theplas.Can also be had as a side dish for south-indian meals.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ANJANEYAR VADAI (MILAGU VADAI)


Aanju.. as I mention HIM, is my family's favourite deity. Anjaneyar vadai is the best in Chennai. Medhuvadai is made for vadai maalai in temples at Coimbatore. I am a fan of crispy vadais which are made in Chennai temples. Below is the vadaimalai vadais of Mandaveli Anjaneyar temple.

It was so crispy and crunchy. I wanted to try it at home. I recollected 2 versions of making this vadai. We had a cook in our home several years back. She used to make Aanju vadais like this and below is the 1st version which I learnt from her and have made it now. I have also clicked photos of my version. However, the 2nd version, is very easy to make.

NOTE:
Do not soak dhal for a longer time.The batter should be coarse and not a fine paste.If necessary, sprinkle water.Pass a twine through the holes if making a vadaimaalai.Ensure medium heat of oil.
1st VERSION(Made by me): Though it tasted good and crispy, nothing can beat the vadai prasadam from Chennai temples.

INGREDIENTS:

Whole urad dhal (skinned) - 1 cup
Split urad dhal - a handful
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - as per taste (approx. 1/2 tsp.)
Oil - to deep fry

METHOD:

Soak whole urad dhal(not the split one) for only 30 minutes. Not more than that. Drain completely. Grind it to a coarse paste. Do not add water while grinding. Add the peppercorns and salt. Give a whip. The consistency should be as in the picture shown above. Transfer the batter to a bowl. Now, add split urad dhal and a spoon of hot oil to it. Mix well. Keep aside for 10 more minutes.

Take out small lemon-sized balls from the batter, place it in a clean cloth or plastic sheet, flatten it as thin as you can (preferably like thattai) and a put a hole in the centre. Take it off the cloth or sheet very gently and drop it gently into the hot oil. Ensure medium heat of oil and fry till golden brown.

VERSION 2:

Whole urad dhal (skinned) - 1 cup
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Rice flour - 1 tbsp.
Salt - as per taste
Oil - to deep fry
Hot water - as required

METHOD:

Pound urad dhal and pepper to rawa consistency. This can be stored in an air -tight container for 1 month. Whenever needed, take a cup of this add rice flour and salt. Sprinkle hot water to form a stiff dough and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Take out small lemon-sized balls from the batter, place it in a clean cloth or plastic sheet, flatten it as thin as you can (preferably like thattai) and a put a hole in the centre. Take it off the cloth or sheet very gently and drop it gently into the hot oil. Ensure medium heat of oil and fry till golden brown.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

TOMATO RICE ( 6 types) / TOMATO PULAO


This is the Tomato rice made from Tomato thokku version 2 with some store-bought chips.
You can try various easy types of tomato rice as mentioned below.
NOTE: Cooked basmati rice can be substituted instead of cooked rice.

TYPE 1:

Mix cooked rice and Tomato thokku Version 1 OR Version 2 alongwith a spoon of ghee.

TYPE 2:

Heat a spoon of oil, saute onions till translucent, add some tomato thokku (Version 1 OR Version 2) saute for a minute, add cooked rice, a pinch of salt and mix well.

TYPE 3:

Heat a spoon of oil, saute onions till translucent, add some tomato thokku (Version 1 OR Version 2) and a spoon of garam masala. Saute for a minute, add cooked rice, a pinch of salt and mix well.

TYPE 4:

Heat a spoon of oil, add whole spices (bay leaves, elaichi, cloves and cinnamon). Now add onions and saute onions till translucent, add some tomato thokku (Version 1 or Version 2). Saute for a minute, add cooked rice, a pinch of salt and mix well.

TYPE 5:

Cook basmati rice in coconut milk. Heat a spoon of ghee, add whole spices (bay leaves, elaichi, cloves and cinnamon) and onions. Saute till onions are translucent, add some tomato thokku (Version 1 OR Version 2). Saute for a minute, add cooked basmati rice, a pinch of salt and mix well.

TYPE 6: (COMMON METHOD)

INGREDIENTS:

Cooked rice- 2 cups (Basmati or raw rice)
Tomatoes - 3
Onion - 1
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp.
Urad dal – ½ tsp.
Chenna dal – ½ tsp.
Hing – a pinch
Green chillies – 2
Curry leaves – a sprig
Coriander leaves – few
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Ghee - 1 teaspoon

METHOD:

In a kadai, heat oil & ghee, add mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal, chenna dal, green chillies, curry leaves, turmeric powder and hing. When golden brown, add chopped onions and saute till translucent. Now add chopped tomatoes and saute till the moisture is absorbed. Switch off the stove. Add cooked rice, and little salt. Gently turn it around and mix well without breaking the rice grains. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

TOMATO THOKKU (VERSION 2)


Both the versions have its own flavour, and can be stored in the fridge for a month. Those who like tomato pieces in the thokku can use this method. Version 1 is here.

INGREDIENTS:

Big tomatoes - 10
Dry red chillies - 4
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Gram dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Hing
Curry leaves - few
Gingelly oil - 1 ladle


METHOD:

Wash and cut tomatoes into cubes. .

In a kadai, heat gingelly oil, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Now add urad dal, gram dal, red chillies, hing, turmeric powder and curry leaves and fry till golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and chilli powder.

Stir often and saute well till the tomatoes are mushy and oil leaves the sides. Allow it to cool. Store in a sterile bottle. This can be stored in the refrigerator for a month and can be used as a side dish for idli, dosa, chappati, poori , curd rice and can also be mixed with cooked rice.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TOMATO THOKKU (VERSION 1)



INGREDIENTS:

Big tomatoes - 10
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt

To temper:

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Gram dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Hing
Curry leaves - few
Gingelly oil - 1 ladle

METHOD:

Grind tomatoes and chillies to a fine paste without adding water.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat gingelly oil, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Now add urad dal, gram dal, hing, turmeric powder and curry leaves and fry till golden brown. Add the ground paste and salt as per requirement. Stir often so that the paste doesn't stick to the pan.

When oil leaves the sides and thick transfer it to a bowl. Allow it to cool. Store in a sterile bottle. This can be used as a side dish for idli, dosa, chappati, poori , curd rice and can also be mixed with cooked rice.

Monday, August 2, 2010

AVAKKAI


Select firm mangoes (preferably avakkai variety as it stands for a longer period). Wash and cut mangoes into slightly big cubes alongwith the shell(this is an important step and slightly tough job) OR get it cut by the seller. Wipe each mango piece with a clean white cloth and allow it to dry completely. I am not giving the recipe in kgs. as I felt that the ratio method will be easy for everyone to make it at home. However, chilli powder and salt can be adjusted according to your tastebuds. But, ensure it to be salty and hot.


INGREDIENTS:

Mangoes cut into cubes with shell - 8 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/4 cup
Chilli powder - 1 cup
Rock salt (powdered) - 1 cup
Mustard seeds powder - 1/2 cup
Methi seeds - 1 tablespoon
Black chenna dhal - a handful
Gingelly oil (Sesame Oil) - 2 or 3 cups

METHOD:



Take a wide vessel, and mix all the ingredients (except mangoes). Mix well and then add the cut mangoes. Again mix well till all the mangoes are coated. Transfer it to a clean porcelain jar OR sterile bottle and add some more oil till the pickle is immersed. Mix well daily with a long spatula for 5 or 6 days. Hot and spicy avakkai is ready.
NOTE : Always use a dry spoon to take out the mangoes.