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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

PIRANDAI KUZHAMBU

PIRANDAI KUZHAMBU
PIRANDAI KUZHAMBU

The above picture  is the pirandai plant in my mom's home. Usually we make only pirandai thogayal at home.  We have never made pirandai kuzhambu. As the pirandai was very tender, I was tempted and plucked some. I thought,  "Why don't I try a kuzhambu with it?". I just had some ingredients in mind which I thought  would go well with pirandai kuzhambu and which will also neutralise the itch. I tried with those and it was worth the try. Now I am sharing this with you.

MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF PIRANDAI :

Pirandai has enormous medicinal benefits. It is useful in curing digestive problems , breathing problems, cough, piles, nausea, flatulence (vaayu or gas in digestive track, stomach and bowels). It acts as an appetiser.

IMPORTANT NOTE WHILE CLEANING PIRANDAI:

1. Pirandai makes the hand a little itchy. So, do not use your hand while washing the stem. Run under tap water.

2. Apply little gingelly oil to hand before cleaning and chopping. After chopping or cleaning again apply gingelly oil, rub a little salt over your hands and rinse your hand OR use a glove.

3. Adding tamarind to pirandai dishes is a must as it neutralises the itching tendency of this stem.


4. If the pirandai is not sauteed well, it will itch. So saute well.

INGREDIENTS:

Tender pirandai - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Tomato - 1 big
Tamarind - lemon sized ball
Salt - to taste
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Black sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/8 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Gingelly oil - 2 tablespoons

METHOD:

Clean pirandai and chop roughly. Puree tomatoes. Soak tamarind in little water and extract juice.

In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and fry black pepper, toor dhal and sesame seeds until golden brown. Now add the chopped pirandai and saute well until you hear crackling sound.

When cool, add little water and grind to a paste. Keep aside.

In the same kadai, heat the remaining oil and add hing, turmeric powder and the pureed tomatoes. Saute well. Now add the tamarind extract, ground paste and allow it to boil until the raw smell diffuses and oil leaves the sides.

Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.  Pirandai kuzhambu is ready to be served with hot rice and elai vadam.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

VAZHAIKKAI PODI / RAW BANANA POWDER / RAW BANANA PODI

VAZHAIKKAI PODI,RAW BANANA POWDER, RAW BANANA PODI, HOW TO MAKE VAZHAIKKAI PODI,HOW TO MAKE RAW BANANA POWDER?

This traditional recipe has a unique aroma and is different from other podis / powders.

INGREDIENTS:

Firm raw bananas - 2
White urad dal - 3 tsp.
Toor dhal - 2 tablespoons
Dry red chillies - 4 or 5
Oil - 2 tsp.
Hing - a generous pinch
Salt - to taste



VAZHAIKKAI PODI,RAW BANANA POWDER, RAW BANANA PODI, HOW TO MAKE VAZHAIKKAI PODI,HOW TO MAKE RAW BANANA POWDER?

METHOD:

Select fresh and firm raw bananas.

Roast the bananas on direct flame until completely black. When cool peel the skin and crumble coarsely with your hands.

Heat oil in a pan and fry urad dhal, toor dhal, red chillies until golden brown. Add hing, switch off the stove. When cool grind in a mixie to a coarse powder, add the crumbled bananas, salt and pulse for a few seconds until all mix well.

Mix with hot rice alongwith ghee or gingelly oil. Tastes great when accompanied with milagu kuzhambu or vatha kuzhambu and fried appalam.


Stays good for a week as it is roasted in direct flame.

Monday, April 13, 2015

ELAI VADAM / ILAI VADAM

Elai vadam, How to  make elai vadam, Elai vadam recipe

This is my Appa paati's (grandma's) elai vadam recipe. She is an expert in making it. Being in a joint family, she grinds patiently and steam cooks in hundreds without any frown. We love elai vadam and eat it fresh as soon as it is steamed and peeled. It is really hard for elders to dry them up and store for a year. The recipe is simple, but needs lot of patience. Some make it with boiled rice, some with raw rice and some use both. There is a spicy version too. But, as roasted elai vadam is good for postpartum food, my grandma does it without spice. Now, onto my grandma's special ratio elai vadam.

INGREDIENTS:

Boiled rice (Puzhungal arisi) - 2 cups
Raw rice (pacharisi) - 1/2 cup
Ajwain or cumin seeds - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Cut banana leaves - few
Oil - to grease



Elai vadam, How to  make elai vadam, Elai vadam recipe
Pic.Courtesy : My friend Kala
Elai vadam, How to  make elai vadam, Elai vadam recipe
Pic.Courtesy : My friend Kala

METHOD:

Soak  both rice together for 4 to 5 hours.  Grind to a very fine paste. Add salt and mix well. Allow it to ferment for one day. Next day grind the same batter again to soft and smooth paste.  Add jeera / ajwain.

Dilute to thin dosa batter consistency. Grease the cut banana leaves with very little oil and keep ready. Take a greased cut banana leaf, pour a ladle of the batter and spread it thin and evenly to circles. Meanwhile, heat water in a kadai, place a plate with  holes on it. Now, place the batter spread banana leaf on top of it, cover with a lid and steam cook . Once cooked the vadam will turn glossy.  It cooks in less than a minute.  My patti (grandma) used to give a tip about the cooking time. She says “Onnu ezhuthara neramthaan onnu veharathukku”. It means, the time we take to spread the batter in the leaf is the time taken to steam cook one.

Peel vadam gently from the leaf and eat them fresh. This can be had as an evening tiffin.

To store it, peel vadam gently from the leaf, arrange them in a clean while cloth and dry it in the shade. They dry faster as it is very thin and steamed. Stack well and store in an air-tight container. It can also be sun dried and fan dried. 

HOW TO USE?
Roast the sun dried elai vadam on direct flame. This can be given as post-partum (after delivery) food. 
Sun-dried elai vadam can be microwaved for 30/40 seconds in medium-high.
Sun dried elai vadam can be deep fried in oil. 
Sun dried elai vadam can be served in Delhi appalam style too (the very big appalams which we get in exhibitions).

Here are the variations:

Elai vadam, How to  make elai vadam, Elai vadam recipe

FOR THE DELHI APPALAM STYLE / EXHIBITION APPALAM STYLE:
Spread some bigger sized elai vadams while making, dry and store. Deep fry in oil. Sprinkle some chilli powder and serve.

Elai vadam, How to  make elai vadam, Elai vadam recipe

NOTE:
Elai vadam stands are available at stores. If you are using a elai vadam stand, slightly grease the plate with oil, spread the batter and steam cook. Traditional idli pots and idli stands can also be used.

For the spicy version, add 2 or 3 green chillies/red chillies while grinding. 

VARIATION:
1. Only raw rice can be used.
2. Only boiled rice can be used.
3. For the spicy version, add 2 or 3 green chillies/red chillies alongwith the above measurement while grinding.  If adding chillies, the colour will not be as white as the plain.

TAMIL NEW YEAR RECIPES

Tamil New Year recipes, Arusuvai pachadi, Veppampoo pachadi
VEPPAMPOO PACHADI
Happy Tamil New year & Vishu to all my friends
May this varushapirappu bring us prosperity and success in all our endeavours!!! 


This pachadi made on Tamil new year, reminds us the six emotions symbolising with six tastes in the year ahead. 

Sweet, Sour, Salt, Bitter, Pungent and Astringent------ six tastes.
Happiness, Disgust, Fear, Sorrow, Anger and Surprise----- six emotions.
Jaggery, Tamarind, Salt, Neem flower, Chilli, Mango--- ingredients of this pachadi symbolising the above emotions.

Let us all pray Lord to give us the strength to meet all these emotions..


Click the names below for the Tamil new year recipes.

Sadham(rice)Nei(ghee), paruppu, mor kozhambu or Sambharparuppu usilikari amudhu(poriyal)kootuthayirpachadiVeppampoo pachadi (Arusuvai pachadi),kosumarivadaam or appalamvadai or thayir vadai, saatru amudhu(Rasam)Tirukannan amudhu(payasam), thayir (curd),oorugaai(pickle).

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

AVARAIKKAI THUVATTAL / BROADBEANS THUVATTAL / BROADBEANS CURRY

HOW TO MAKE AVARAKKAI THUVATTAL, HOW TO MAKE THUVATTAL, AVARAIKKAI THUVATTAL, BROADBEANS THUVATTAL, BROADBEANS CURRY

This is another traditional south indian curry (poriyal), with some extra spices and termed as 'thuvattal'. A Tanjore style curry made by tambrams. This can be done with any country veggies like broad beans, snakegourd, cluster beans, vazhaipoo (plantain flower) etc.

INGREDIENTS:


Avaraikkai (Broadbeans) - 1/2 kg.
Mustard seeds -1/2 teaspoon
Urad dhal- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Coconut scraped - 3 tablespoons
Dry red chillies - 2
Hing - a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - a sprig

To dry roast and powder:
Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds-1/2 teaspoon
Dry red chilli - 1


METHOD:

Wash and chop the avaraikai finely.

In a pan, dry roast toor dhal, chilli and cumin seeds in order until golden brown. When cool powder it. Keep aside.

In the same pan, heat oil and when hot add mustard, urad dhal and chillies. When golden brown, add hing, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Saute quickly and add the chopped avaraikkai, salt, mix well and sprinkle very little water. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame until the veggies are cooked and soft. Finally, add the ground powder, grated coconut, mix well and saute for a minute. Serve as a curry with south indian thali.


VARIATION: Cooked moong dhal (should be soft and cooked like sundal but not mushy) can be added. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

POTATO BONDA / ALOO WADA (NO ONION NO GARLIC)


INGREDIENTS:

Potatoes - 4 (medium sized)
Shelled green peas - 3 tablespoons
Green chilly - 2 (chopped)
Ginger - 1" piece (grated)
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs (roughly chopped)
Coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons (finely chopped)
Lemon juice - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/8 tsp.
Hing - a generous pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Oil - to deep fry.

For the batter :
Besan flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 cup
Hing - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste


METHOD:

Boil and peel the potatoes. Mash it coarsely. Keep aside.

In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil, add mustard seeds. When mustard starts to crackle, add ginger, green chili, turmeric, hing, curry leaves and fresh shelled peas. Saute for a minute. Now, add mashed potatoes, finely chopped coriander leaves, salt, and mix well. Switch off the stove. Add lemon juice and mix well. Divide the mixture into medium-sized balls.

Mix the items given in "for the batter". Add water little by little and make a semi-thick batter without any lumps. The batter should not be too watery or too thick.

Heat oil in a kadai. Dip the potato balls in the batter and gently drop them into the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or any chutney of your choice. 
We get no onion no garlic ketchup at stores.

NOTE: To check if the oil has heated, drop in a small drop of batter into the oil. If it rises to the surface immediately, then the oil is ready. Always keep the oil at low-medium heat while frying. 
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