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Friday, March 24, 2017

NARTHA ILAI PODI / VEPPILAI KATTI / CITRON LEAVES PICKLE / CITRON LEAVES POWDER

How to make Nartha ilai podi, How to make veppilai katti, How to make citron leaves pickle, How to make citron leaves powder

Citron leaves are known for its medicinal values and  effective for treating nausea, vomiting, and heartburns. Veppilai katti is a traditional tambrahm pickle. This is a powder based pickle, yes, you read it right, pickle in powder form, made by pounding the tangy flavoured citron leaves and some spices. Actually this has NO NEEM LEAVES, but is named so.This pickle will be in powder form and can be shaped to small balls as well. Both Narthai ilai podi and veppilaikatti are same. If in powdered form we say it as Narthai elai podi and if shaped to balls we say it as veppilai katti. It has a longer shelf life.

Some stores also sell veppilaikatti, but they add tamarind and more chillies giving it a brownish red colour.  Personally, I dislike the tamarind taste in this pickle. So, I make this at home as I prefer the aroma of the leaves to dominate and the greenish colour. Nartha ilai podi / Veppilaikatti is tangy flavoured, spicy pickle and makes an excellent accompaniment to curd rice.


INGREDIENTS:


Tender narthai leaves (Citron leaves) and lemon leaves - 1 1/2 cups (tightly packed)
Dry Red Chillies - 6 
Omam(Ajwain) - 1 tsp.(heaped)
Crystal salt - to taste 
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp.
Lemon juice from one key lime or as needed

How to do Nartha ilai podi, How to do veppilai katti

How to do Nartha ilai podi, How to do veppilai katti

METHOD:

Pluck tender citron leaves and lemon leaves, wash well, pat it dry, remove the veins as shown in picture. Keep ready.

Heat a kadai and dry roast chillies for a minute. Dry grind hing, chillies and ajwain to a coarse powder in a mixie. Keep aside. Pulse the leaves, alongwith required salt coarsely. Combine all ingredients and pulse it to a coarse powder until everything is mixed well. Transfer to a bowl, add lime juice and make small balls. 
After drying, the colour changes, don't worry it is edible. Narthai ilai podi / Veppilaikatti is ready. 

NOTE: 
Lemon leaves can be substituted for  citron leaves.
Adjust chillies and lime juice to suit your tastebuds.

VARIATION:
Done only with narthai leaves.
Curry leaves can be added.
Tamarind and more chillies are added which gives a brownish red colour to the balls.
Some add green chillies. Some add pepper and cumin.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

TRI COLOUR BELL PEPPER CHUTNEY / SPICY TRI COLOUR BELL PEPPER CHUTNEY

How to make tri colour bell pepper chutney, How to make spicy tri colour bell pepper chutney

This is a flavourful and easiest chutney with tri colour bell peppers. Goes well as a side dish for all south indian breakfast. 

INGREDIENTS:

Tri-colour bell peppers (green,red and yellow) - 3 cups
Tamarind - half the key lime size
Urad dhal - 1 tablespoon
Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Dry red chillies - 4
Hing - a generous pinch
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Curry leaves - few (optional)
Salt - to taste
How to make tri colour bell pepper chutney, How to make spicy tri colour bell pepper chutney,
METHOD:

Heat a tablespoon of oil, add urad dal, toor dhal, hing and dry red chillies and fry until the dhals turn golden brown. Add chopped tri-colour bell peppers, tamarind and saute for a while until you see white spots on the bell peppers. When cool, add salt and grind in a mixie to a thick paste. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Serve with idli, dosa, rava dosa, Uthappam or arisi upma.

NOTE : Capsicum can be substituted for tri color peppers.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

BITTERGOURD THOKKU / PAVAKKAI THOKKU

How to make bittergourd thokku, How to make pavakkai thokku

Bittergourd, known for its bitter taste is beneficial for health in many ways. I am not a great fan of bittergourd. But, some time back, I had surplus bittergourds and tried making this thokku / pickle. Usually bittergourd pieces are sauteed or cooked covered while making thokku. I tried in a different way of deep frying it. To be honest, after making and tasting this thokku, I really became a fan of this, as it did not taste bitter at all. Now, I buy bittergourds during seasons and make this thokku in bulk and store it for few months. Coming to the recipe, 


INGREDIENTS:

Bittergourd - 4 cups(chopped)
Tamarind - Key lime sized ball

Dry roasted fenugreek seeds powder - 1/4 tsp.
Crushed jaggery - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 + 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Sambar powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 ladle
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp.

METHOD:



How to make bittergourd thokku, How to make pavakkai thokku

Wash and chop bittergourd into thin 1" lengthy pieces. Discard the seeds. Add salt and 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder, mix well and marinate for half an hour. Squeeze well and discard the squeezed water. Doing like this prevents thokku becoming bitter.

Soak tamarind in warm water and extract juice. 


Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry squeezed bittergourd in batches until they become golden brown. Keep aside.


Heat oil in heavy bottomed kadai, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Add the deep fried bittergourds, chilli powder, sambar powder, little salt and tamarind extract. (Be careful in adding salt as the bittergourds are already marinated with salt). Cook on medium flame until it is thick, Now add jaggery powder, mix well and cook for a while. When it becomes saucy, and oil leaves the sides, add roasted fenugreek seeds powder, mix well and immediately switch off the stove. When cool, store in an airtight bottle. This goes well with curd rice  and even with chappathis and pooris. It can also be mixed with cooked rice. This stays fresh for more than 2 to 3 months.