Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Spicy Kerala Style Mutton Ribs Curry / Varial Curry /Curried Ribs

What kind of a person are you?How do you like to be addressed ?Do you like salutations and being addressed like the Queen or King?or you are like just call my name or simply like X Chechi or Y Chetta?I know of people who like to be called and treated like His/Her Royal Highness.Funny.I love people who treat me like a human being with respect due for a child of God.But wouldn't mind being called Mina Chechi/Mina.
This particular recipe is one a kind which is like, you will simply love it no matter what.Adapted from The Suriani Kitchen,this dish is simple and i was eating it spoonfuls in the pretext of tasting.That said i need to make a point clear,It is very difficult to convince me with a particular recipe/dish as my quality standards are very high.Now don't ask  me ,how i managed in the hostel for two years.That's a loooongg story.
Feeling comfortable after gulping down  food is the main criteria to impress or get into my good books.No guilty feeling or "oh my,i ate a lot" kind of feeling is a complete no no for me.As Simple is the new chic, lemme finish my lengthy kathi session and get down to the recipe.I prepared this with the mutton ribs as mentioned in the original recipe.Please go through the notes section as i did some basic/minor adaptations to suit my palate.


Ingredients

Recipe Source :The Suriani Kitchen Pg. No:117
  1. Mutton Ribs-500 g
  2. Shallots-8-10
  3. Mustard seeeds-1 tsp
  4. Coconut oil-1/4 cup
  5. Tomatoes-2 quartered
  6. Coriander powder-2 tbsp
  7. Turmeric powder-1 tsp
  8. Crushed Black pepper corns-1 tbsp
  9. Crushed cardamom pods-3
  10. Cloves-4
  11. Cinnamon stick-1 inch
  12. Curry Leaves-a handful
  13. Salt-As req
  14. Water -1 cup

For the Coconut Paste

  1.  freshly grated coconut-1 cup
  2. Green Chillies-4
  3. Ginger Chopped Finely-1 tbsp
  4. Garlic chopped-2 tbsp
  5. Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Grind the above mentioned ingredients into a fine past and set a side.

Method

  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan.Add the shallots and fry them until soft.Add the tomatoes and continue cooking for few more minutes. 
  • Add the coriander,turmeric and pepper powder and stir so that they donot get burned.
  • Add the cardamom,cloves and stir and fry for a minute.
  • Add the coconut paste,ribs,salt and water and cook till they are done.
  • Heat the oil in a small skillet and add the mustard seeds,when they crackle add the remaining shallots and curry leaves and fry till golden brown.Pour the seasoning over the cooked meat and stir to blend.

My Notes

  • I used half the quantity of coconut to make a paste which was fine for me.
  • In the part of the world where i live in,Oil means Coconut oil unless otherwise mentioned.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Chettinad kitchen-Lemon Rice

Chettinad ,the sound of the name resonates a variety of  thoughts,right from the splendid mansions ,Temples and the cuisine. Chettinad is a region of the Sivaganga district of southern Tamil Nadu state, India. Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinad which includes Karaikudi and 74 (traditionally 96) other villages. Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathar), a prosperous banking and business community. Many of this community's members migrated to South and Southeast Asia, particularly Ceylon and Burma, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The people of Chettinad speak Tamil. Today there is a diaspora of Chettinad people who live in places such as the USA, Singapore and Malaysia.
This place is well known for its Chettinad cuisine, mansions, and temples. "Chettinad" also means a social caste that specializes in the preparation of food. Chettinads are considered master chefs who prepare food that reflects the excellence that people in Chennai/South India look for in the preparation and serving of food. Some cuisines have been renamed, such as Chicken Chettinad (Spicy Chicken Curry) or Veg Chettinad (a curry of selective vegetables) to reflect the specialty and care given during preparation of food.
Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams, idiyappams, adais and idlis. The Chettinad people through their mercantile contacts with Burma, learnt to prepare a type of rice pudding made with sticky red rice.
Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some of the popular vegetarian dishes include idiyappam,paniyaram, vellai paniyaram, karuppatti paniyaram, paal paniyaram, kuzhi paniyaram, kozhakattai, masala paniyaram, adikoozh,kandharappam, seeyam, masala seeyam, kavuni arisi & athirasam.(Source :Wikipedia).Chettinad region is also famous for their handloom sarees and floor tiles

It is very interesting to listen to their customs and practices as all the ancient practices are still followed with great fervor and all the relatives make it sure to attend an event.Will share the pics once i get it from Chandra aunty.

We have friends who belong to the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu and all of them are usually extra generous when it comes to sharing of recipes.Am saying this coz i know people who keep good things like recipes to themselves instead of sharing forgetting that sharing multiplies the joy actually.

Usually i give a call to C aunty asking her for recipes and tips if i have to make some special dish that is unique to their place.One day while we were chatting ,aunty was mentioning about the cook book that was launched by one Mrs.Alamelu Vairavan.That fueled my expectations and i was hunting for this one after geting see her show on Youtube.

Chettinad Kitchen captures the true essence of chettinad cuisine by including almost all(over a 100) the dishes that usually finds a place in the menu of the Chettiars. The book is written in a simple language that makes it easy to follow even for a beginner . Suggesting alternate ideas and cooking tips makes one feel that the author has taken pains to go a long way in not only documenting the food culture but also in encouraging the reader to try out the recipes mentioned by her.
The no nonsense writing style and the 24 color photographs actually invite you to cook with the recipe given in the book.As i bought it from Flipkart i enjoyed their discount too.The cover of the book features all the  primary ingredients of Chettinad cooking ie, rice, ginger, curry leaves all placed tastefully  on a grinding stone, and a bright pink and gold bordered traditional saree. .The only thing that i found missing in this book is that it does not have that many dessert items.All together it is a good buy for anyone who wishes to master the ART OF CHETTINAD COOKING.

  Lemon Rice

Recipe Source Chettinad Kitchen pg.No 97

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1/4 cum lemon or lime juice
  3. salt-as req
  4. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  5. 2 green chillies
  6. 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  7. 3 tbsp roasted peanuts

For Tadka
  1. 2 tbsp oil
  2. 2 dried red chilly
  3. 1/4 tsp asafoteida powder
  4. curry leaves-handful
  5. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  6. urad dhal-1 tsp
  7. channa dhal 1 tsp

Method

  1. Wash the rice,drain and cook it in 2 cups of water.set aside to cool.
  2. combine the lemon juice and turmeric powder in a bowl and set aside
  3. For the tadka,add oil in a pan over medium heat.When it is hot but not smoking add the items given under tadka one by one.Reduce the flame as the blackening of the spices results n an awful taste.
  4. Add the cooked rice and stir in the lemon juice .
  5. Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.Add greeen chillies ginger and peanuts.
  7. Serve with potato chips or any spicy preparation ike chicken curry or even meen varuthathu.


This is not a paid review.









Sending this to Runnergirl and Pari's event.Also to http://cookinwluv.blogspot.co.uk/p/made-with-love-mondays.html

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pesarattu-With Love From Andhra Pradesh

We get to learn different things from different people.Some will be lessons and some others will be a blessing.There were many people who actually taught me how not to behave by being rude ,cold and indifferent.It does not mean that i didn't feel bad or was not offended by their behavior,i think i have outgrown the negative impacts or hurts of the incidents...
While on the other hand some people behave in such a sweet manner that you get convinced that being good is not that bad.They bring in a positive energy to your day and uplift the mood.Wonderful isn't it.Did i tell u about my friends from Andhra Pradesh?R and i were friends from a very young age and even though we have differences of opinion in a lot of matters it didn't matter much on the bonding front.All that mattered was respecting the differences.This particular recipe is a specialty of AP and it is usually served with a mound of upma. Because of my not so good relationship with Upma(That for another post)i prefer having this green beauty with chutney and Sambhar. My take of the combination for Pesarattu.

As am a bit busy these days with lot of deadlines to meet so was not able to post in my blog here.That said, it does not mean that i didn't cook,itz just that lazy is my last name and am tired out after all the hectic work and other stuff. Daivame kaatholane.

Ingredients

Source:Mummy and with slight adaptations from Mallika Bhadrinath's cook book
  1. Green Moong dhal -2 cups
  2. Raw rice -1/2 cup
  3. Ginger-2 inch piece
  4. Garlic -5 cloves
  5. Green chilly -4
  6. Oil-For making Dosa (As required)

Method:

  1. Wash the dhal and the rice with several changes of water til the water runs clear
  2. Soak the dhal and rice seperately for some 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Grind them with the rest of the ingredients along with water and salt.
  4. The consistency of the batter largely depends on personal preference and i personally prefer the batter to be coarse rather than resembling a neat pasty format.
  5. check for salt.
  6. Heat an iron skillet or tawa and drizzle some oil.
  7. Pour a laddle of batter and spread as yould do it for making a dosa.
  8. cover and cook till done.
  9. Serve hot with Thenga Chammandhi and Sambhar.

Notes:

Because i love the garlic flavour i have added 5 cloves.It is person specific and the quantity can be adjusted according to your preference.

Am sending this to Runner Girl's and Pari's Only from cook books event.
Also sending this to JW's event. and to Priya Chechi's eventamrita and sara's event,apu's event and to vegan thursday's by Priya chechi.






Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kadu Manga Achar/Keralan Mango Pickle

Did I tell you about my recently bought cook book???Yes, Itz "The Suriani Kitchen" by Lathika George.Even though mummy has her own way of making pickles,I was quite intrigued by the quantity of mustard that was given in the recipe.I thought it to be too much when compared to the normal amount that we use
.


But given the reputation of the recipes featured i decided to give it a try and i was one happy girl.The pickle turned out to be perfect and am planning to make another batch before the Mangoes become pricey.Make hay while the sun shines???I dunno how many cut mango pieces go into the making coz i love eating mangoes and making funny faces after that.
So lets get into action of pickling without delay.


Recipe Source: The suriani Kitchen Page No: 191

Ingrdients

  1. Diced and unpeeled mango-4 cups
  2. Salt - 1/2 cup
  3. Water-1/2 cup
  4. Sesame oil - 1/2 cup
  5. garlic - 6 cloves sliced
  6. Sliced Ginger - 1tbsp
  7. Curry Leaves - A handful
  8. Chilly powder - 5 tbsp
  9. Ground Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  10. Mustard powder - 1/2 cup
  11. Vinegar - 1/2 cup

Method:

  1. Mix the mango pieces with two tsp of salt in a ceramic jar or glass bowl.Set aside  for a day or two.
  2. Remove the mango pieces from the salty liquid and discard the liquid.
  3. Mix the water with the rest of the salt in a pot and bring this to a boil.Strain and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a medium pot add the garlic,ginger,and curry leaves and saute for two minutes.Add the chilly powder,Turmeric powder and mustard powder and saute over low heat for a minute.Care should be taken that the masala powders are not browned.
  5. Now add the vinegar,Salt solution and mango pieces and cook for some time Allow the mixture to cool and store in clean sterilized bottles.
Notes:
  • Be careful in selecting the pickle jar as it should be air tight and clean.No creepy creatures growing in your pickle.
  • Use this pickle after 15 or 20 days so that the flavors are blended well.
  • Do not be intimidated my the mustard powder.It gives a magical explosion of flavors , a very different one from the usual one.
Am sending this to Pari and Runner Girl's "Only From Cook Books Event
Also to Manju and Gayathri's WTML event and to Made with Love Mondays


Monday, 8 July 2013

Meen Vevichathu/Kerala Style Fish Curry Adapted from "The Suriani Kitchen"

I don't think i need to give any introduction about my love for the bounty from sea.I wont be bored for eating fish three or four times a day i mean appam and fish molee for breakfast and fish curry and fish fry for lunch and tuna cutlet for tea.So that said if you are not a strict carnivore or fishetarian (Is there any word of this sort?) please donot dare to open my lunch box or venture into my kitchen.
                      

Recently i bought a copy of The Suriani Kitchen from flipkart.It is more like a storybook than a cookbook with a lot of stories and anecdotes.A very different take from the usual cook books that have only recipes featured in them.The Author, Lathika George is a bombay born Syrian Christian who moved to Kerala in her teens.She rightly says that "Meals are a celebration of the spices, herbs, seafood, meats, pulses, grains, nuts, and every edible leaf and seed that grows in this fertile land.”
Even though i have my own version of meen vevichathu,I wanted to try the recipe that was mentioned in the book. Donot be intrigued by the use of rice flour,it does wonders to the final taste.I have used King Fish in this recipe,You could substitute it with any fish of your choice.

Recipe

Source :The suriani Kitchen Pg.No. 86

Ingredients

  1. Fish 1 kg cut into squares
  2. Oil-1/4 cup
  3. Shallots - 8
  4. Ginger paste - 1 Tsp
  5. Garlic - 10 Cloves thinly sliced
  6. Garlic Paste  - 2 tbsp
  7. Curry leaves - 3 Sprigs
  8. Rice Powder - 1 tbsp
  9. Cocum - 4 , 2 inch pieces soaked in water
  10. Water - 2 cups
  11. Salt - As required
For spice Paste
  1. Kashmiri Chilly powder - 3 tbsp
  2. Turmeric Powder -1/2 tsp
  3. Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
  4. Fenugreek - Roasted and ground - 1/2 tsp
Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste with a little water.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pot,add the sliced shallots and fry for two minutes.When they are lightly browned reduce the flame a bit and add the ginger,garlic paste and curry leaves and saute for two minutes til the raw smell goes.
  2. Lower the heat and add the ground spice paste and the rice powder.Continue frying for one or 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cocum,water,salt and the fish at this stage and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  4. When the fish is cooked drizzle a bit of coconut oil over the curry.
Notes:
  1. I have adapted the recipe verbatim and the dish turned out to absolutely delicious.
  2. It goes well with rice,moru curry and a thoran(vegetable stir fry).
  3. If you donot get kashmiri chilly powder , replace it with usual one but be cautious on the quantity as the normal ones tend to be spicier than their kashmiri counterparts.
  4. Kashmiri chilly powder lends a wonderful hue to the curry.
  5. Cocum or kudam puli is not to be substituted with sambhar puli.
  6. I used /double Horse brand rice powder.



Am sending this to Pari and Runner girl in the Kitchen's Only cooking from cook books event.
Also sending this to made with love mondays





Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Chettinad Kavuni Arisi and some pics from Pichavaram Mangroves

A happy Dukrana Thirunnal to all..Some two years back on this very same day I went to Chidambaram for the first time. I really didn’t like to go to be frank. The main reason , I REALLY hated my undergrad college days. I was feeling depressed to the core and was not mentally prepared for another merry go round of emotional and mental turmoil. Reluctantly I wrote the entrance for M.E in Computer Science and Engineering and in the afternoon went for the interview. It was by a professor and an associate professor and they asked questions related to PPDP and about the TCP/IP Layers. Both of them made me comfortable and their way of speaking and behavior convinced me that am going to be studying here no matter what. Remember the weather is horrible with the sun scorching even at 8 in the morning. Lucky for me,Chidambaram became a place where I learnt a lot of things both academic and non-academic, my preferences changed and I was accepted, had a friends group and enjoyed being there. Took a dual degree -A post graduate Diploma in Data Mining. Even dry taps meant a learning experience, worst mess food meant sharing pickles or snacks.


During my second year I happened to go to Chandra Ammai’s (Aunt’s) house. After feeding me up to my nose with Chettinad Chicken Biryani , aunty asked me if I would like to have anything sweet , I said yes. So she went to the kitchen to soak some black colored thing that resembled a cross between a needle and rice.I was curious to know what It was, coz never in my life had I seen anything like that. Aunty told me it’s a kind of rice ,rich in vitamin B Complex , grown  in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu and that her  relatives in Burma and Malacca and Singapore get it from the supermarkets over there too. And no Chettinad feast (even wedding feast) would be complete without this “KAVUNI ARISI”. Even though I do not have that big a sweet tooth, (I favour murukku or kuzhalappam and Uzhunnu Vada) I loved this. It was similar to sticky rice, Black when cooked and mildly sweet with a hint of coconut, Cardamom and ghee, its that simple. And she treats her daughters ,grandchildren and friends with this incredibly healthy dish whenever they visit her.I were more engrossed in eating than taking pictures.Hope you try this Indispensible Chettinad delicacy and thank me for sharing it too :-).Donot forget to visit Pichavaram if you happen to go to Chidambaram.
Seen below are the pics from pichavaram






Ingredients

Source : Chandra Aunty    Type : Chetinad Dessert     
  1. Kavuni Arisi - 1 Cup
  2. Sugar - 1/2 cup minus one tbsp
  3. Cardamom - 5 pods Crushed
  4. Ghee - 1 Tsp
  5. Grated coconut - 1/4 Cup
  6. Water - 4 cups

Method

  1. Soak the rice for a good two or three hours adding sufficient water.This actually reduces the cooking time of the rice.
  2. Pressure cook by adding 4 cups of water for 20 to 25  minutes in medium flame.
  3. When it is thoroughly cooked and cooled add the sugar,ghee,cardamom and grated coconut and stir well till all the coconut is incorporated and resembles the rice color.
  4. Reheat for some two minutes and serve.
Notes :
  • The cooking time totally dependss on the quality of the rice used.It is usually advised to soak overnight so that the cooking time is reduced.
  • You could add a little more sugar and ghee if you prefer.
Am sending this to Sowmya's event ,Priya Chechi's event,Manju's event and to Gayathri's event.
And a very happy birthday to Divya Pramil of you too can cook.
Also sending this to made with love mondays


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Prawn Roast/Chemmeen varattiyathu Kuttanad Style

Meen Curry is something that you can find in my adukala in almost all the days of the week or year for that matter.Hailing from one of India's famous harbors, my love for sea food needs no introduction.Mummy on the other hand is not a great fish eater.She used to tell me, that she got bored because her mother(My ammooma) always fed her with fish ,either fry or curry.So mummy got bored and doesnot cook fish if am not at home.My daddy leans on the vegetarian side ,so no issues for him even if mummy does not cook fish.
Prawns/Konju is something that i buy whenever i find them.I prefer the relatively smaller ones rather than the hefty creatures.Even though de-veining them is such a pain i donot mind ,coz i dream about the yummy end product.A back breaking business indeed.
This time when i got some from the meenkaaran my brother was insisting that i make pickles out of it.My mom wanted to make a Padavalanga chemmeen curry and i wanted to make olarthu.I was convincing both of them that i need to blog about this and so on.My marketing strategy worked and here it is Yummy prawn olarthu.The main reason why i opted for this version of cooking prawns is that i wanted to try this.I followed the recipe to the T and it was amazing.Oh my ,amazing would be an understatement.Any number of adjectives will not explain how yummy it turned out.My brother who was going around with a sad doggy face for not getting the prawn pickle was overjoyed for that matter.He told me,"Namakku adutha pravashyam chemmeen medikumbol ithu thanney undaakam tto".That says it all.It is a spicy preparation so please go easy if you find the measurements to be too much for your standards.But trust me itz worth it.
Coconut oil does wonders to this yummy delicacy from Kuttanad.

Ingredients

  1. Prawns- 1 lbs (peeled ,cleaned and deveined )
  2. shallots- 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup chopped
  3. Ginger - 1 1/2  tbsp minced finely
  4. Garlic - 1/4 cup julienned 
  5. Green chillies - 4 slit lengthwise
  6. Thenga kothu/Cocunut slices-1/3 cup
  7. Kudam puli -1 or 2 pieces.
  8. Masala powder
  9. Red Chilly powder- 2 tsp
  10. Coriander powder-1 1/2 tbsp
  11. Turmeric powder-1/4+1/4 tsp
  12. Freshly squeezed lemon juice-1 tbsp(I omitted this coz i didnt have any)
  13. Coconut oil-As required
  14. Salt-To taste
  15. Curry leaves- A handful

For Masala Powder

  1. Fennel Seeds -1 tsp
  2. Black pepper-1/2 tbsp
  3. Cinnamon 4 or 5 1/2 inch sticks
  4. clove -1
  5. Cardamom-1
I added two cloves and two cardamom coz they were small in size.Grind the above to a powder using a coffee grinder or the smallest jar of your mixer grinder.Set aside.

Method

  1. Make a marinade with the masala powder,1/4 tsp of turmeric powder,salt ,lemon juice and half of the chilly powder and coriander powder and set aside for an hour.
  2. Soak the kudam puli in a cup of water.
  3. Heat oil in a manchatti,and saute the small onions till they become translucent.Now add the ginger,garlic and green chillies and cook till the raw smell goes.
  4. At this stage add the remaining turmeric powder,chilly powder and coriander powder.have stove in low flame when adding the masala powder coz they should not get burnt.
  5. Now add the coconut slices and curry leaves and give a quick mix.
  6. Add the marinated prawns along witht the masala thatis sticking with the vessel used for marination.
  7. Add the soaked kudampuli and required salt at this stage.
  8. Cover and cook in medium flame till the prawns are done.
  9. Remove the lid and roast till all the water is dried uo and the prawns are lavishly coated with the masala.It should get a brown color as mentioned by Shn.Do a taste test at this stage and add coconut oil  and curry leaves as this is what gives a great face lift to the dish.
  10. Serve with Rice or Roti or simply eat like we did.

Notes:

  1. This is a really spicy dish for people who are not used to.
  2. Donot replace Shallots for big onions as it will be a compromise on the taste.
  3. The dish does not have an overpowering taste of garlic.
  4. I donot advice substituting or avoiding any of the mentioned ingredients.
Thanks a lot Mishmash for sharing an absolutely yummy recipe.
Sending this to Made with love.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Kuzhi Paniyarams /Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyarams/ Indian aebleskiver

There are certain foods that actually kindle whole lotta happy memories. Kuzhi Paniyarams or the Chettinad Paniyarams belong to that category and are my all time favorite. My maternal grandmother used to make fluffy and out of the world paniyarams that can be devoured at any time of the day.Ammooma uses a bell metal unniyappakaral(The Æbleskiver pan),May be that was the reason for the exemplary taste…???

The addiction to paniyarams worsened, when I heard that the restaurant near my college served it as an evening snack. Soon after the boring classes are over, I used to head there to have a devils share of these bellied beauties. At times my dad joined me and that meant an extra plate (for me). During that time paniyarams were not that costly, coz not many people preferred to eat it as evening snack. After some months, lucky for the restaurant owners and unlucky for us, the prices skyrocketed and I was left with no other option than to make this at home. That meant loosing count of how many I ate.
Even though the Aachis(women folk of that region are addressed this way) from Chettinad grind the batter especially for paniyarams, idly/Dosa batter can also be used as a replacement for quick fix cases, even though I grind the batter separately when making this.
This can be had for breakfast or for dinner or even as evening snack or simply eat while roaming around the kitchen. I generally pair this with Sāmbhar and Thenga Chammanthi or even the kaara chutney or “Dangar” (A Chettinad dish).


This dish is for a lovely person "R"(Birthday Gal....) who was with me in my undergrads.It was fun as we belonged to the group that hardly studied.Sitting in the same bench,rambling,commenting,having non stop chatter only to be scolded by our parents etc. That and much more for another post peeps.May God be with You in all that u dear and Have a great time.

Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyarams

Source:My mom
Special equipment required: Aebleskiver  pan / Unniyappa karal

Ingredients

  1. Paniyaram batter-2 cups(Recipe follows)
  2. Kunjulli/Shallots-1/4 cup
  3. Grated carrots-1/4 cup
  4. Cabbage-thinly sliced-1/4 cup
  5. Green chillies-4-5 thinly sliced
  6. Grated coconut-2 tbsp
  7. Curry leaves-2 sprigs
  8. Coriander leaves-2 tbsp chopped
  9. Ginger-1 tbsp
  10. Mustard Seeds-1 tsp
  11. Crushed pepper-1 tsp 
  12. Salt- As req
  13. Oil for frying

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves.Add in the curry leaves followed by ginger , shallots and vegetables.
  2. Saute till they are cooked.
  3. Keep the stove in low flame and add the grated coconut followed by the coriander leaves and pepper.
  4. Allow this to cool.
  5. Throw this into the batter and give a good mix and leave it aside for 10 or 15 minutes.
  6. Adjust the salt as only less salt was added during the fermentation process.
  7. Just before using the batter give a good stir as all the vegetables and other stuff might be resting in the bottom.mix the batter each time before pouring into the holes.
  8. Heat the pan and add little oil in all the holes.When the oil is hot pour a tbsp of batter into the holes.Itz enough to fill 3/4 th of the hole.Do this by keeping the stove on low flame.
  9. Cover and cook for 2 or 3 minutes or thill the edges start to brown or when the batter is not sticking to the pan
  10. Flip or turn then using a skewer or pappadam kutti and allow the other side to be cooked completely.
  11. Drain them in paper towels
  12. Continue the same till the batter is used up.
  13. Pair them with Sambhar and Coconut chutney

For the batter

  1. Idli rice-1 cup
  2. Raw rice(Pachari)-1 cup
  3. Urad dhal-1/4 cup
  4. Fenugreek seed-1 table spoon

  • Soak all the ingredients rice(both varieties) together and urad dal seperately for four hours and grind it to a smooth batter.
  • Add little salt (lesser than that added for the batter) and allow it ferment for 6-8 hours.

Notes

  1. As am a little bit partial towards coconut oil , i used it for making these.Sunflower oil is also fine to use.
  2. Go easy on the green chilies and pepper as per your preference level.
Sending this to Sowmya's event ,Cooking with seeds event and also to Pari and Sowmya's event.
Am also sending this to Shruthi and Gayathri's WTML event.This is my second time with the Walk through memory lane event.
Am also sending this to Made with love mondays week of 6-10-2013 by Javelin warrior.
Am also sending this to Dish it out 
Happy Cooking




Monday, 3 June 2013

Idli Sambhar/Tiffin Sambhar

Hi, How are you?Howz life treating you.Hope everything is going on smooth sailing.Okay,What does Authentic Recipe mean to you?Does it mean anything that is cooked by following the age old method to the dot or the taste that you grew up with?Anyhoo,for me authenticity of a recipe is just being able to relate to the taste i grew up with.
When i was in school,mummy used to make Sambhar especially for idlis(with Moong Dal) and the fussy eater me will suddenly start to behave in a sweet manner and finish up what was given on my plate.Those were the days my mom gave me so many incentives if i finished my food.The incentives were simple like extra play time or having a new ball to play with or playing with my baby blue teddy, simple as that.I was too naive then, to be fooled by simple things.Now itz only that i am being fooled by simpler things.My brother who is self trained to bug me, says all sorts of nonsense and i still believe his stories.
So what was i telling,authentic food.Yes.This particular sambhar recipe is according to me the AUTHENTIC  Idli Sambhar recipe.It really complements plain coconut chutney.Also,u can pair this with Pongal,even Uzhunnu vadas or with paniyarams.I slightly adapted by not adding Fenugreek while grinding the masala but used it for tadka.The choice of vegetables depends on the availability.Carrots,Radish,Potatoes and Drumsticks will be a lovely combo.

Method

Source:My Mummy     Serves :4      Cooking time :45 min

Ingredients

  1. Moong Dal - 3/4 th of a cup
  2. Veggies -5 pieces of drumstick,Potato one diced,Carrots 2 sliced.(This is what i used,it totally depends on your choice and availability)
  3. Tamarind pulp got from soaking a gooseberry size (Nellikaya size) ball of tamarind in water(1/2 cup).
  4. Shallots(Kunjulli) - 12
  5. Tomato -1 big
  6. Green chilly - 2 
  7. Salt -As required
  8. Curry Leaves - generous bunch
  9. Asafoteida - A pinch
  10. Garlic - 4 or 5 cloves

To Grind

  1. Coriander Seeds-1.5 Tbsp
  2. Channa Dal/Kadala Paripu -1.5 Tbsp
  3. Red Chilly -2
  4. Optional Fenugreek-1/4 Tsp(I used it for Tadka and not while grinding.)

For Tadka

  1. Oil - 1 Tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds - 1 Tsp
  3. Jeera -1/2 Tsp
  4. Urad Dal -1/2 Tsp
  5. Fenugreek - A generous pinch

Method

  1. Dry roast moon dal till you get a nice aroma.To a slighly golden brown color.
  2. Cook the dry roasted  Moong Dal in a pressure cooker along with asafoteida,green chillies,Garlic and turmeric powder. Mash it with the back of a laddle.Reserve
  3. Dry roast the ingredients in low flame till a nice aroma emanates.Grind this to a fine powder.The ground mixture.
  4. In a kadai add half tbsp oil and add the kunjulli vegetables , Tomato, along with the vegetables that you are going to add to make sambhar.
  5. Saute nicely and cook with enough water.
  6.  When the vegetables are cooked add them to the dal and give a good mix.
  7. Add the tamarind pulp,Ground masala to the dal in the mashed dal and if you feel that the sambhar need to be a bit watery add the required quantity of water after keeping it on the stove.
  8. Check for salt and doneness .
  9. Do the tadka with the items mentioned and pour in the sambhar.
  10.  Donot allow the sambhar to be on the stove for too long or in high flame for a long time as it may result in adikku pidikkal.
  11. Pair with Idlis,Dosas,Paniyarams and the like.
  12. It goes well with pesarattu even.

 Notes:

  1. The cooking time of the dal greatly depends on the quality of the dal.
  2. I added the cooked vegetables and the tadka to the pressure cooker that i used to cook the dal.
  3. Add water and heat the sambhar if you are using it for the next meal/day coz the sambhar may get thick.
  4. refrigerate the leftovers if any coz moong dal has the tendency to get spoiled fast.
Sambhar using the above recipe with uzhunnu vada.

Am sending this to Crazy For Potatoes hosted by Nivedhanams Sowmya and Pari of Cooking good food.
Am also sending this to  Made with Love Mondays and tosowmya  and Priya's event.
Am also sending this to Dish it out
Happy Cooking




Monday, 27 May 2013

Sunundalu-Urad Dal Ladoo

When i saw the blog event that invited bloggers to cook up a dish inspired by Andhra Pradesh,I was in a fix whether to make a Hyderabadi Biryani or the Kodi kura(Chicken Curry) that my mom usually makes.I guess that she got the recipe , May be from my  best friend R's mom(A telugu speaking family)?.And if you happen ask me if i speak Telugu,my response will be what Mammooka sez in the movie "Rajamanikyam" when somebody speaks to him in English(Try in "Pranchiyettan" slang BTW).I get nostalgic and flooded with the variety of emotions whenever mummy makes these ladoos,coz even though we are not in contact with R's family there are a lotta things that reminds us .The power of simple people.
The long boring conversations,Late night movie reviews(After watching a stupid movie and then ranting about it),The exams,The doc who had a small Teddy bear in her stethoscope and drooling over home cooked food while staying in the hostel and cursing the brats who got really good marks and so on.I was often cursed...Poor me....After all we were good friends in-spite of all the differences.

Sunundalu or Urad Dal Ladoo is one of the delicacy that i grew up eating.A really simple dish that could be whipped up in no time.Stocking this up is near impossible because it usually gets over on the day it is made.Hope u'l like making this simple dish as much as we loved eating this.

Ingredients

  1. Urad Dal -1 Cups
  2. Fine Powdered Sugar - ¾ th Cup (adjust)
  3. Melted Ghee - 1/4 cup 
  4. Cardamom Powder --- As required. I powdered along with the sugar.

Method

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat dry roast the Urad Dal till light golden brown in color.This step may take a little longer.Donot have the stove in high flame as it may result only in browning of the dal.
  2. Allow the dal to be cooled completely and grind it to a very fine powder in a food processor.Seive the powder inorder to get a very fine powder which is highly recommended to make perfect sunundalus.
  3. In a bowl add the powdered Dal,Finely powdered sugar and add the melted ghee little by little.
  4. Mix inbetween inorder that you add the correct amount of ghee to make the mixture into ladoos.Too much ghee will ruin the taste according to R's mom.
  5. Shape them into balls and refrigerate for sometime inorder to maintain the round(unda) shape.
Am sending this to the Walk Through Memory Lane event hosted by Sowmya and Gayathri  and also to 
Flavors of India: Andhra Pradesh event hosted by Sheelu Agarwal and Pallavi

Notes:

The favour of ghee really enhances the sweetness of these round beauties.So please add sugar according to your preference.But if you have a really BIG sweet tooth like me, 3/4 th of a cup is fine.
I use standard measuring cups for all my measurements.


Monday, 8 April 2013

Nutmeg Buttermilk Pound Cake

Sometimes it happens to me that my oven is calling out to me to bake something(No am not exaggerating .may be you can call it obsession or call me nuts or wateva ). Even though i don't very much get along with the creature sitting on my counter,(coz it takes too long a time to bake a simple cake), i miss the company of my dear oven when am in Chidambram. I dream about baking and creaming when i walk my way to the hostel from my lecture halls.And when am feeling bored during the duty sessions i used to count the days in the reverse order thinking that i need to hit to bake something as soon as i get home.Mind you its a long tedious journey to my place.

Last time as soon as i landed home i wanted to bake a cake (I seriously dont need a reason to bake)as we had to visit some lovely people from Canada,S aunty and S uncle.They had come to visit some places regarding aunt's Ph.D work and dad was given the assignment by his professor to accompany them.How can i go empty handed after  hearing all the lovely things that mom had to say about them. I have never in my life come across a person who is so enthusiastic like aunty and warm hearted like uncle.Trust me they are sweet.Period.
To cut the long story short i made this cake for them within 10 AM in the morning.(I reached home at 5:30 AM) after travelling for nearly ten hours by the BUS(India shining! Roads) I Didnt  frost the cake as it requires No Frills.Even though piping designs or frosting is my core competency area i prefer not to add to the bulge.The cake as such, is delicious as it is and on the particular day i made this, i was running outta stock of cream...wanted to make some Mascarpone(My Weakness) cheese frosting.(That's what usually happens whenever i make this cake).Hope you get to try this and this one is surely a keeper.I would have made this cake a zillion times and have never felt bored as such...usually i get bored to see repetitions...This one is an exception.

Ingredients

Adapted From here and here

Butter -1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar -1 Cup
Plain Flour-1 1/2 cup
Vanila Extract-1 tsp
Eggs-2 Medium sized
Baking Powder-1/2 tsp
Baking Soda-1/4 tsp
Buttermilk-100 ml
Salt-1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder-1/2 tsp

Buttermilk Substitute

Add 1 tsp of white vinegar to 100 ml of milk  and let it stand for ten minutes.Buttermilk is ready.

Method

Preheat oven in 180 degrees for ten min
Grease and line the sides and the bottom of the baking pan.
Sift the flour baking powder, salt and baking soda thrice and keep it separately.
Using a blender cream the butter and the sugar.
Add an egg and vanila and beat it follwed by another egg and the nutmeg/cinnamon powder.
Keep the blender in low speed and add in some of the sifted flour followed by the buttermilk.
Repeat till buttermilk and flour are used up.
Pour the prepared batter in the baking pan or 9" cake tin and bake till the cake passes the skewer test.Mine took nearly an hour to bake.
Cool completely and serve.

The picture that i have posted does not in anyway do justice to the yummy cake.I not only donot have the fancy equipment for taking pic nor am good at food photography for that matter.







Nutmeg Buttermilk Pound Cake

Sometimes it happens to me that my oven is calling out to me to bake something(No am not exaggerating .may be you can call it obsession or call me nuts or wateva ). Even though i don't very much get along with the creature sitting on my counter,(coz it takes too long a time to bake a simple cake), i miss the company of my dear oven when am in Chidambram. I dream about baking and creaming when i walk my way to the hostel from my lecture halls.And when am feeling bored during the duty sessions i used to count the days in the reverse order thinking that i need to hit to bake something as soon as i get home.Mind you its a long tedious journey to my place.

Last time as soon as i landed home i wanted to bake a cake (I seriously dont need a reason to bake)as we had to visit some lovely people from Canada,S aunty and S uncle.They had come to visit some places regarding aunt's Ph.D work and dad was given the assignment by his professor to accompany them.How can i go empty handed after  hearing all the lovely things that mom had to say about them. I have never in my life come across a person who is so enthusiastic like aunty and warm hearted like uncle.Trust me they are sweet.Period.
To cut the long story short i made this cake for them within 10 AM in the morning.(I reached home at 5:30 AM) after travelling for nearly ten hours by the BUS(India shining! Roads) I Didnt  frost the cake as it requires No Frills.Even though piping designs or frosting is my core competency area i prefer not to add to the bulge.The cake as such, is delicious as it is and on the particular day i made this, i was running outta stock of cream...wanted to make some Mascarpone(My Weakness) cheese frosting.(That's what usually happens whenever i make this cake).Hope you get to try this and this one is surely a keeper.I would have made this cake a zillion times and have never felt bored as such...usually i get bored to see repetitions...This one is an exception.

Ingredients

Adapted From here and here

Butter -1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar -1 Cup
Plain Flour-1 1/2 cup
Vanila Extract-1 tsp
Eggs-2 Medium sized
Baking Powder-1/2 tsp
Baking Soda-1/4 tsp
Buttermilk-100 ml
Salt-1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder-1/2 tsp

Buttermilk Substitute

Add 1 tsp of white vinegar to 100 ml of milk  and let it stand for ten minutes.Buttermilk is ready.

Method

Preheat oven in 180 degrees for ten min
Grease and line the sides and the bottom of the baking pan.
Sift the flour baking powder, salt and baking soda thrice and keep it separately.
Using a blender cream the butter and the sugar.
Add an egg and vanila and beat it follwed by another egg and the nutmeg/cinnamon powder.
Keep the blender in low speed and add in some of the sifted flour followed by the buttermilk.
Repeat till buttermilk and flour are used up.
Pour the prepared batter in the baking pan or 9" cake tin and bake till the cake passes the skewer test.Mine took nearly an hour to bake.
Cool completely and serve.

The picture that i have posted does not in anyway do justice to the yummy cake.I not only donot have the fancy equipment for taking pic nor am good at food photography for that matter.






Sunday, 3 March 2013

Fish Curry-My all time favourite


After getting to hold fresh Aavoli(Pomfret) I could not make up my mind whether i need to stick on to making meen vevichathu or the varutharacha meen curry.When I was deeply engrossed in this useless thinking( I know which curry i would make) i heard my phone ringing. It was  FT, the conversation started like this.

FT :Entha molu paripaadi..
Me:Hey onnum illa...just prepping for lunch
FT: Innu ethu meen aano kittiye??(Small fishes means a normal day)
Me: Oh aavoli kitti...ennalum enthu cheyyanam ennu ariyilla...ethu curry undaakiyal kollam ennu thinking deeply..
Even before i finished completing the sentence pat came the reply...enthoot chodhyama idhu..??D nee nalla naadan thrissur styleil naalikerathinte paal pzhinju curry vacho (cook a fish curry in thrissur style --meaning cooking  the fish in coconut milk).My confusions cleared.
So that's how i happened to make this curry.Even though this is a drool worth delish curry i abstain from making this version of fish curry for the simple fact that it requires oodles of coconut milk...not that am a coconut milk hater but the health conscious me pops out suddenly and vanishes in no time of course. Mummy prefers this curry for the reason that this curry goes well with Idiyappam and Putu and she has been making this curry since i was a toddler..Enough of my stories.Hope you get to try this and let me know.

Ingredients

1.Fish- 1 Kg
2.Ginger- One inch Piece chopped
Garlic - 6-8 Pods
Green chilly - 2 slit lengthwise
Chilly powder-3 1/2 tsp(I use kashmiri chilly powder)
Turmeric powder-3/4 tsp
Water- One cup
Salt-As  required
Coconut milk extracted from one coconut (dilute it by adding 2 cups of water)
Kudam Puli- 3 pices 
3.Curry leaves -One handfull
Mustard seeds -1/2 tsp
Coconut oil -1 tbsp
Curry leaves -One handfull
Shallots- 10 

Method

1.Wash the kudam puli in water and soak it in 1/2 cup of water for ten minutes and keep it aside.I Prefer soaking in warm water as it speeds up the process
2.In a kadai(Chatti) add the items given under 2.add the water that was used for soaking the kudam puli too.
3.Now add the fish pieces.
4.Have the kadai in low flame and keep stirring occasionally to avoid the coconut milk from curdling.stirring should be done carefully so that the fish pieces don't break.
5.cover and cook till the gravy becomes semi thick.it should be neither watery nor thick.
6.Check for salt and puli.if you feel like the taste of kudam puli is tad too much remove one piece from the gravy.
7.In another pan add coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds curry leaves and shallots and saute this til the shallots becomes translucent.
8.Pour the seasoning in the curry and rotate the chatti so that the curry acquires the flavors from the seasoning too.
9.Serve with rice.

Notes

I use manchatti or earthenware  to make fish curry.I believe this enhances the flavour of the dish even though i don't know how and why.
If you find that the kashmiri chilly powder is not available u can substitute it with the normal chilly powder too but make sure that it does not make the curry too spicy.
I prefer using coconut oil as it really adds an extra bit to the dish.
Nice combo for idiyappams too.