Friday, September 22, 2006

Padavalanga Thoran

What u need:
Padavalanga (Snake gourd) - 1
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Green chilli - 2 or 3
Channa dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal & mustard seeds
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Deseed, remove the pith and chop the snake gourd into small pieces. In a pan heat 1 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal to this. When the mustard seeds pop, add the chopped gourd, turmeric powder and salt. Add some water and place on medium heat until it is cooked. Grind green chilli and coconut together without using any water. Add this to the vegetable. Stir well. Garnish with fresh curry leaves.
Serve hot with rice.

Check out other versions of this thoran by Priya and Inji

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Capsicum Rice

The flavour that bell-pepper induces to any dish that it is added to is makes even the most humble of dishes take on an exotic aroma. The combination of fragrant basmati, ghee and bell-pepper appeals to all your looks great especially when you throw in orange, yellow, red and green peppers....smells divine....tastes just as good....I could go on and on...but let's get to the recipe now:

What you need:
Diced bell pepper - 1 cup(a combination of red,green,orange and yellow can be used)
Basmati rice- 1 cup
Onion - 1 small, chopped fine
Cardamom - 3
Clove - 4
Cinnamon - a small piece
Ghee - as required
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Juice of half a lemon
Shredded coconut - 3 tsp

Cook basmati with 1.5 cups of water in the pressure cooker until one whistle. Spread this on a plate to cool.
Heat some ghee in a pan. (You can substitute this with oil if you like, but ghee gives the rice a special taste) Powder cardamom, clove and cinnamon coarsely and add this to the ghee. Add some urad dal, mustard seeds and channa dal too. When the mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onion and turmeric powder. Saute until onions are slightly browned. Add salt and bell pepper. Stir well and cook covered on medium heat until the pepper is soft but not mushy. Add shredded coconut and mix well. Now add this to the cooled rice. Also add the lemon juice. Mix well. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves or curry leaves and fried cashew nuts.
Serve hot.

This is my entry to Sam's Jihva for Ghee & Butter

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I was never much of a curd person until I stayed in a hostel. Don't ask me why....but that's when I realised curd was such an integral part of my life. All the times I'd fight with my mother when she asked me to finish my meal off with some curd flashed through my mind just before this realisation dawned.
This is a very simple recipe that uses only raw there's no cooking involved....the prep time is minimal.

Thair pachadi

What you need:
Thick yogurt
Green chilli

Grind coconut and green chilli using no water. Do not grind into a smooth paste....just let the mixie rip for a few seconds...not more than that.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Tamper some mustard seeds in oil and pour on top of the pachadi.
And nope, I did not forget to type in the quantity of each is totally up to you.

Top: Thair pachadi; bottom left: padavalanga thoran; bottom right: olan

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dal - the quintessential Indian comfort food!!!
This is a recipe I found somewhere ages ago. Though the source has been long forgotten, the recipe itself has been filed away in my memory...only to be visited time and again with a few tweaks each time. The North Indian dal is in my opinion a tamer and milder version of the spicy South Indian sambar.

Panchratni Dal
What you need:
Equal quantities of the following:
Masoor dal
Urad dal
Tuar dal
Moong dal
Whole masoor
(I used a handful of each.....did not have whole i threw in two handfuls of masoor dal)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 small, minced
Green chilli - 2 or 3, minced
Garlic - 1 clove, chopped
Ginger - a small piece, chopped
Tomato - 1, diced
Juice of half a lime(optional)

Cook all the dals together with just enough water along with turmeric powder and salt. In the meantime, heat some oil in a pan. Add onions, green chilli, and ginger. Saute until onions are browned. Now add tomatoes and toss for a few minutes. Add this and garam masala to the cooked dal. Stir and heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with freshly cut corriander leaves.
Njoy with rice or roti.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kodappan-Kadala Koottan (Banana flower - chick peas curry)

Keralites put every single part of a banana tree to good use.....the leaves are used to serve food on....the trunk is used to make delicious thoran....the fruit, of course, is eaten raw....or in the case of plantains, also steamed.....and the flower, well, it's the flower that takes center stage here today.
Taking the florets apart, removing the stamen in the middle of the sure is hard work...but the end result is absolutely worth it.

What u need:
Kodappan(Banana flower) - 1
Chick peas(dark brown variety) - 1 handful (soaked overnight)
Tamarind concentrate - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a little
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Red chilli - 4 or 5
Pepper corns - a few
Coconut - 3/4 cup
Tuar dal - 1/2 cup, cooked
Jaggery - a small piece
Curry leaves - to garnish

Separate the banana florets(these are seen when you remove the reddish outer covering), remove and discard the stamen in the center of each floret, chop and cook along with chick peas. Then add the tamarind concentrate, turmeric powder, salt and boil for a few minutes. If you are not using concentrate, then boil until the raw smell of tamarind is gone.
Fry red chillies, urad dal and peppercorns in some oil. Grind it along with coconut to a smooth paste. Add this ground paste to the curry. Simmer on medium heat for a few minutes. Then add the cooked dal and jaggery....stir everything together and heat for just a minute or two. Garnish with fresh curry leaves.
Serve hot with rice.

This is my entry to the Curry Mela hosted by Anthony's Bachelor Cooking

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The last two days have been frustrating to say the least. For some reason, my blog could not be viewed. I finally had to delete two of my posts and several images to get it working again. The saddest part about it is losing the comments attached to those posts.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Friday, September 01, 2006

Is it sweet???
Is it spicy???
Is it tangy???
Is it sour???
Well, whatever it is, one thing's for is delicious!!!
When Vineela announced that the theme for JFI-5 would be milk and milk products, I had no idea what I was going to make. Not because I couldn't think of anything, but 'coz there's an abundance of recipes featuring mik in our cuisine and picking and choosing just one was proving to be a major task. When I made this dish, the thought of sending this in as an entry had not yet crossed my mind. It is only when I was clicking away with my camera that a light bulb flashed inside my head.....OK...this has yogurt in it....yogurt is a milk u see those wheels in my brain turning???
Alright, let's get to the recipe now.....

Pineapple pachadi

What u need:
Pineapple - 1 cup(diced into small pieces)
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 3 or 4(adjust to taste)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sour yogurt - 3/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder
Urad dal and mustard seeds - to tamper

Boil pineapple pieces in a pan along with turmeric powder and salt in just enough water to cover it. Grind coconut, green chillies, mustard seeds and yogurt into a smooth paste. Once the pineapple is cooked, add the ground mixture to it...heat for a few not let it boil. Tamper mustard seeds and urad dal in some coconut oil and pour on top of the pachadi.

Some memories associated with this dish:
  • Traditional sadya (feast) served on a banana leaf back home
  • My grandfather and me going and looking at the tiny pineapple blossoming in our back yard every single trying to see how much it's grown since the previous day
  • The wholesome aroma of sliced pineapple
  • The goosebumps I'd get from the sound of metal meeting the skin of the fruit...I still do
Check out Vineela's JFI round-up here