Monday, October 12, 2015

Vella Payaru Sundal/Black Eyed Peas/Lobia Sundal - Easy Navarathri Sundal Recipes

Navarthri is starting tomorrow. We usually keep a nice golu every year, but this year, with our move from Chennai to Pune, we had to leave behind most of our dolls in Chennai and hence we won’t be able to keep a grand golu. But I plan to keep at least a couple of dolls.
Navarathris are usually very busy. We never know when it started, and when the 10 days got over. Everyday an offering or neyvedhyam of Sundal or some payasam is prepared. Making sundal is very easy, except that you have to remember to soak the legumes the previous day night.
There are some legumes, that get cooked easily without much of prior soaking, like the Karamani, Pacha Payaru, Peanuts, Kadala Paruppu, Pasi Paruppu etc. This Lobia also does not require any soaking. But I like to soak it for just about 30 minutes. The lobia sundal is one of the very tasty ones and is loved by all in our house.

What you'll need

  1. Vella Payaru/Black Eyed Peas/Lobia – ½ cup
  2. Green Chillies – 2
  3. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  4. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ½ cup
  5. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  6. Curry Leaves – few
  7. Salt to taste
For Tempering

  1. Coconut oil – 2 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Urad Dal – ½ tsp

  1. Soak the Vella Payaru for ½ an hour.
  2. Pressure cook the payaru with just in enough water for 3- 4 whistles.
  3. Once the pressure is released, drain the water from the payaru. And set aside.
  4. In the meanwhile, grind green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and half of the mentioned coconut. Just enough to crush everything, don’t add water.
  5. Heat a Kadai with oil, add mustard seeds, once it splutters add urad dal and fry till it turns golden, now add the curry leaves and asafoetida.
  6. Then add the cooked payaru, salt to taste and the ground chilly coconut mixture.
  7. Mix well and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Next add the remaining scraped coconut and fry for another couple of minutes.
  9. Sundal is ready.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Samai Arisi Upma Kozhukattai | Little Millet Kozhukattai

Millets are becoming very popular now and many are replacing rice with millets. Millets are said to protect your heart health, lower type II diabetes, lowers risk of cancer, boosts respiratory health, improves your immune system etc.

I have been trying out recipes using different millets for sometime now. Millets can easily replace the rice in most of the recipes like pongal, upma, kozhukattai, idly, dosai etc. So here is my first post using millets. Hope to post a few more soon.

For this Kozhukattai, I have followed the same procedure as my upma Kozhukattai. The only thing is it requires a little more water to cook than the rice rava. Also, I find making kozhukattai with millets easier, as they are already very tiny and in the rava form. So no need to make rava.

Makes around 30 medium sized Kozhukattais
What you'll need
  1. Samai/Little Millet – 2 cup
  2. Scraped Fresh/frozen coconut – 1 cup
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Green Chillies – 3 to 4
  5. Curry Leaves – few sprigs

For tempering
  1. Coconut Oil – 1.5 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – 1 tbsp
  4. Urad dal/Ulutham Paruppu – 2 tsp
  5. Asafoetida/Hing – a generous pinch

  1. Wash and carefully drain the samai/little millet and set aside.
  2. Heat a Kadai with oil, temper with mustard seeds, once they splutter, add the channa dal and urad dal and fry until the dals turn golden.
  3. Add the chopped green chillies, curry leaves and hing, mix well.
  4. Now add 6 cups of water. Also add the scraped coconut and salt to taste. Bring this to a rolling boil.
  5. Now add the little millet and mix well. Cook covered in low heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the mixture resembles upma. Keep stirring once in a while.
  6. Transfer to a plate and let it and let it cool down a little.
  7. Wet you palms, and form golf ball sized balls or oval shape
  8. Place on a steamer or idly plate. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  9. Steam cook for 10 minutes.
Serve warm with coconut chutney or Sambar.

  1. The mixture should not become too crumbly, then you will not be able to form balls.
  2. Don’t let the mixture cool too much, make the balls when warm.
  3. You could dry roast about 1/4 cup of Tuar dal and powder it along with red chillies and add it while the water is boiling along with the coconut. This also gives a good taste.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Paruppu Kanji|Payatham Paruppu Kanji|Fasting Recipes

In our house we observe monthly fasts for Ekadashi. I have been observing the fast for a few years now. This Kanji is usually prepared on fasting days, especially on Shivarathri. My mother and MIL both prepare this kanji for Ekadashis too. This is very much like the paruppu payasam, except that since it is a kanji, we avoid adding cardamom and roasted cashewnuts.

There is another variation to this kanji, which is prepared by adding both Broken wheat or Godhumai Ravai and Pasi Paruppu. That also tastes very good.

Makes 3 to 4 cups

What you’ll need
  1. Split Moong Dal/Payatham paruppu/Pasi Paruppu – ¾ cup
  2. Powdered Jaggery – ¾ cup
  3. Milk – 2.5 to 3 cup
  1. Heat a Kadai, and dry roast the dal until it starts changing color and a nice aroma starts coming.
  2. Transfer it to a vessel, add just enough water, the water level needs to be just above the dal and pressure cook it for 3 whistles or until the dal is very soft. You could also cook it in a vessel by adding water and boiling.
  3. In the meanwhile,  heat a kadai, add the powdered jaggery with ½ cup of water, once the jaggery is dissolved, strain for impurities and pour it back into the kadai.
  4. When the jaggery syrup starts boiling, add the cooked and mashed dal and let it boil for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add the milk, mix well.
That’s it, paruppu kanji is ready.

Usually when made on fasting days, no cardamom or cashewnuts are added, but you can add if you like.
Also, make sure not to add too much water while cooking the dal, else the kanji will become very water.
Don't add the milk and boil in jaggery syrup, it may split.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fried Modakam

Vinayaka Chaturthi/Ganesh Chaturthi is just around the corner. Ganesha Chaturthi is one of my favourite festivals. Kozhukattais/Modakams are the most important neivdyam or offering prepared on this occasion. My favourite ones being the traditional thengai Poorna Kozhukattai and the Ulundu Kozhukattai.

Usually, my mother prepares only these 2 varieties of kozhukattais but my MIL prepares a variety of offerings like Brown channa Sundal, Chakkara Pongal, Paccha Arisi Idly, Nei Appam, Vadai and the kozhukattais of course.

The fried Modakams are also a very popular offering. These are usually prepared for Ganapati Homam. I had been wanting to try out these for a long time and finally made them a couple of days back. They turned out very nice.

I have also posted few other kozhukattais with different fillings. So this chaturthi, do try out one of these kozhukattais.

What you’ll need
For outer covering
  1. All Purpose Flour/Maida – ½ cup
  2. Semolina/Rava – ½ tbsp
  3. Ghee – 1 tsp
  4. Salt – a pinch
  5. Water to knead

For the filling
  1. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ¾ cup
  2. Powdered Jaggery – ¾ cup
  3. Cardamom – 4 to 5, powdered
  4. Ghee – 1 tsp

Oil to deep fry

  1. In a wide bowl, add the maida, rava, pinch of salt, and mix well.
  2. Add the ghee and rub well with fingers.
  3. Now add water little at a time and knead into a stiff dough. Slightly stiffer than the regular chappati dough.
  4. Cover and keep aside for at least 30 mins.

For the filling,
  1. Heat a kadai, and add the powdered jaggery with ¼ cup of water.
  2. Once the jaggery is dissolved, strain for impurities and pour back the jaggery water into the same kadai.
  3. Now let this come to a rolling boil, now add the scraped coconut and keep stirring.
  4. Cook until it has thickened well and the mixture starts leaving the sides of the kadai. Wet your hands and take a small portion of the mixture, you should be able to form a ball easily.
  5. Add the cardamom powder and ghee and mix well.
  6. Remove from heat. Transfer to another plate.
  7. Once the mixture is warm, grease your hands lightly and form small marble sized balls and keep aside.

To make the modakams
  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, into a thin disk, cut out small circles with a sharp lid.
  2. Place one of the coconut balls, in the centre of the small cut out circle, gather all the edges and seal tightly.
  3. Repeat with others. Make sure to seal the edges tightly else, the filling make come out and spoil the oil.
  4. Heat oil for deep frying, let it be hot but now smoking hot.
  5. Drop the modakams a few at a time and fry on medium heat until the outer covering turns golden.
  6. Drain on to a tissue paper. Delicious modakams are ready.

  1. Make sure to seal the edges very tight, else the modakam might open and the filling will come out and spoil the oil.
  2. Also make sure the filling is not very moist or watery, this will also result in leaky modakams.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Muthusaram|Mullu Murukku - Gokulashtami Recipes

Mullu Murukku or Muthusaram as it is called in the Palakkad Iyer community, is a popular savory prepared on festive occassions. It is one of the items in the "Cheeru"/Seeru, in a wedding. It is one of my favorite snack varieties. But somehow, it makes an appearance very rarely in my kitchen. Most of the times, I end up preparing either the thenkuzhal or ribbon pakodam as these are better liked by the family.
This time I wanted to try this and got the recipe from my mother. They turned out very well and were loved by all at home. 

What you’ll need
  1. Rice Flour – 3 cups
  2. Channa Dal/ Kadala Paruppu – 1/2 cup
  3. Moong Dal/ Pasi Paruppu – 1/2 cup

The following measurements are for 1 cup of riceflour + dal flour
  1. Butter – 1 tbsp
  2. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Oil to deep fry

  1. Dry roast the dals separately, until a nice aroma come out. Don’t over fry.
  2. Grind the dals into a fine powder. Sieve both the powders to get a fine powder. It is important to sieve the flour. Mix both the flours well and keep aside.
  3. For every 3 cups of rice flour use 1 cup of the mixed dal powder.
  4. Now take 1 cup at a time of this rice flour and dal flour mixture in a wide bowl.
  5. Add the butter, asafoetida and salt to taste. Mix well with hands.
  6. Add water little by little and make into soft dough. Don’t make it too loose or too stiff.
  7. Heat oil in a Kadai to deep fry.
  8. Take the murukku press and place either the single star plate.
  9. Place the dough in the murukku press and squeeze into spirals, on a plastic sheet or on the back of a flat ladle
  10. Carefully, transfer the murukku from the plastic sheet into your hands and slide into the oil. If squeezed on a ladle, then slowly slide it into the oil.
  11. Fry on medium flame, until the bubbles stop.
  12. Transfer into a kitchen tissue, cool and store in air tight container.
  1. Don't over fry the dals.
  2. If using store bought rice flour then use only 2 cups of rice flour for 1 cup of dal flour.
  3. Add the mentioned amount of butter or use hot oil, else, the muthusaram will turn hard. 
  4. If you feel muthusaram is hard, add more butter or oil, in the next batch.
  5. Knead 1 cup of dough at a time, else the muthusarams will become very red.
  6. The quality of rice flour is also important to get crunchy muthusaram. Homemade rice flour is recommended. 

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