Monday, January 19, 2015

Vazhakkai Thoran



Thoran is a dry vegetable dish prepared with a variety of vegetables like beans, carrot, cabbage, beetroot etc. Whenever I get vazhakkai I prefer to make the mezhukkupuratti along with chenai. After a long time I prepared this thoran and we all loved it. It pairs well with Sambar, Rasam and Moru Kootan. I personally love it with Rasam.



What you'll need
  1. Vazhakkai/Plantain/Raw Banana – 4 small
  2. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  6. White Urad dal/Ulutham Paruppu – 1 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – few

Coarse Grind
  1. Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  2. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ½ cup

Method
  1. Peel the skin of the raw banana and chop them into small cubes. Keep the pieces immersed in a bowl with water and few spoons of buttermilk until use.
  2. Heat a Kadai with oil. Add mustard seeds, once they splutter add the urad dal and fry till the dal turns golden, now add the curry leaves and the drained raw banana pieces.
  3. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Add about ½ cup of water, cover with lid and cook on medium flame.
  4. Keep stirring once in a while to avoid burning.
  5. In the meanwhile, coarsely grind the coconut and green chillies. Do not add water.
  6. Once the vegetables are done, remove lid and roast on medium flame for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Now add the crushed coconut and green chilly mix and mix well. Fry for a couple of minutes. 
  8. Remove from heat and serve hot with sambar/rasam or moru kootan.




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Beetroot Thogayal



Beetroot is a very versatile vegetable and can be used to prepare anything from appetizers to desserts. They are one of the vegetables which liked by all at home. So I am always on the lookout for recipes that using this veggie. The Beetroot Khichadi and Beetroot rice is one of the favorites in our home.

Coming to this thogyal, it is a delicious blend of the hot, sweet and sour. Make sure to use enough red chillies or you may end with a very sweet thogayal. This thogayal, pairs well with rice and rotis. They make a great sandwich spread too. Do try it and and let me know how you enjoyed it.

What you'll need
  1. Beetroot – 2 cups, grated
  2. White Whole Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
  3. Dried Red Chillies – 3 to 4
  4. Tamarind – 1 inch piece
  5. Oil – 3 to 4 tsp
  6. Salt to taste

Method
  1. Heat a Kadai with a tsp of oil, fry the urad dal on medium flame, until is starts changing color. Now add the red chillies and tamarind piece and fry until the dal turn golden brown.
  2. Transfer into a plate.
  3. Add the remaining oil in the kadai,  add the grated beetroot and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Transfer the dal, tamarind and red chillies to a mixie jar and blend to a coarse powder.
  5. Now add the sautéed beetroot and grind. Add one or 2 spoons of water if required.
  6. Add salt to taste and give another pulse.
  7. Transfer to a bowl. Yummy beetroot thogayal is ready.

Serve as accompaniment with rice and Molagootal or just mix up with rice and enjoy.



Note:
  1. Adjust the amount of red chillies according to your taste. But this tastes better if slightly on the spicier side as the beets are sweet.
  2. In the mango season, you can substitute the tamarind with few pieces of raw mango.
  3. This thogyal can be had as an accompaniment with rotis and also a sandwich spread.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Karthigai Pori/Nel Pori Urundai



This year Karthigai falls on 5th of December. Karthigai is celebrated by sisters for the welfare of their brothers. Nei Appam, Nel Pori, Aval Pori and Adai are usually prepared and offered as neivedhyam in the evening during Sandhya time. Deepam/Vilakku/Diya are lit and placed all around and inside the house. 

In our house we usually don't make urundais/balls of the pori, the pori is just added to the jaggery syrup and mixed well. But I made them into balls so that it is easy to handle for my kids and is less messier. Try to use Paagu vellam or dark colored vellam. I could'nt find it here and so had to make do with the white jaggery that is available. 



What you’ll need
  1. Nel Pori – 4 heaped cups
  2. Powdered Jaggery – ¾ cup
  3. Water – ¼ cup
  4. Coconut – ¼ cup, cut into small pieces
  5. Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
  6. Dry ginger powder/Chukku Podi – ¼ tsp
  7. Ghee – to grease hand

Method
  1. Place the jaggery in a heavy bottomed kadai. Add ¼ cup of water and heat the jaggery on medium flame until the jaggery is dissolved completely.
  2. Strain the jaggery syrup for impurities.
  3. Wash the kadai and put it back on heat. Pour the jaggery syrup back into the kadai and heat it on medium flame.
  4. When the syrup starts boiling and frothing, add the coconut pieces and keep stirring.
  5. Keep a small bowl with water, once the syrup starts becoming thick, pour 2 to 3 drops of syrup in the water, you should be able to form a ball and when you put that ball on a plate, it should give a sound. This is “kal pagam”.
  6. Once the syrup reaches the kal pagam, turn off the flame and add the cardamom powder and ginger powder and then add pori to it and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a plate, grease hands with ghee and take a handful of the pori and press tightly in between the two hands and form a ball. Repeat with remaining pori, while the pori is still warm.


Note:

  1. The sweetness is just right, you can increase the jaggery to upto 1 cup if you like.
  2. Make sure the syrup reaches the kal pagam, else the pori will settle at the bottom and become soggy.







Thursday, November 27, 2014

Vazhaithandu Thayir Pachadi




My kids love anything with yogurt. They prefer yogurt to milk any day. No doubt they like raithas and thayir pachadis. And I find it easier to feed them veggies in this form as they eat it without a fuss. So here is a simple yet delicious and wholesome recipe and a great way to sneak in some vazhathandu. We usually prepare Molagootal to go with thayir pachadi, but you can have it with rice and sambar too.

What you’ll need
  1. Vazhaithandu – 1 cup, finely chopped
  2. Fresh Thick Curd/Yougurt – 1.5 cup
  3. Salt to taste

To grind
  1. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ¼ cup
  2. Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  3. Mustard Seeds – 1/8th tsp

For tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Curry Leaves – few

Method
  1. Finely chop the vazhathandu and put in a bowl of water with a spoon of buttermilk/curd until use.
  2. Drain the vazhathandu pieces from the buttermilk water, squeeze and place in a small vessel. Add salt and toss well. No need to add water.
  3. Pressure cook it for 3 whistles. I placed it in a small vessel along with the dal and rice. Else you can add little water and cook it on stove top too.
  4. Grind the coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds. You can add a little of the curds while grinding. Don’t add water.
  5. Beat the curds well add the ground mixture, cooked vazhathandu and mix well. Check for salt and add accordingly.
  6. Heat a small frying pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  7. Pour over the pachadi.




Vazhathandu pachadi is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with steamed rice and Molagootal.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Murungai Keerai Verum Arisi Adai/Drumstick Leaves Adai



Murungai Keerai/elai or drumstick leaves have a numerous health benefits. You can use it to prepare dishes like Molagootal, thoran or this adai. Cleaning the murungai Keerai definitely is time consuming. Each of the leaves have to be separated from the stem.

Verum Arisi adai can be prepared with many variations. You could add fenugreek seeds, or you could prepare by adding coconut gratings. If you live in parts of the world where you can’t find drumstick leaves easily then you could easily replace it with chopped spinach or methi/fenugreek leaves. Adai with fenugreek leaves is also very flavourful and tastes delicious.

What you’ll need
  1. Idly Rice/Puzhungal Arisi – 2 cups
  2. Murungai Elai/Drumstick Leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Oil for making the adai

Method
  1. Soak the idly rice in water for 4 to 5 hours. Drain and grind to a thick smooth paste.
  2. Add salt to taste and allow it to ferment for 8 to 12 hours.
  3. Before preparing the adai, add the washed drumstick leaves mix well. Add little water and dilute it. The batter should be of regular adai consistency, not very watery.
  4. Heat a tava, pour a ladle full of batter and spread into a slightly thick dosa. Make a hole in the middle and drizzle oil along the sides of the adai.
  5. Cook on medium flame, flip and cook the other side drizzle a spoon of oil. Cook until brown spots appear.




Serve hot with chutney/sambar/molagapodi or even with sugar.
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