April 29, 2016

Yam Fry Mini Meal | Chenaikizhangu Fry | Easy Side dishes

Yam or Senaikizhangu (aka Chenai in Tamil / Malayalam)  or Suran is another vegetable after Arbi / Colocasia (Sepankizhangu) thats welcomed mostly. The original plan for Alphabet Y was something else, but as that didnt materialise, I realised I had to post this often-made but never-posted dish which has been a family favourite. Amma makes yummy varuval (fried chips) too using this vegetable, but that's for another day :)


Some families dont cook this vegetable due to a food allergy OR even a skin itch that happens while cleaning / chopping the veggie. If one is not allergic, then the following tips can be followed to clean and chop the veggie (unless of course one is using the frozen / ready to use yam)
  1. Soak the elephant foot (aka Yam / Suran) in water for 20-30 mins - the outer mud clinging to it will dissolve away. Now pat dry with kitchen towels, and let it dry for 5 mins
  2. Now wear gloves or oil your hands with castor oil liberally and scrape out the outer thick skin with a sharp knife. 
  3. Wash the yam once again if required and chop into required size / shape. 
  4. If making, grease the slicer with sesame oil and make fries as desired.
  5. Using tamarind liberally while cooking also reduces any itch that might be caused while consuming this.

Lets get to today's dish - Chenaikizhangu Fry. Like the Chettinad Potato fry or Sepankizhangu Roast, this is one lipsmacking and addictive side dish for rice with Sambhar or Rasam or even Curd Rice.


Prep time : 15 mins, Cook time : 15 mins ; serves : 3

Ingredients:

  • Yam / Chenaikizhangu / Suran - 200 gms
  • Oil - 4 TBSP
  • Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Curry leaves - few
Masala mix  : 
  • Besan / Kadalai maavu / Gramflour - 2 TBSP
  • Rice flour / Arisi Maavu - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Amchur / dry mango powder - 1/4 tsp (opt.)
  • Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Dhaniya powder / Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Water - as required


Method:

  1. Wash and clean Chenai kizhangu as mentioned above. Slice into slightly thickish discs (of uniform thickness). 
  2. Place these slices in a bowl of hot water, add salt, turmeric and tamarind paste and cook covered for 6-7 mins. Drain completely.
  3. In a bowl, add all the ingredients for Masala paste and mix well. Add 2-3 TBSP water to make a thick paste (like how you would make for bajji / Pakora)
  4. Heat a non stick pan / tava, heat 4 TBSP Oil. Dip the boiled yam slices in the masala paste and place gently on the pan, without overlapping. Cook till roasted well on medium flame and flip on the other side till both sides are well roasted. (you could fry this vegetable dipped in masala directly in oil, but I chose topan fry for obvious reasons). Repeat till the batch of veggies gets done. 
  5. You may require a little more or less oil depending on the thickness sliced and the masala paste consistency. 
  6. In the remaining oil, spurt curry leaves till crisp. use as garnish for the fry.
  7. Serve hot with Rasam + rice 
  8. Here served with Lauki Dal + rice, curd







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April 28, 2016

Ulundogorai | How to make Ulundorai | Naivedyam Recipes | Iyengar Festival recipes

Rice is the predominant ingredient in Tamilnadu cooking. Most of the districts in the state are blessed with rich river banks and abundant water which facilitate rice cultivation through the district.

There are so many varieties of rice (more than 50 + varieties of Rice apparently cultivated in Tamilnadu according to Wiki here),and although millets are slowly replacing rice in everyday dishes like Idli / Dosa / Pongal, there are still some traditional dishes which are based on rice - like Kovil Prasadams (temple offerings) / naivedyams made to God in most temples around South India. All of these offerings made in Vaishnavite temples are free of onion - garlic and mostly made using pure ghee and other prescribed materials

Some of these rice based offerings include:





Today's dish - Ulundorai / Ulundogorai too is made at Srirangam Temple in Trichy and offered to Lord Balaji especially on Saturdays at my place. We made this for the Ugadi spread that husband and me cooked together earlier this month. 



So Ulundu Ogarai = Ulundu (Urad dal / split black gram / Ulutham Paruppu) + Ogarai = tempered rice.

Lets see how to make this

Prep time : 10 mins, cook time : 15 mins , serves : 4
Spice level : Medium  to high

Ingredients:

  • Rice - short grained variety - 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 TBSP 
  • Ulutham Paruppu / Urad dal (dehusked split black gram) - 3 TBSP
  • Red chillies - 3 to 4 
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch (about 1/8 tsp)
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Tempering : oil 1 tsp, urad dal (1/2 tsp) mustard seeds, few cashewnuts (opt.), few curry leaves
  • Ghee - 2 tsp (optional but recommended, skip for a vegan version)


Method:

  1. Cook rice and fluff the rice into separate grains in a flat plate. 
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat 2 TBSP of oil. Saute urad dal, chillies and fry on low-medium flame till golden brown. Add pepper corns towards the end and switch off the flame. Cool completely and grind ina spice grinder. 
  3. In a non stick pan, heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves. Fry the cashewnuts & 1/2 tsp urad dal till golden brown. Immediately add the spice powder, salt and mix well. Switch off the flame, add the rice and mix well. Add salt and adjust salt + spices.
  4. If using ghee, add once rice is mixed with masala, 
  5. Serve warm or offer for Naivedyam .
  6. Keeps for 2-3 days under refrigeration. 

Xtra Special Saapadu l Festival Meal | Meal Ideas

As part of the Tamil cuisine series on  JTTC (Journey Through the Cuisines) this month, we enter alphabet X today. Obviously, no Tamil ingredient starts from X (or Z in the next two days), so I need to use the English Alphabet.



And so, here it is : Xtra Special Festival meal.

Why is it special ?

For the following reasons -
  • It was a meal cooked by both husband and me together for the first time - for the Ugadi festival feast earlier this month . He helped me prep, chop and cooked along with me. So its Xtra Special :D - It also gave me an opportunity to make Ulundorai for the blog specially :))
  • Start (including prep) to finish time was 45 mins flat
  • Its also satvik and entirely onion-garlic free
  • Entire meal was cooked in just 4 TBSP of oil
  • It contains one new dish which is a favourite with both hubby and me - Ulundogorai
  • Also special coz my elder one clicked most of the pics (after the Naivedyam / offering was done to God)
  • My little one ate the fryums and said "amma very nice mammam (food)" :D
  • And yes, this is a no-recipe post with just one new recipe post of Ulundogorai in a separate post :)


I didnt need any more reason to make it xtra special.. So enjoy the treat !

Featured below, clockwise:

1) Ulundogorai (Urad dal spiced rice) - recipe here
2) Tomato Rasam
3) Avial
4) Fryums / Arisi Vadam / Vathal
5) Steamed Rice
6) Manga Pachadi (raw mango tangy gravy)
7) Elai Paruppu (Toor dal cooked and a pinch of turmeric & added)







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April 27, 2016

Wholegrain Vegetable Adai | Navadhanya Adai | Healthy Breakfast dishes | Diabetic recipes

Adai dosa (or thick mixed lentil dosa / crepes) are sought after at home regularly. On one of my visits to my husband's rakhi sister's house , & she mentioned a very unique Adai was this wholegrains and whole lentils to add lots of protein and fibre. It comprises 9 grains and is also called Navadhanya Adai.

Needless to say, this is a very filling dish for kids and adults alike and brimming with taste. I tried out a small batch to test it at home. And added some more vegetables for a sumptuous Sunday Brunch. We loved it a lot. Can be had as is, or with some jaggery and ghee or Avial to make a complete meal.

Follow Notes below for more detailed info..


Some other Adai / Dosa varieties featured on this blog...



Sending this to Alphabet W of the Journey Through the Cuisines (JTTC) Blogging Tamil Mega Marathon. Hope you enjoyed the fare dished out so far.

Prep time : 15 mins , Soaking time : 8 hours, Grinding time : 15 mins,
Fermenting time : 10 hours or overnight (for tropical climes), in chilled weather, fermentation might take longer.
Makes : 8-10 medium sized Adai.
Serving Suggestions :  chutney / Jaggery + ghee / Avial.

Wholegrain vegetable Adai : Vegan & GF Lentil Fibre rich Adai / Crepes

Ingredients: (1 cup = 200 ml)
  • Brown Rice - 1/2 cup
  • Normal Rice - 1/2 cup
  • Barley - 1/4 cup
  • Red chillies - 6 (adjust spice) 
  • Whole Chickpeas / Kabuli Channa - 1/4 cup ( I used the dark brown variety)
  • Rajma /kidney beans - 1/4 cup
  • Whole Toor Dal - 1/4 cup
  • Whole Urad dal (dehusked) - 1/4 cup
  • Green Whole Moong dal (with the skin on) - 1/4 cup
  • Masoor - 2 TBSP
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - to fry the dosa
Addons: (totally optional)
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • grated jaggery - 1 TBSP
  • Shredded onions - 1/4 cups
  • grated carrots - 2 TBSP
  • Toasted sesame seeds - 1 tsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tsp

Method:
  1. Wash and soak the grains for 7-8 hours. I soaked the rice varieties together. And the 7 lentil / pulses varieties together in a separate bowl. Drain and retain the water. Grind the pulses first to a smooth paste. Add the rice in small quantities to a smooth batter (takes about 15/20 mins). 
  2. Add salt and mix well. Let it ferment overnight or for 8-10 hours (in very tropical climes or peak summer, it will ferment within few hours itself, dont let the batter go sour else the adai will harden)
  3. Beat the fermented batter. 
  4. To a portion of the batter, Tip in the Addons except sesame seeds, mix well.
  5. Pour a thickish Adai / Dosa in the centre of a well heated skillet / tava. Do not spread thin like normal dosa. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds. 
  6. Drizzle oil around the sides, let it cook on one side on low-medium flame (about 2 mins), flip and let it cook on other side (for under 30-45 seconds).
  7. Serve immediately with chutney / Jaggery + ghee / Avial
Notes:
  1. In other navadhanya adai recipes, the proportions and grains vary, but this is what worked for us. 
  2. Dont let the batter turn sour. Fermentation time depends on the climate outside.
  3. If making for kids, turn down the spice or add some grated cheese while flipping the dosa - they will like it :) for them, you may also use a ghee+oil mixture for pan frying the dosa, it would be very tasty :) 
  4. As you are using wholegrains, thorough soaking is very essential.
  5. Addons are optional, but makes it very tasty and soft too.



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April 26, 2016

Vendhaya Kuzhambu | How to make Vendhaya Kuzhambu | Mini Meal series

After yesterday's Urundai Kuzhambu, here's another Kuzhambu (gravy) which was practically my initiation to Tamilnadu cuisine post my wedding.

For the uninitiated, Kuzhambus are tamarind based gravies (with or without any vegetables, but definitely without any dal / lentil), whereas Sambhar was a thicker gravy with base of cooked lentils, with veggies and a little tamarind and sambhar powder thrown in.

I was so used to the latter style on an everyday basis when our 3 course meal meant rice + sambhar, rice + rasam , rice + curd / buttermilk for everyday meals :)

Coming from the Karnataka side of cooking , these kuzhambus / tamarind gravies not only sounded alien at first, but devilishly difficult to attempt. I should have listened to my paati (grandmom) when she was keen to give out recipes back home :)

And it was for me. Today when I think about it, the first time I made this 2 weeks into our wedding (with some vague idea of how it should taste), I made the kuzhambu.

Only the husband called it rasam.

And I cried.

And tried. and Tried.

Till someone pointed me in the direction of some tamil cookbooks, from where I picked up the nuances of these tamarind based gravies.

And this Kuzhambu is made almost every time the husband comes back from a long trip, and soothes his palate from the dry-and-in-your-face airline / hotel food !!

So, this mini meal is basically one of the Sunday brunches, and although the dishes look a lot, with some planning, you can put it together in less than an hour (max 75 mins) for about 4-5 people.


In the mini meal, we have (as numbered in the pic below):

1. Karivepalai Thogayal / Thuvayal (Thick Chutney made with curry leaves)
2. Maanga Saadam (raw mango flavoured rice)
3. Steamed rice
4. Vendhaya Kozhambu
5. Vendekkai Thayir Pachadi (Okra raita / Okra in yoghurt sauce)
6. Potato fry (which is a staple for our Sunday Brunch)
7. Avarekai Poriyal (flat beans stir fry)

So, lets get to the Kuzhambu. Vendhaya Kuzambu - Vegan Tamarind gravy 

Prep time : 10 mins | cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 4

Ingredients:


  • Sesame / gingelly oil - 2 TBSP
  • Tamarind - 1 large gooseberry size
  • Hot water - 3 cups
  • Methi Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Toor dal / Thuvaram Paruppu - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Rasam / Sambhar powder - 1 TBSP
  • Jaggery & Salt - to taste
  • Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp (skip for GF version)
  • Rice flour - 2 tsp
  • Tempering : mustard seeds, broken red chillies (2), curry leaves - few


Method:

  1. Soak tamarind in hot water for 10 mins and extract the thick pulp. In a deep bottomed pan (typically a cast iron one), heat 2 TBSP oil. splutter mustard seeds, methi seeds, broken red chillies, curry leaves. 
  2. Then add the toor dal and fry for 30 secs till it turns golden brown. Add the turmeric and rasam/sambhar powder and quickly stir to fry them but not burn them
  3. Now add the tamarind pulp, requisite salt and let it cook for 10-12 mins. 
  4. Add hing / asafoetida, jaggery and cook again for 1-2 mins till it thickens.
  5. If the Kuzhambu is still watery, make a slurry paste of rice flour with 1 tsp of water and add gently. 
  6. It will be cooked, when the oil starts leaving the sides and its a thick dark gravy
  7. Check for salt and spices.
  8. Serve immediately with hot steamed rice. For a tastier version, drizzle a generous 2 TBSP more Sesame oil once done and let it sit for 2-3 hours before serving. It tastes divine.
  9. Keeps for upto 4-5 days under refrigeration. 





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April 25, 2016

Urundai Kuzhambu, and a tribute to my grandmom | How to make Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu | No Onion No Garlic Gravy | Side Dishes

At the outset : Long Post Alert !!
And rightfully too. If this is to be a tribute to that wonderful lady - my maternal grand mom with whom I have very fond memories : A gutsy lady who was so much ahead of her times, and fed people amazing food , lovingly too, no matter what time of the day.

If I may say so, she was the Raymond Blanc of her all time :)

Back from, and prior to school, sis and me used to spend all our time with our grandparents ; and while there was never a harsh word spoken, love-dipped discipline was the key : be it to rinse clean the school lunch box no matter how old one was (no child labour here!! :D)., keep the house spic and span, finish homework before heading out to play, be back home at the stroke of 7pm for the evening prayers and shlokas (hymns) recitals for half an hour, while she taught us so many songs as she was multi tasking in the kitchen preparing the evening dinner.


One had to learn by watching her cook : no cups or ladles were used for measurement : her fist and fingers were more precise than a weighing scales, and once the dish was made, all she would give out was tips to create them the  perfect way. She made sure we helped her cook doing some hands-on jobs like chopping the cucumbers perfectly thin sliced for the Kosambari, the coconut grated without any brown scales for the dishes, how to watch the homemade butter turn into golden ghee, sun dry and only then dry roast the spices for the various home made spice powders / condiments / Sweetmeats, especially the hallmark dishes like Chutneypudi , Thengai Barfi (Coconut Sugar fudge)Kothamalli Thokku and  which were always in demand with visiting guests (of whom we had aplenty, through the year).

Her making Ellu Bella (a sesame based trail mix) & obbattu (Poli)  especially on the festive days, with Amma (mom) is completely etched in my mind.

Her cooking knew no bounds, and I remember way back in the 80s she even attempted making puff pastry at home, coz she wasn't a fan of bakery stuff, but was keen to learn how to re-create outside food stuff at home, healthily.

Nostalgia strikes :))

Truth be told : I cooked today's dish for the first time after Paati (grandmom) passed away in 2012, till then I had a vague idea of how this dish tasted, for I wasn't much of a fan when she used to make it.

Without refrigerators in her time, she devised ways of keeping this dish fresh in multiple water cooled containers so it tasted better the next day (it still does!!)

So, Urundai Kuzhambu a.k.a Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu it is for Journey Through the Cuisines (JTTC) as we enter the last week today.

It has a relatively long prep and cook time, but totally worth the time.

Prep time : 20 mins ; Cook time : 30 mins ; Serves : 6

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu  - Steamed spicy Lentil dumplings in spicy tangy tamarind sauce
Vegan, can be made GF if needed
Side dish for steamed rice
Served here with Cluster beans stir fry (kothavarangai poriyal) , steamed rice, Potato raita (Urulaikizhangu Thayir Pachadi), Quick Amla pickle.

Ingredients:

For the Urundai (dumplings):
Toor dal / Thuvaram Paruppu / split pigeon pea -1 cup (1 cup = 200 ml)
Salt - to taste
Rice flour - 2 tsp (opt.)
Coriander leaves - few - finely chopped
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 6 nos
Oil - 3 tsp

Kuzhambu / Gravy:
Oil - 2 TBSP
Methi / fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - 1 big roundel (about 30/35 gms)
Hot water - 2.5 cups
Sambhar Powder - 2 TBSP
Salt - to taste
Jaggery  - 1 TBSP
Rice flour - for thickening - 2 tsp

Tempering:
Sesame oil - 4 TBSP (dont scrimp)
Red chillies - 2 nos (broken)
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp (skip for GF version)
Curry leaves - few

Method:

Pre-Preps : 
1) Soak toor dal with the red chillies in hot water,kept covered for 30-45 mins.
2) Soak Tamarind in hot water for 20-25 mins, Extract pulp after draining seeds / impurities if any. Keep aside.

For the Urundai : 
Drain water from soaked dal, Grind to a very smooth paste, add salt, rice flour, turmeric, coriander leaves and mix well. Make them into dumplings with wet hands, steam in a idli steamer / cooker without whistle for a good 15-17 mins. Cool and lightly saute them in 2 tsp of oil for 1 -2 mins and keep aside.

Kuzhambu / Gravy:
While the dumplings are steaming, prepare the kuzhambu : In a pan, heat 2 TBSP oil, add methi seeds , let it brown a bit , add sambhar powder, tamarind pulp and hot water, let it come to a rolling boil. Once the tamarind cooks, and the oil starts to leave the sides, Make a paste of rice flour in 4 tsp of water and add to the gravy, cook for further 5-6 till the gravy thickens. Now add the jaggery, steamed dumplings / Urundai and let it simmer for 3-4 mins more till it absorbs the flavours.

Tempering: 
Once the kuzhambu is cooked, make a tempering with the ingredients and pour over the kuzhambu , rest the dish for atleast an hour before serving. It tastes better after a few hours.

Keeps under refrigeration for upto 4-5 days.







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April 23, 2016

Thakkali Chutney | Chettinad Khara Chutney | Tomato Onion Chutney | Side dish for Idli Dosa

One of the introductions to Tamilnadu Cooking was the Thakkali Chutney which was served with IdliVadaDosa , Pongal and perhaps even Upma in most restaurants. We hardly made it at home, although we made 15+ varieties of chutneys on rotation to serve on the South Indian Breakfast Menu. I made this chettinad style so also called this Chettinad Khara Chutney.

Perhaps the fact that Patti (my maternal grandmom) didnt really approve of ingesting onions or cooking with them on an everyday basis (she herself abstained from a LOT of items, including onion / garlic / store bought poha / sevai etc... the list was practically endless), I didn't make it as frequently even after marriage.

I must admit this has slowly grown on me, but when I made the Chettinad Breakfast spread with Idli , Vada, Paniyaram, Kara Paniyaram etc, I HAD to make it. The recipe is long overdue although I made it again separately for the individual clicks for this recipe.

The dish / Spice levels vary from family to family, although I know for sure that coconut is not used. Some use fried gram (pottukadalai), whereas some dont. Its really a matter of suiting one's palate.

But one thing is : if you are a lover of this chutney, you are sure to agree that it perks up any South Indian breakfast and leaves you with a tangy - spicy- fiery mixture that you would reach out for the coffee :D

Till then, a quick recipe :

Thakkali Chutney / Chettinad Khara Chutney : a  GF, Vegan Tomato spicy Chutney

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • Tomato (ripe) - 4 large
  • Onions (shallots are preferred) - 2 large (or about 2/3 cup of peeled shallots)
  • Dry Red chillies - 2 nos
  • Kashmir red chillies - 3 nos
  • Green chillies - 2 nos (adjust spice)
  • Garlic pods - 5 nos.
  • Tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp (omit if the tomatoes are very sour)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Jaggery - 1 tsp (opt. - I didnt add)
  • Pottukadalai / fried gram / chutneydal - 2 TBSP
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Tempering :Oil 1 tsp, mustard seeds, curry leaves.

Method:
  1. Soak tamarind in warm water for 5 mins.
  2. In a pan, add 2 tsp oil, saute, garlic, chillies - dry and green, shallots well till the raw smell disappears. 
  3. Now add tomatoes and saute well till they shrink a bit
  4. Cool and grind with the rest of the ingredients to a smooth paste with little or no water.
  5. Make tempering: splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves in 1 tsp oil, add to the chutney
  6. Mix well and serve with Idli / Dosa/ Vada/ Pongal / Paniyaram immediately.


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April 22, 2016

Sakkaravalli Kizhangu Puli Kozhambu | Sweet potato in tangy Gravy | Satvik Side Dishes | No onion no garlic recipe

That header sure must have been a tongue twister (the tamil names usually are a challenge for native speakers too). But this Mega BM, I have tried to use as many authentic Tamil names for the dishes presented as possible, and attempted to make everyday cooking simplified for home cooks and those attempting Tamil Cuisine at their homes. As this tuber is low in GI (Glycemic Index), diabetics can also indulge this gravy with steamed brown rice or Cooked Lapsi (broken wheat)


Let me demystify the title for you:

Sakkaravalli Kizhangu = sweet Potato / Rathaalu / ShakkarKhand
Puli = Tamarind
Kozhambu OR Kuzhambu = a gravy generally made without pulses / lentils


So there you are Sweet potato in tangy Spicy Gravy : Makes for an excellent side to Steamed rice or Curd Rice. Tastes even better the next day.

Hope you are enjoying the Tamil Cuisine spread dished out so far this month. Here's a quick recap---


a
b
c
d
e
f
g
h
i
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much my family loves this tuber. While you are comtemplating making this sambhar, do have a go at other dishes using this Sweet Potato like :




Prep time: 15 mins , cook time : 20 mins , Serves : 4
Vegan Tamarind Spicy Gravy with Sweet potatoes



Serving Suggestions : Steamed Rice / Curd Rice / Pongal / Upma

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato - 250 gms (1 large tuber or 2 medium)
  • Tamarind - 1 large lemon sized
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sesame oil - 3 TBSP
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Sambhar powder ** - 2 tsp
  • Jaggery - to taste (opt.)
  • Tempering : Oil (1 tsp), mustard seeds (1 tsp), Broken Red chillies - 2 nos, curry leaves (few), Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp, Toor dal / thuvaram paruppu - 1/2 TBSP, Asafeotida - a generous pinch (1/8 tsp)

** if not using readymade powder, roast 2 tsp of dry coriander seeds, 1 tsp of jeera (cumin), 3 red chillies, 1/2 tsp pepper in 1 tsp oil separately. Cool and powder and use for the above recipe


Method:

  1. Wash, and chop Sweet potatoes into thickish roundels (any shape works fine as long as they are evenly cut). 
  2. Pressure cook for 1-2 whistles until done but not mushy (alternately, you can boil them in a large pan with lots of water and its fork ready). 
  3. Meanwhile, Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of water for 15/ 20 mins and extract the pulp. 
  4. In a deep bottomed pan, heat the sesame oil, splutter the tempering ingredients on a low flame, once the toor dal slightly browns, add the spice powder and turmeric and fry for 15-20 seconds. 
  5. Now add the tamarind pulp (strained of all dirt), add the salt and let it simmer for 10-12 mins.
  6. Then add the cooked sweet potato, jaggery and let it cook for further 1-2 mins
  7. If at this stage, the gravy doesnt thicken, add 2 tsp of rice flour in 4 tsp of water and mix well. Add this slurry to the simmering gravy.
  8. Let it thicken till a spoon appears glossy and oil separates. 
  9. Serve hot / warm with above suggested dishes. Tastes great especially with rice and pongal too :)  


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