April 30, 2012

Mango Ginger Pickle | Maa Inji Oorgai - A step by step recipe

Mango Ginger is not Mango+Ginger but rather a tangy spicy root (looks like ginger, tastes like raw mango). This pickle is my next favourite to Quick Mango Pickle. For me, as a person, I personally prefer quick pickles rather than waiting for it to be done (ok, patience is not my virtue when it comes to Pickles, but different strokes different folks, right ? ) Of course, its another matter if someone (read mostly mom) makes it for me and sets it in the fridge that I can just spoon over - thats another matter, truly ! But coming back to today's pickle, this was lying in my drafts ever since we made them (and consumed them too- so dont have the final pics), but I really thought this ought to be published and more so, for my Pickles and Preserves Fest & Giveaway thats on at my space here (have you sent your entry for the giveaway on this event?? If not, rush). Now over to the lipsmacking Mango Ginger Pickle !

Also sending this to Jayanthi's event - WTML, event by Gayathri

Prep time - 15 mins
Cook time - Nil (unless you temper the pickle)
Standing time - 12 hours min
Stays for - upto 2 - 3 months under refrigeration
Difficulty level - Medium
Serving Suggestions - Serve with Curd Rice or any other Rice Variety
  • Mango Ginger - 100 gms
  • Lemons - 12 nos (or 1/2 cup fresh Lemon Juice)
  • Green chillies - 25 gms
  • Rock Salt - 3 TBSP
  • Red Chilli powder - 2 TBSP
  • Sesame Oil - 4 TBSP
  • Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch

1) Wash and peel the Mango Ginger (Maa inji). Dry them thoroughly with a soft wet cloth and cut into thick roundels (as in the picture)
2) Wash, dry and slit green chillies (you may also deseed them if you wish). But be sure not to slit them through the length, but only 3/4 of the length.
3) In a large dry glass bowl, add the chopped Mango Ginger. To this add powdered rock salt, red chilli powder and the slit chillies. Let it stand for half an hour when the salt melts. Now add the juice of a dozen lemons directly to the bowl (or use 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice). Stir with a dry spoon. Allow it to stand for 3 - 4 hours, and then keep it covered for overnight or a minimum of 12 hours. The ginger would have softened by then.
4) For the tempering : Heat the sesame oil to smoking point and turn the heat to low. Now splutter mustard seeds and add asafoetida. Cool the tempering thoroughly (room temperature). Then add to the pickle, mix well and serve.
5) Bottle the pickle in a sterlised air right jar and refrigerate for longer shelf life. 

April 29, 2012

Adraki Rathaloo | Ginger flavoured Sweet potato stir fry

Adraki Rathaloo is a simple mildly flavoured stir fry that is super easy to put together and goes very well with steamed rice, curd rice or even Rasam-Rice. Once a fortnight, we have sweet potato in Tikki / Patties form , use it as a filling for Baked Samosas or even make a quick oil free Rathaloo Chaat. Compared to the potato, this tuber is known to be beneficial for diabetics too with its low glycemic Index. Addition of onions is totally optional and I havent added the same. The mild flavour of ginger in this stir fry is a wonderful discovery I made this noon  as we had this with Poricha Rasam, steamed rice for Sunday Lunch. 

Sending this to Blogging Marathon # 15 under "Accompaniments" theme as a day 7 entry. In case you have missed any of the last 6 days under this theme, here is a quick recap.

Now, over to the dish today. 
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 10 mins
Serves - 2
Difficulty level - Easy
Served with - Curd / yoghurt rice , Rasam+Rice
  • Sweet potato - 200 gms (about 2 medium sized ones)
  • Grated Ginger - 1/2 tsp (or if you prefer juilienne the Ginger)
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tempering : Mustard, curry leaves, Asafoetida, Urad Dal (1/2 tsp)

1) Wash and scrub the vegetable. Cube it with the skin on.
2) In a pan, add oil. Splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal and asafoetida. Once the dal turns slightly brown, add the grated ginger or juilennes of ginger. Saute lightly.
3) Add the cubed sweet potato, salt, turmeric and mix lightly.
4) Sprinkle 4 TBSP of water and cook covered on very low-medium heat for 8 - 10 mins.
5) Once the veggies are cooked, add the red chilli powder and saute once more with lid on for 2 more mins. 
6) Serve hot with steamed rice or even lemon rice etc.

April 28, 2012

Okra Stir fry (Vendakai dry curry), and a journey of a Satvic South Indian Thali

We are what we eat, isnt it ? Satvic food, amongst others counts as one of the ways to cleanse our body-mind-spirit on a continual basis. While food is mostly need based or even based on what is grown regionally, its the conditioning that one needs to get used to, that spices be used in moderation, and that we eat according to our body type and weather conditions. Thus we have the Simple or Pure Foods (Satvic), Rajasic (stimulating) or Tamasic (the base foods) in Indian Cooking. I am sure Indian Thalis (that have been designed over the ages keeping these things in mind) are more balanced, nutritious and recommended for everyday dining too :)

Ok, before I manage to fully put you to sleep with these trivia, I present today's dish, nee a pure Saatvic South Indian Thali (Thali in Hindi means platter). It is everyday dishes out together without any ginger / garlic/ onions and is also prepared with just 1 tsp of oil !! Yes, just 1 tsp of oil is used for the entire thali, and I must admit this was one of the most satisfying meals I have had in a longggg time :) Thanks to Valli's Thali Mela (to which this also goes to), I managed to cook an entire meal for myself (for lunch - something that I rustle up rarely as its cooking for only one person :)), and loved it. Also sending the Okra Stir fry (which was actually the star of this dish, and my personal personal favourite stir fry) to Blogging Marathon and my event Heirloom Recipes hosted by Saras

Lets get to the spread now :

Rice & Bread - Plain steamed rice & Phulkas (puffed Indian bread)
Accompaniments - Okra Stir fry (recipe below) & Tomato Rasam
Proteins - Sprouts Salad
Calcium / Dairy - Curd
Dips - Pudina Thogayal & Cucumber Pickle (recipe soon).
For Entire Thali:
Total prep time - 15 mins
Total cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 2 (I have shown one portion here)

For Okra Stir Fry:
Prep time - 10 mins. 
Cook time - 8 - 10 mins
Difficulty level - Easy
Spice level - medium
Serves - 2

Ingredients for Okra Stir Fry:

  • Okra (Lady's finger) - 150 gms
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Amchur Powder - 1/2 tsp (or 1/2 tsp of tamarind juice)
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
  • Grated coconut for garnish
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds , curry leaves, hing (asafoetida)

Wash, pat dry and trim the Okra. Cut into 1/2 inch bits.
In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Splutter mustard, curry leaves and asafoetida. Add turmeric and chopped okra. Saute for 2 mins. Add salt and cover and cook for 6-7 mins till done (but not mushy). 
Add amchur powder, red chilli powder, jaggery. Stir once and cook for further 2 mins (without cover).
Finish with grated coconut and serve with Rasam and Rice.

April 27, 2012

Pudina Thogayal | Mint Chutney

I had to double check all my posts to actually believe I hadn't posted Pudina Thogayal (Mint Chutney) at all. We make this at least once a fortnight, especially on the days you just want to have plain rice,rasam and this chutney (or thogayal) for lunch or dinner. With the mercury soaring, I wanted to do just that. And it turned out to be an amazing idea - flavourful, aromatic thogayal teamed with curd rice was most refreshing, especially coz I was done with my spring cleaning (that lasted a good half day!) and gladly dug into the thogayal with gusto :) This recipe for mint chutney is very different from the Green Chutney we use for Chaats.. I relished today's dish as it came to very close as  mom makes it at home, and for once I was glad to equal her perfect recipe :)

Mint is great for general digestion as it relieves acidity and cures indigestion. Mint Pearls (or in liquid form) is recommended for relieving excessive body heat as well. Although commercially sold, I love this in its fresh form. Make it to a chutney / sandwich or chaat spread / Raitha, or even sprinkle liberally on fresh salads, its sure to perk up the dish. Lets get to the recipe now. Sending this to BM # 15, Vardhini's Vegetarian Side Dishes and my own event - Kitchen Chronicles Heirloom recipes hosted by Saras and also to Srav's CC - Seasonal FoodAlso sending this to Jayanthi's event - WTML, event by Gayathri

Prep time - 10 mins 
Cook time -  05 mins 
Serves - 3
Difficulty level - Easy
Serving suggestions - Curd Rice / Steamed Rice
  • Pudina / Fresh mint leaves - 1 cup (packed tightly)
  • Fresh grated coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Urad Dal - 2 TBSP
  • Dry Red chillies - 2 nos (adjust spice)
  • Tamarind - a small gooseberry sized
  • Salt - to taste
  • Jaggery grated - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Tempering (optional) : Oil - 1/2 tsp, mustard seeds, asafoetida (a small pinch) 

1) Heat oil. Roast the dal & red chillies  on medium heat till the dals turn golden brown. Remove to a plate. Now in the same oil, saute the washed and drained mint leaves till they wilt a bit (about 3 -4 mins). Remove the leaves, and switch off the flame. In the hot pan, saute tamarind once for 1/2 min and switch off 
2) Grind the dal, mint leaves, grated coconut, tamarind with salt and jaggery to a thick paste adding very little water. Prepare tempering if you wish and add to the chutney and serve with hot steamed rice.

April 26, 2012

Vellarikai Khara Pachadi | Fiery Cucumber chutney

Vellarikai Khara Pachadi (Spicy Cucumber chutney) is another dish from my Paati's (maternal grandmom) stable. Spicy to the core, and relished with hot rice and ghee / nallennai (sesame oil) , this is one of the favourite accompaniments. 

And for some reason, I had totally forgotten this for quite some time, till a basketful of cucumbers landed in the refrigerator last week. Well I did make Kosumalli (Salads) and also Cucumber pickle (recipe here!), but then was lost for ideas, till mom reminded me on the phone. And boy, was I both ecstatic and impatient to make this. 

Amma gave me the recipe,and it came out well. For the scorching summers, this is one yummy side dish that never fails whichever part of the year.

Also, do check out the 20+ Chutney varieties on the blog to go with Idli / Dosa/ Pongal

And paired with yummy Curd rice, we had this for dinner. Even kiddo who is sceptical about new dishes (especially non baked ones) had this for a yummy filling meal. Traditionally, this dish is really spicy, so adjust the spice for your kitchen. 

Prep time - 10 mins 
Cook time - 10 mins (To roast the ingredients)
Serves - 3
Difficulty level - Easy
Serving suggestions - Steamed rice / Curd Rice
  • Tender Cucumbers - 2 medium sized (See Notes below)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tempering : oil (1/2 tsp), Mustard seeds, Curry leaves
For the masala paste:
  • Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Channa Dal - 2 TBSP
  • Red chillies - 3 nos
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch (skip for GF)
  • Tamarind - small gooseberry sized
  • Jaggery - 1/2 tsp 
  • Jeera / Cumin - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry Coriander seeds - 1 heaped TBSP

1) In a large pan, heat 1 TBSP oil. On medium heat, roast the channa dal, red chillies. Set aside. In the remaining oil, fry the dry coriander seeds, cumin, tamarind. Turn off the heat and add to the roasted dals-chillies. Add the grated coconut to the warm pan and saute for 1 min. Cool thoroughly. 
2) Grind this mixture (without salt) but with coconut and asafoetida to a very thick paste. 
3) Meanwhile, wash and peel cucumber. Dice into small tiny bits like you would do for Kosambari / Kosumalli (Indian cucumber salad). Mix the paste into the cucumbers till the masala paste coats the vegetable well. Do not add salt at this stage too.
4) Prepare the tempering. Once mustard splutters and curry leaves get slightly crisp, add to the chutney and mix well. Just before serving, add salt, mix well and serve immediately.

1) This dish tastes very well with very tender cucumbers.
2) If the cucumbers are not very tender, ensure to deseed the core, and then use the flesh only. 
3) This dish does not keep well for more than a day, even with refreigeration. Use the pachadi immediately.

April 25, 2012

Manga Kothamalli Chutney | Raw mango-cilantro chutney

What tempted me in this recipe was the unusual combo - Raw mango and cilantro... During summer days, can it get any better than that - two of my favourite ingredients coming together in a yummy tangy chutney .. Although I generally make this Instant mango pickle with raw green mangoes, I was inspired by Suma's recipe that I had bookmarked here. So, attempted this combo and loved it to bits.. I am always on the lookout for fun filled ways of introducing greens and veggies, and this was a power packed one for breakfast. Served it with Kanjivaram Idli, it was a total sellout with S giving it a 5/5 rating and kiddo lapping up her button idlis (which she likes only with Molagapudi) :) Wonderful way to start the morning, wouldnt you say ?

Thanks Suma for the recipe, which I modified a bit (sans peanuts and added carrots)... Am sure it would add to the growing list of yummy chutneys that my family loves so much. Now off to the recipe..

Prep time - 10 mins 
Cook time -  05 mins 
Serves - 3
Difficulty level - Easy
Serving suggestions - Idli Dosa or Uttapams / Chapati
  • Raw Mango grated - 1/4 cup
  • Dalia / Roasted Gram (aka Chutney dal) / Pottukadalai - 2 handfuls
  • Carrots grated - 1/4 cup
  • Cilantro / Coriander leaves - a handful
  • Grated coconut - 3 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Jaggery - 1 tsp (grated)
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, Asafoetida (Hing)

1) Wash and grate mango and carrots separately.
2) Wash and roughly chop coriander leaves.
3) In a pan, heat oil. Lightly saute the grated carrots, cilantro and grated mango for 1-2 mins till the cilantro wilts a bit and the raw smell of the carrots diminishes. Switch off the flame, and add the roasted gram and coconut and saute once more. 
4) Cool the mixture thoroughly, and grind it to a smooth chutney with salt and jaggery.
5) Transfer to a serving bowl. Prepare tempering and add to the chutney.
6) Serve with  Idli Dosa or Uttapams.

April 24, 2012

Badanekaayi Palya | Spicy Brinjal stir fry

Badanekaayi Palya (quite a tongue twister there, huh?) is a spicy brinjal based stir fry that has its origins in  Karnataka. Thee is another version of this called Ennegayi (stuffed brinjal) which is eaten with Jolada rotti (Jowar flat bread) in most parts of Karnataka. Today's is the simplified version with less spice and oil (as that's how) my family loves it. For the ennegaayi, the round brinjals are usually stuffed with a masala paste and sauteed in oil but for the Palya (sabji) we prefer to make it with longish batons of chopped brinjal. I shall post the stuffed version soon .

However for both dishes,the best quality dish can be had with the Mysore Badanekaayi (or the slender and tender green ones) although the purple variety is also preferred. Either way, make sure that the brinjals are slender and with very minimal seeds. Sending this to BM under "Accompaniments". Check the other marathoners here. Also to Vardhini's Healthy Side Dishes.

Prep time - 10 mins 

Cook time - 15 mins 
Serves - 3
Difficulty level - Easy

Serving suggestions - Steamed rice + Rasam

  • Tender brinjals - 150 gms
  • Oil - 3 TBSP
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Jaggery - 1 tsp (grated)
  • Tamarind extract  - 1/2 TBSP
  • Red Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp

For the Spice powder:
  • Dry coriander seeds - 1 TBSP
  • Channa Dal - 1/2 TBSP
  • Dry Red chillies - 3 or 4
  • Clove - 1 or 2
  • Cinnamon - 1/4 inch stick
  • Grated Dry copra / dried coconut - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tsp

(A) To make the spice powder:
In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. Fry the dry coriander seeds, dry red chillies and channa dal. Keep aside. In the same oil, turn off the flame and roast the rest of the ingredients for 1 min. Cool and grind the spice mixture.
(B) For the curry:
1) Wash and trim brinjals. Cut them into 2 inch long batons. 
2) Heat oil in a deep bottomed non stick pan. Splutter mustard, curry leaves and asafoetida. Add turmeric and the chopped brinjals. Add salt and saute till the oil coats them well. Sprinkle a very little quantity of water, cook and cover for 8-10 mins on medium flame. Do not add more than maybe 3-4 TBSP of water.
3) Once done (ensure the brinjals dont turn mashed up), add the tamarind extract, red chilli powder, jaggery and the ground spice powder. Stir once but dont over do it. Check for spice, cook with pan uncoverd for further 3-4 mins till the raw smell of the spice powder goes away.
4) Serve hot with Rasam / Sambhar or even chilled curd rice (yoghurt rice)

April 23, 2012

Paruppu Thogayal | Paruppu Thuvayal - Spicy Lentil Dip - a heirloom recipe

Each home in India has its own share of accompaniments - be it thogayals (thuvayals or chutneys), pickles, spicepowders - both for everyday meals as well as those made for occassions. I was recently reading a wonderfully chronicled book called "The Imperial Cholas" by the ITC Group (5 star hospitality chain) and there it mentions that these accompaniments were mostly made both to tickle the palate (with its blend of spices) as well as standins when vegetables were scarce. 

think both the reasons are so true : How else can the simple Idli reach to greater heights with a wonderfully divine Molagapudi (fiery lentil spice powder) ? Or how many days have you (in a typical south indian home) craved for just Paruppu Thogayal with just roasted papad, steamed rice topped with a dollop of ghee or sesame oil with no other vegetables to complement the meal ? 

Well, dont dream anymore... coz this is a lipsmacking Paruppu Thogayal today. Team it with white rice for a fulfilling meal .Every Tamilian household has their own version of Paruppu Thogayal, but this is my grandmom's recipe, and am very proud to present this here for another week of Blogging Marathon under "Accompaniments" theme and Vardhini's Healthy Side Dishes. Check out the other BMers here. Also sending this to my own event - Kitchen Chronicles Heirloom Recipes hosted by Saras. In case you have similar recipes posted in the month of April, rush your entries to Saras here.


Prep time - 10 mins 

Cook time - 5 mins (To roast the ingredients)

Serves - 3

Difficulty level - Easy

Serving suggestions - Steamed rice + any Rasam of your choice, Roasted papad

  • Sesame Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Toor Dal - 1/4 cup
  • Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu - a handful
  • Tamarind  - a small gooseberry sized unit
  • Jaggery - half the quantity of jaggery
  • Grated coconut - 5 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Dry Red chillies - 4 to 5 (adjust spice)
  • Hing / Asafoetida - a generous pinch
  • Tempering: Oil (1 tsp), Mustard seeds, Curry leaves

1) In a large pan, heat the Sesame oil. Roast the dals (lentils) on medium heat one by one till they turn golden brown and slightly crispy. Transfer to a plate. In the remaining oil, fry the tamarind, red chillies and transfer to the lentils plate. Cool completely. 
2) In the hot pan (without any oil), roast the coconut once for 1 mins (with flame switched off). This is crucial to improve the shelf life of the chutney,especially in summers. 
3) Now, DRY grind the dals, asafoetida, salt, jaggery to a very coarse powder (remember this is NOT a smooth chutney, but a rather coarse one, used to mix with the rice). 
4) Now add tamarind and about 3 - 4 TBSP of water and grind to a thick kind of consistency.
5) Transfer to a serving bowl.
6) Heat 1 tsp of oil. Splutter mustard and curry leaves. Pour onto chutney and serve immediately.

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