Friday, November 30, 2007

Inji Kuzhambu



Inji/Ginger,we all know has its own medicinal properties as a carminative and goes into a variety of appetising drinks, curries and side dishes. More about this rhizome here.
This is a recipe by my husband's grandma,which I prepare at least once a week.This Kuzhambu, for boiled rice is definitely opted in our family as a 'back home delicacy' after a holiday.

I prepared the 'comfort curry' along with Urulai kara kari, Tempered green gram dal, Rasam and Vadagam, this time soon back after my 4 day stay in Chennai and proved to be soothing as always! :)

As you can guess by now this is submission to dear Sunita for Think Spice...think ginger.

I feel extremely happy to 'jump into' her great event in the last minute.No words to thank you dear Sunita, really very sweet of you to accept my entry so late!.
Thanks to my new camera which made the post complete.The curryI had made is actually thicker than you see here and I am not so happy with the picture as in a hurry to enter the event and will update with a better one, later as I have yet to get used to my new cam as well ;)...





Ingredients:

Ginger(diced)- 1 1/2"piece
Coriander seeds -3 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds(venthayam) -1/2 tsp
Thoor dal- 2 tsps
Red chillies- 6-7 nos
Thick tamarind extract- 1/3 cup or to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Gingelly oil- 2-3 tbsps
Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp for seasoning
Curry leaves- a stalk

Method:

1. Heat one or two tsps of oil in a kadai, roast diced ginger, coriander seeds, fenugreek,thoor dal and redchillies one after the other carefully in a medium flame. Use a heavy bottomed utensil for even roasting. Be careful not to 'over' or "under" roast.

2. Grind to a smooth paste adding enough water.

3. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and splutter the mustards, fry curry leaves.(I always throw in a tsp of finely minced ginger again at this stage as both of us are ginger lovers and we love to chew in those tiny bits blended along with the rice and curry).

4. Add tamarind extract, ground paste,turmeric powder, salt, a cup of water and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Add more or less water( if needed) till a semi thick consistency is reached.

5. Remove from fire when the curry becomes thicker, oil separates and the raw smell disappears.

Serve hot with rice and vegetable of your choice.

Inji Kuzhambu has a longer shelf life compared to the other curries and stays well upto 3 weeks if refrigerated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kaplanga Ularthu/Stir-fried Green Papaya


I had been a little away from home recently and had not been up with regular updations and blog visits.To top up, my camera failed to function, unexpectedly.Now that I am back with a simple dish.

Papaya, as you all know, is a common and well known Indian fruit.I have not come across much of dishes with the vegetable or the 'Green Papaya' in South Indian Cuisine other than Kerala. The tree laden with the vegetable is from my mom's garden and the dish was prepared fresh from a couple of them.


Kaplanga is nothing but papaya.Ularthu or Mezhukkupuratti is an oil coated stirfry associated with God's own country. Mezhukkupurattis had always rendered me the fine memories of Kerala with the mingled aroma of coconut oil and I love this mild spicy mix of the green vegetable.
This authentic recipe is posted specially for Suganya towards her lovely theme of Vegan Ventures.


Ingredients:

Raw Green Papaya, deskinned, cleaned and cut onto thin 1" long strips-2 cups
Shallots-3- crushed or minced fine
Garlic-2 cloves- crushed or minced fine
Turmeric powder-2 fat pinches
Coconut oil-A tbsp(more or less)
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Red chillies-4-broken into 3 pieces each
Curry leaves-A sprig
Salt-to taste



Method:

Cook the papaya pieces in a closed pan adding turmeric and salt in ¼ cup of water for about 5 minutes till the water is absorbed and the pieces are half cooked.
Heat oil in a kadai,splutter the mustard seeds.Add the crushed or minced shallots and the garlic and saute till the aroma spreads arounds.Throw in the red chillies and curry leaves,followed by the papaya strips.Keep the flame medium and toss the pieces gently allowing the oil to coat all over and the pieces are glossy.Turn or toss gently for a few more minutes till they acquire a golden colour as in the picture.Do not let it get fried for long.Toss again and serve hot with rice and curry.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Arusuvai Friendship Chain - Gobi Manchurian!..


I received the much eagerly awaited packets of Arusuvai Surprise Ingredient from dear Lathamma of Yum Blog just the proceeding week she had made the announcement!.

Renuka and myself were thrilled to receive them, almost the same time on 7th Nov-the Diwali Eve!!..

To much of our surprise we received Laddoos which dear Lathamma had made in the announcement post!..they had been turned to boondis due to the mishandling by the courier people, yet they tasted PERFECT!!..with all the bursting aroma of cardamom and cloves and the soft, chewy, sweetness was divine!!..
Moreover the packets and the laddoos were seated comfortably in Tupperware containers, she had Gifted specially for both of us!!.

Thanks a ton, my sweet Lady!!:)


The packet I received was pure white in colour and had a very powdery texture.I sniffed it and tasted a pinch and soon came to the conclusion-CORN FLOUR!! :D..
I'm pretty comfortable with this ingredient when it comes to Indochinese cooking and decided to come up with the semi dry version of Gobi Manchurian; as the name suggests a well known Indochinese side dish.

Here goes...

Ingredients:

1 Medium Gobi/Cauliflower-cut into florets

For the batter,

½ cup Cornflour(the surprise ing :))
½ cup Maida/All purpose flour
2 tsps of Ginger + Garlic-crushed
3 small onions/shallots-crushed
A tsp Red chilly powder
Salt-to taste
Oil- to deep fry

Final Mix up;

2 tbsp-Oil
A tbsp of Ginger + Garlic-julienned
A Capsicum(green or red)-cut into ½ inch squares
A Big Onion- cut into ½ inch squares
2 tbsp-Soy sauce
2 tbsp-Green chilly sauce
A tsp red chilly powder
Salt-to taste
Spring onions-to garnish


The Surprise Ingredient was white in colour and very powdery in texture which was confirmed to be “Cornflour”and the yummy "Laddoos-turned-to-Boondis!"...The Tupperware containers were also gifted along with!..:)

“IN” goes the Ingredient with the others.

The batter into which the precooked florets were dipped and deep fried.

Method:

1. Wash the cauliflower florets and boil them for a couple of minutes in salted water(should be just 1/4th cooked and not over cooked).Drain and keep aside.

2. Mix cornflour, maida, crushed ginger garlic, small onions ,chilly powder and salt with warm water to make a thick batter.

3. Dip Cauliflower florets into this batter and deep fry them until golden brown. Set aside.

4. Now for the mixing up part ; in a broad and wide wok, heat 2tbsp oil and sauté the sliced ginger-garlic, onion and capsicum in that order and saute for a couple of minute.The onions and capsicum should retain its crispiness and do not let them turn brown.They need to be just translucent.

5. Now add the red chilly powder, soy and chilly sauces in high flame and mix continuously for a few seconds.

6. Add ½ cup of water to this and fried and cooled gobi chunks.

7. Sauté again for 3-4 minutes to absorb excess water of any and switch off fire when it is semi dry/ saucy consistency has reached. Let the pieces be 'a li'l crisp' and not soggy at this stage.

Garnish with freshly chopped spring onion greens and serve hot with Indochinese noodles or rice.


My packets of Surprise Ingredients are already off to my dear blogger friends Lakshmi and Lissie ; of course with personalised letters :)…

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Corn flake Cookies


Residing in a country like India, Cornflakes had seldom fallen under our breakfast menu, except for our foreign trips when they used to appear regularly on our breakfast tables!.
We do love its crunchiness mingled with the chillness of the fresh milk and the chewy dry fruits added, when we make decisions to continue this ‘healthy diet norm’ back home..and back to India, alas!, we would bounce back to our regular heavy diets of Dosas, Idlies and Poories …like a promise unkept :D..!!

I'd ' warned ' my sister umpteen times to keep the theme easy enough for WBB #17 , initiated by Nanditha of Saffron trail, which she had to host this month and even gave her a few ideas(even if she didn’t want them ;)) to announce it something like ‘steamed goodies’ or so(as a few of them are waiting ready to be published in my archives).. :)..
Then came the much unexpected announcement of the ingredient–Cornflakes!!..

I googled and googled, came along hundreds of recipes and got hooked (finally) on one of them which seemed to be easy enough.Again this needed to be baked and to admit the truth, I would be the least confident baker in blogosphere, still in my baby steps with trials...

...and this again belongs to one of those trials :)

Recipe from here

Cornflakes, crumbled well-2 cups
Flour-1 1/2 cups
Sugar-1cup-I used brown sugar.
Butter-1 cup
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
Baking powder-1 tsp

Cream butter, sugar and the vanilla extract.Sift flour with baking powder and add it to the butter sugar mixture.Stir in the crumbled cornflakes and mix well. Drop by teaspoons about 2 inches apart, leaving enough space for the cookies to spread out.I flattened the cookies with the bottom of a moistened glass as in the recipe and avoided nuts as they were optional. Cream of tartar was skipped as it is was not available here in my place.The cookies were baked for about 15 minutes at 350 deg.


My kitchen had than divine aroma of butter cookies, lingering all the day.
They tasted great with my morning cup of plain coffee and were quite filling that I skipped my breakfast…..Can I rename them as Corn flake breakfast cookies ?;) and enter the WBB #17, hosted by my sister?.

Coming out with cornflakes and baking together was a real challenge for me. I still have my own doubts regarding, “is this how the real cornflakes cookies look?” or is this the method of making them?..Do do they have an unusual darker brown hue as you see here? Believe me, they were ‘chewy’ rather than ‘crispy’ and aren’t they thin and flat than the regular cookies?Is it because of too much of butter or since flattened with the back of a glass? what is the action of cream of tartar in baking?...I need help, from my blogger pals who are experienced bakers, here, please...:)....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Suhiyan

Another year of celebrations, happiness and good will, sharing them with sweets, crackers and lighter moments with near and dear ones ..

Wishing You all a very Happy Diwali..

For this special occasion, I am here with Suhiyan, a very traditional delicacy of Tamil Nadu which falls under the appetizer or the ‘sweet’ category. Also known as Suliyam or Suzhiyan, each home has its own version of it!..


And here's mine which goes to Vee of Past Present and Me, who hosts JFS-Diwali ; Special Edition of JFI.

Yields-20

Ingredients,
For the outer cover:

Parboiled Rice:urad dal)-4 : ¾ parts
For the above filling I needed 2 cups rice and ¼ cup ball variety urad dal
Salt-1/4 tsp or to ‘just’ taste

Soak Rice and dal together to 3-4 hours and grind to a smooth batter which is slightly thicker than the regular idly batter, adding salt.Keep aside.


Ingredients,
For the filling:

Bengalgram dal/Kadalai paruppu-1 ½ cups
Jaggery/Vellam-3/4th of a medium sized ball or 1 cup grated, loosely packed
Grated coconut-3/4 cup
Cardamom powder/yelappodi-to flavour
Salt-a pinch

Method:

Wash and cook the bengal gram dal in liberal amounts of water(3 ½-4cups) till done.Avoid pressure cooking the dal as it would turn overcooked and mashy.Press the dal flat with your finger tips to check and see whether cooked soft.Transfer this to a bowl and mix the other ingredients to it, when cool.Pulse in a mixie adding no or minimal amounts water(justsprinkle if necessary).Let the filling be just mashed and not too much.A taste test can be done to check the sweetness and add jaggery or coconut a little more, if you prefer more sweet or coconutty.Shape them into small lime sized balls

To prepare the Suhiyans,
Finally you need:

Refined oil-to deep fry

Method:

Heat oil in a kadai.Dip the balls one by one into this batter and deep fry as batches of 3-5 numbers, in oil.Remove the Suhiyans when golden brown and crispy.

Note:

  • I used 'IR-20 puzhungal arisi : muzhu uzhutham paruppu' for the rice and urad dal combo, which gave good results.
  • For normal iddly/dosa batter we use 4:1(Rice: dal combo).You can substitute this batter too, but has the risk of the Suhiyan absorbing too much of oil.
  • Maida batter can also be used as the outer cover as in the Suliyam here or Suzhiyan here.
  • The filling should be firm but soft and let it not be loose.
  • During the course of frying, the batter droplets released might turn to small black powdery bits that get dispersed in oil.You would just have to sieve and remove them in between to avoid them sticking to the Suhiyan. Observe the pictures carefully and you can spot them out in mine too :).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Arusuvai Friendship Chain!..

Yes, we, the bloggers residing in India are proud to have put a start to this new chain..named arusuvai.
A chain of friendship and fun which moves on and on…
To begin with, this will be restricted in India.

As you all know, Mrs.Latha Narasimhan, has already put the start of arusuvai..

Popularly known as Lathaji, Lathamma, Mami, as we all know is an addicted and an affectionate food blogger, the most active author of the well known domain, The 'Yum' Blog..
We wanted her to name the chain and kick it “start”, giving due respect to her seniority in terms of age, and capability; a 4 month old blogger with much enthusiasm, celebrating their 100th post and a hit of 10,000 within a couple of months!!.

Lakshmi, her daughter, holds the credit of creating these cute Logos.



Thank you Bhags, for all your valuable opinions.

Renuka and myself are honoured to be the first recipients of arusuvai and are all prepared to grab the “Surprise Ingredient”, already dispatched by dear Lathamma.


When you receive a package with a “surprise ingredient” as a part of arusuvai here are the basic rules you need to follow:

1. Prepare something tasty with it and post recipe with a picture if you are a blogger with the logo, a link to person who passed it to you and to this post if you like for reference.

2. If you don’t blog, do share the recipe with the friend who gave it to you or post it as a guest post on someone you know who blogs.

3. Pass on a “surprise ingredient” to two or more friends, one of whom must preferably an active blogger.We all want to have some fun together right?
Since this is starting here in India we request all Indian bloggers or those who’d like to be a part of this chain to show themselves up - we’ll ensure you get to be part of the fun.

Co-ordination is a requirement and a necessity to bring the bloggers together.Srivalli and myself have decided to keep a track of the donors and recipients on the go, as far as we can.

Feel free to recognise yourselves, if you an active blogger residing in India, to drop a comment in this announcement post or in the comment box link down here, to be a part of the chain..

The ribbons are cut and arusuvai is moving on…from the Southern tip of the country, creeping up to the North…

Be a part!!Have fun!!Good Luck!!..