Bringing Imagination to your Cooking…!!!

South Indian

Curry Leaves Chutney Pudi/ Powder.. Hebbar Iyengar style..!

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....

All organic.. home-grown ingredients are awesome to have & to eat.. Don’t you agree?? As a kid I remember my grandmother preparing this very fragrant chutney pudi from the freshest curry leaves available.. yup, plucking them from the 5 curry leaves tree we had in our garden :), using the copra she made from drying the excess coconut coconuts from our garden. There were 6 coconut trees in our garden. Loads of coconuts were always available. The excess ones were turned into copra & then taken to the oil mill by my grandmother to extract oil. Then she would use the oil to cook her yummy food or savouries..! Such memorable days…!

It is very common to see a curry leaves tree in almost every South Indian house. You your passing by a South Indian house if you can smell the tadka/tempering with the heavenly aroma of curry leaves. Along with the awesome fragrance that they impart.. they also have loads of medicinal value. Most of us have a tendency to keep the leaves aside when we eat a meal, this is an awesome way to consume the curry leaves & take in all its benefits.

I do not have my grandmothers recipe. Beginning of this month, K’s granny came over to spend a week with us. I had loads of copra with me. I asked her if she could help me make some Curry leaves chutney pudi. K loves chutney pudi a lot. Whenever he see’s the bottle he almost every time pops a spoon of it into his mouth. So K’s Pati (granny in Tamil) helped me or rather I should say, taught me to make 2 kinds of chutney pudi. A curry leaves one and another coriander leaves kind. The recipe for the coriander leaves chutney pudi is slightly different from this one, so don’t go around swapping the curry leaves with coriander leaves. I will post the curry leaves chutney pudi recipe soon.

I do not have pictures of the making of the chutney pudi, I wanted to click some pics with pati & I was so excited learning this recipe that I completely forgot about the camera. Next time I get down to making this one, I’ll make sure I click pics.

I love curry leaves chutney pudi a lot as it makes me nostalgic. This was the only kind of chutney pudi my gran made for us. I have also received requests to post garlic, peanut, idli chutney pudi recipe’s. All these will take some time as I have lots of chutney pudi in stock now. With just the two of us around I don’t want to stock up loads of varieties & they going bad. So as & when my stock needs to be replenished I shall get down to making these. Until then I have this new recipe which will serve as a small project for you this weekend.. :) Happy Cooking..!

Ingredients: (15-20 servings) Preparation Time: 20-25 mins
Tur dal – 1/2 cup
Copra grated/desiccated coconut – 3/4 -1 cup
Black peppercorns – 10-12
Dried red chilli’s – 15-16 byadgi chilli variety, you can use the other hotter varieties, use according to your taste
Curry leaves – 45-50 medium-sized leaves, washed, drained, wiped dry & leave it to dry on a kitchen towel
Tamarind – 1 marble-sized piece, make sure there are no seeds
Jaggery – 1.5 – 2 tbsp, powdered
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric – 1/8 tsp
Oil – half a tsp
Salt to taste – preferably use rock salt

Method:
Take a skillet, dry roast the dried red chilli’s & the Tur dal. Keep tossing them around constantly & maintain heat at low. Once the fur dal begin to change colour to a light brownish & the chilli’s too turn paler, turn the heat off. Transfer the ingredients to a plate and let it cool down to room temperature.

Meanwhile while the Tur dal & chilli’s are cooling down, heat the oil in the skillet. Add the asafoetida & let it sizzle. Maintain heat at low. Now throw in the turmeric & the curry leaves. Fry till the curry leaves begin to lose their moisture and begin to turn crispier. Now add the copra and black peppercorns and toss it around for a minute or two. Turn the heat off. Transfer this to another plate. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Add the powdered jaggery, tamarind and salt to the roasted, cooled down dried red chilli’s & dal mixture. You can pulse this mixture in a food processor till the ingredients are broken down. Next add in the roasted curry leaves mixture. Process all the ingredients till you get a coarse powder. In between you can taste & adjust the salt.

Transfer the contents to a plate. Let it dry out for about 15-20 mins (The jaggery & tamarind have some moisture content in them which will get transferred to the roasted ingredients). Transfer the chutney pudi to an airtight glass jar.

You are set for 2-3 months i.e if it lasts for that long.. :) I mean to say you can store this for 2-3 months. After this time frame, it will begin to lose it’s freshness & aroma.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with any South Indian breakfast dishes like – Dosa, Idli, Upma etc as an accompaniment when you’re in a hurry & really cannot get down to preparing a fresh coconut chutney.

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....
In Mangalore we eat this chutney pudi by adding a tsp of coconut oil to a tbsp of chutney pudi, mixing the pudi/powder in the oil so that its easier to eat & tastier. But Iyengar’s like to eat their chutney pudi with a tsp of ghee instead of oil. Do let me know if you have a new way to eat your chutney pudi.. :)

Tip: You can make a butter chutney pudi sandwich.. believe me it’s yum.. :)

 


Greens marinated Chicken-Curry with a Goan twist to it…


“Its been a while..” hmmmm… while I think what to write next.. & I kept staring at “Its been a while”… it reminded me of the number by the band – Staind..! nothing to do with the mood of the song.. it’s just the name of the song!

Sadly…I have no pictures for this post.. but let me tell you.. Take my word for it.. give this recipe a shot over this weekend.. & I’m sure it will make your tummy feel good…real good..!! :D Now moving on to why there are no pics for this post… its a no brainer.. it is simple.. “It is HOT!!!” rather boiling here in Bangalore.. n when I’m done with cooking, all I want to do is head for a quick shower..! The evening showers of rain do make the days hotter..! I will get down to clicking pictures as soon as I get a chance to cook this again..!

After my fortnight long vacation in Mumbai.. the Bombay sandwiches, vada pav, sheekh kebab’s, the chicken rolls, the fish curry’s Pav bhaji etc. all that food hangs on back to me on my body like memories from the trip!..A bad simile huh??? Yup I’m the fattest ever..! Now that i’m back… my lunch is usually a large bowl of salads with some skinny dressing. A bowl of sprouts for a snack… a cup of green tea & cereals for breakfast… no more paratha’s or dosa’s for me till I shed some weight!.. Only boiled meat/fish… Dieting alone doesn’t help.. does it??? So, I have started exercising as well.. Hope to get back into shape soon.. Poor K also eats almost what I eat.. :( I knew K was craving for some good chicken curry, he was not going to tell me that since he was helping me keep up with my diet.. I thought I’d make him something that has greens..since he makes quite a fuss to eat spinach most times, I schemingly disguised & marinated the meat with a paste made of greens. When you see the curry you wouldn’t know it has greens.. A good way to make your family eat some greens I must say :D

My head was going to burst thinking of a name to call this curry, this is something that just made its way into my mind.. The ingredients just blended so well that I knew I had to post it with the stupidest name that I come up with.. Since I have used vinegar in this curry and vinegar is abundant in the Goan cuisine.. I decided to call this the “Greens marinated Chicken curry with a Goan twist”… :D

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)            Preparation Time: 30 mins (Marination time not included)
Chicken – 500 gms, curry cut, skinless, washed & drained; You can use 400 gms of boneless chicken cut into chunks/strips.

For the Chicken Marinade:
Palak/Spinach – a small bunch, washed & drained
Garlic – 5-6 plump cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Coriander leaves – 5-6 sprigs, washed & drained
Mint leaves – 10 – 12 medium-sized leaves
Cashews – 4-5 whole, soaked in about 50ml water
Freshly crushed black peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For the curry:
Mace – 1/4 of a whole flower
Cloves – 4 whole
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Bay leaf – 1 small leaf roughly torn
Green Cardamom – 4 small, roughly crushed
Onion – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2, medium-sized, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely minced
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp
Cumin powder – 3/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 – 3/4 tsp
Freshly crushed black peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
Vinegar – 1 – 1.5 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Ghee/Clarified butter – 1.tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Make a fine paste using all the ingredients mentioned for the marinade. Liberally coat the washed chicken pieces with the freshly made marinade of greens. Let the chicken marinate for at least 40 mins covered in the refrigerator.

When the chicken has marinated, chop & prep all the rest of the ingredients. Heat oil & clarified butter together in a kadai/deep bottom fry pan. When hot add the dry spices – mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, green cardamom. Maintain heat at medium. Let the spices let out their flavour into the oil for a minute or two. Add the chopped onions & throw in a pinch of salt to help fry the onions quicker. Fry till the onions turns translucent. Add the ginger in & fry for a couple of minutes. Now add all the spice powders – turmeric, coriander , cumin, red chilli powder. Mix well & let them fry for a couple of minutes. Next add the chopped tomatoes & toss them around till they begin to loosen up. By now the raw flavours of the spice powders should begin to fade away. Add the vinegar, mix. Add the sugar, I love to add some sugar in some curry’s because it just takes the flavours to another level.Throw in the marinated chicken pieces along with any left over marinade. Mix well. Add a cup of water, salt to taste, mix well. When the water begins to bubble add the crushed black peppercorns, mix well & simmer. Let the chicken cook & absorb all the flavours.

Note: You don’t need to add water if you want to make this a dry dish.

Check on the dish once in every 5 minutes. Add more water if required. Once the chicken is tender, turn off the heat.

Garnishing: (Optional)
Garnish with chopped coriander if you wish to.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with bread, steamed rice, chapati’s, roti’s idli’s; basically anything that you can gobble a good chicken curry with. :D

I did indulge in a bit of the curry with a slice of bread..! Couldn’t stop my nose from sending signals to my brain about wanting the curry. My brain just gave up when the signals kept bombarding it! hehehhe… ! An extra 10 minutes of exercise hmmmph.. !   

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Karuveppilai/kadipatta/curry leaves chicken……Winters setting in… Cloudy Chicken soup with Thai flavours., Chicken Stew – Kerala Style , Chicken Puli Munchi/Chicken in Tangy Hot curry- Mangalorean style etc.


Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi or rather an instant raw mango pickle…

Ambuli Pachhodi...

All that I can remember when I eat this is secretly stashing my lunch-bag packed for school with some raw mangoes that fell from our Mango tree during the season. We had two lovely, huge Mango trees at home. “HAD” Sad but true, one very close to the gate & it fell one nasty stormy night blocking the road in front of out house & we lost electricity as it brought down the electricity pole along with it. We had to sit in darkness for almost for a couple of days till the power lines were restored. Sadly the other one had to be cut down 4-5 yrs after the first one fell because of old age.

Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi or rather an instant raw mango pickle

I went to school with a bunch of other kids on an auto-rickshaw. Singing, eating & chattering all the way. Was so much of fun. We were a bunch belonging to different classes. I lived like 10 km away from school. But thoroughly enjoyed jumping into the auto rickshaw & having a ball. :) Yes, coming back to my stash of raw mangoes in the lunch bag, as few of my classmates went home for lunch I would hand it over to them & ask them to mix it up with the required ingredients to prepare this or just ask them to chop it up into wedges & pack some salt & red chilli powder & pack it back to class. Afternoon sessions were then fun… the box with the raw mangoes & the masala were passed around carefully during class & we would devour all of it till we licked our fingers clean. I was allowed to eat this only once in a while as an overdose can make you sick.. Oh such fun days those were, first the secret picking from the ground since mum wouldn’t approve eating too much of it, she would let me carry some approvingly maybe once a fortnight, but then the girls in class would demand for some almost every couple of days :)).

Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi...

This is something that takes me down memory lane.. such warm & fond memories :))) This is easily available in small carts in and around Mangalore & small towns around Mangalore when it is the mango season. It is a very popular snack loved by people from all age groups. Many refer to this recipe as an instant mango pickle. It tastes just like a pickle because it has all the similar flavours other than excess oil & salt.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)        Preparation Time: 5 mins
Raw Mango – Use the variety you like, I always preferred my home-grown variety but now I usually use Totapuri variety.
Tip: Use a variety that isn’t too sour. Raw mangoes which are just beginning to ripen also taste good as they add a lovely sweetness to the sour & the hot recipe.
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp, adjust according to you taste
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp, adds an authentic touch, if you can’t consume coconut oil then add some extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Method:
You can grate or finely chop the raw mangoes. Throw away the kernel & the fibrous covering around the kernel. Throw the chopped or grated raw mango into a bowl, add all the spice powders, asafoetida, salt & oil. Give contents of the bowl a good mix. Dig in to the bowl to check & adjust the salt & spice. That is it your done.. :)

If you have some patience, cover the bowl & let the raw mango pieces absorb the salt & other flavours.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as is, as a side or as a snack.

Ambuli Pachhodi...


Coriander-Pepper Chutney with hints of Garlic… !

Corainder-Pepper Chutney with hints of Garlic..!

Staying on the top floor has its advantages & flaws doesn’t it?? You get a good view yes but then you also have to put up with the intolerable heat during summers. Oh what am I talking about? South India has only 2 seasons, Summer & rainy. It’s summer for almost 8 months of the year. It’s been super hot here in Bangalore. Man! how K & I miss Glasgow now..! Been trying to keep ourselves hydrated by eating loads of watermelon, salads, drinking loads of water & juices.

South Indian’s never have enough chutney recipe’s. We can hog on chutney everyday for breakfast can’t we?? But then you can’t make the same chutney everyday can you?? Having a variety of chutney recipe’s handy is always a blessing. The same Dosa/Idli/Upma etc. can be made to taste different if you can manage to prepare a new dip/accompaniment :). If I do happen to ask K what kind of chutney he would like, the answer is “A green coloured chutney” or “White or Orange” now that is not an answer one would expect, that’s like asking a kid which coloured candy he would like.. :D

Some of the ingredients that go into the chutney...

My mum has a huge collection of chutney recipe’s. Unfortunately since I’m not a morning person, I never bothered to note down her chutney recipe’s. In Glasgow we loved our Bacon & eggs, sausages with the lovely selection of breads at our disposal. Fermenting the Dosa, Idli batter was always a challenge. So only during the summer’s there was some hope to prepare Dosa batter at home.

It’s just K & me, I don’t make my own Dosa/Idli batter at home here in India too. You must be thinking I’m crazy. The reason is, if I do I will end up with loads of it & the batter will turn sour in a couple of days as it is so hot here, will all go down the drain. Though from sour batter you can make some Utappams (Thick savoury pancakes, topped with raw veggie’s like chopped onions, green chilli’s, coriander leaves, tomatoes etc.) K is not an everyday South Indian breakfast person. Strangely he claims that he feels sleepy if he eats Dosa’s. Oh well, whatever..! I have tried to make some sense from it, but never did understand how & why. Do any of you feel that way?? Ponder over it the next time you have dosa for breakfast. So when I get my Dosa pangs… we buy ready to cook Dosa/Idli batter from the store & it lasts us for 2-3 days :).

Yummy chutney...

I have to eat my Dosa/Idli with some yummy chutney or any other South Indian dip like – thokku/sambhar/kozhumbu. I love to create new chutneys specially when we have dosa’s for breakfast. Whenever I prepare chutney’s I always remember one of my very good friends who is crazy about chutney’s. She eats more chutney than dosa ;). Some garlic in my chutney, me loves :D. If you don’t like garlic in your breakfast then, skip it.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4 ) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Coconut – Freshly grated, 1 cup
Garlic – 2, medium-sized cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Ginger – 1/2 an inch piece, roughly chopped
Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns – 15-20, depends on your tolerance
Green Chilli’s – 3 medium-sized, slit
Coriander leaves – 7-8 sprigs along with the stalks, roughly chopped
Note: Add as much of the coriander stalk as you can, this adds additional flavour to the chutney

Some of the ingredients required...

For the tempering:
Split Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Black Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Asafoetida – a pinch
Oil – 1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:
Heat a tempering vessel or a small fry pan. Maintain heat at medium, when it heats up, add the coriander seeds & cumin seeds, black peppercorns & dry roast them till they begin to change colour. Turn the heat off & keep aside.

Throw in all the ingredients mentioned other than the ones for the tempering into a small blender jar. Add the dry roasted ingredients as well. Grind the ingredients to a smooth paste, using water as required. I like this chutney a little runny, but if you don’t then add just as much water as you need. Transfer the ground chutney to a serving bowl. Add salt to taste, mix.

Heat a tempering vessel or a small fry pan & add oil. When the oil heats up, maintain heat at medium. Add asafoetida, let it sizzle. Next throw in the mustard seeds & let it splutter. Next add the split urad dal & let it turn a light golden brown. Turn the heat off, throw in the curry leaves & mix.

Add this hot tempering to the ground chutney. Mix well.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with any South Indian breakfast dishes of your choice like – Dosa, Idli, Akki-Rotti, Ragi-Rotti, Rava-Rotti, Upma etc.

Corainder-Pepper Chutney with hints of Garlic..!

Imagine waking up to such a colourful looking setting on your breakfast table..! Just peps up your day… What a colourful & flavourful start to your day! Do let me know your take on my recipe if you try it :).

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Capsicum Chutney….Alle Chutney/ Ginger ChutneyTakkali/Tomato Thokku…Takkali Kolumbu/Kohzumbu…. a perfect dip for your Dosa/Idli etc.


Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes….

Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes...

Hiya, hope alls been well with all of you, I would like to share some awesome news with all of you, my recipe for Shahi Paneer has been nominated to be one among the best 200 recipe’s for Shahi Paneer recipe’s on the internet. The recipe with the maximum number of votes will be chosen as the winner. Here is the link.  My recipe is randomly positioned at No.29, do cast your vote if you think I deserve the vote. :).

A few days after we moved, K’s aunt – Geetha Atte (Atte in Kannada refers to Dad’s sister) had asked us to come over for breakfast. I would not have accepted the offer if she did not live close-by ;). Breakfast has always been one of the areas I need to work on. Not being a morning person has some advantages like – You can sleep longer. Have eggs for a quick breakfast & minimise your morning dishes.. :D. All this works when your just a couple I guess. So all you guys out there with kids would be cursing me as they have early morning hustle bustle & enormous amounts of cooking & dirty dishes in the sink. When it comes to disadvantages, there are loads, I have no time for an elaborate breakfast. Breakfast dishes which require a lot of prepping up are a big No No! Before you are done with breakfast you need to begin thinking about lunch :(.

Ah well back to the breakfast invite. When we went over to Geetha Atte’s house, she was ready with the batter for Rotti (Rotti is a savoury pancake in Karnataka). When she asked us if we were ready to have hot rotti’s, I thought she was referring to the traditional Akki Rotti (A recipe I posted a while back in the blog), the usual rotti prepared for breakfast by people from Karnataka. When she was preparing the rotti in the kitchen, the aroma that filled the house was very different from the one you usually fills the air when you prepare Akki Rotti. Different people prepare akki rotti with different veggies, I thought maybe she was using something different from the veggies I had tried before in Akki rotti. When she served us the rotti, I was surprised looking at the colour & texture as it did not look anything like akki rotti & nor did it taste like it. When I asked her what it was, she explained that it was just like akki rotti, made of semolina instead of rice flour & instead of water to bind the ingredients together, she uses tender cucumber juice. Then I figured that the rotti did have a subtle flavour of cooked cucumbers. All in all really yummy. She made really large rotti’s & I ended up eating 2 of them, I simply loved them.

Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes...

I have been meaning to prepare this at home since that day & share the recipe with all of you. The recipe is quite similar to Akki Rotti & served with chutney, thokku, chutney pudi or pickle of your choice. Today happened to be that day.. :D. K likes the rotti’s thin & crispy. You can make them thicker too but these tend to get kinda heavy on the tummy; you have one & your done with your breakfast, so we prefer it thinner, so that we can eat a couple of them each. Well I don’t really know if this dish frequents in other Kannadiga’s kitchen’s, but for me it was a real catch.

The reason I have been playing Hide & Seek through my blog is because I have finally taken a step to being an Entrepreneur, I have been busy working out things & have started my Home Baking venture called “Floured”. :) I’m all excited & have been baking & packing the orders :D. Do wish me luck guys..! I promise to post as often as I can on Keli Paan, I won’t forget my first baby!!.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 30 mins
Fine Semolina/ Rava – 1.5 – 2 cups, You do not need pre-roasted rava for this.
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, skin off & grated
Onion greens – 2-3 stalks, finely chopped. Note: you can use Spring onions greens as well.
Cucumber – 1 medium-sized, peeled. Note: make sure you have one with real tender seeds, else the large seeds will make the juice grainy
Green chilli’s – 3 medium-sized, slit & fine chopped into bits
Coriander leaves – 4-5 sprigs, finely chopped
Cumin seeds – 1 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Freshly Grated coconut (optional) – 2 tbsp,
Cooking oil – as per need
Salt to taste

Method:
Take a medium-sized mixing bowl & add the chopped onions, grated carrot, chopped onion greens, coriander, green chilli’s, cumin seeds, asafoetida & salt to taste. Mix well. Keep aside. Let the onion sweat & let out some water.

Roughly chop the peeled cucumber & blend it to a smooth paste. Do not add any water.

Note: 1. If you could not find a tender cucumber for this, make sure scoop out the seeds & throw them away, before you blend.
2. Geetha Atte says you can even grate the cucumber, but she prefers the convert it to juice.

Mix the juice along with the other ingredients & also add 1.5 cups of rava/semolina & the grated coconut if you wish to add. (I did not choose to add grated coconut). Mix well. Check if you need to add some more salt. We need a easy to handle dough. Not too dry & not too wet. If there is too much water in there, add some more semolina till you achieve a consistency which is easy to handle. Those of you who are familiar with akki rotti will know what I’m talking about.

Divide the dough into 4-5 equal portions. Take a tava or a pancake pan & spread one portion of the dough evenly around on the tava, using your fingertips. Spread it as thick or thin, it is completely upto your preference.

Spread out one portion evenly on the tava...

Place the tava on the stove & turn on the heat to medium. Sprinkle some drops of oil around just like you do when preparing a Dosa or a pancake. Cover & cook. Check after 2-3 minutes. Add some more oil if required. Cook till the rotti/pancake starts to separate away from the pan or starts to brown from the bottom. Turn over, cover & cook for another minute.

Turn the rotti over....

Take the lid off & transfer the rotti to a plate.

Tips: If you are using a non-stick coated tava then I suggest you have 2 tava’s when you plan to prepare this. After you take out one rotti, you will need to cool the tava back to room temperature. Else you will not be able to spread the dough & there are chances you will burn your fingertips.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with your favourite accompaniment. We usually eat Rotti’s with chutney, thokku, chutney pudi or pickle.

Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes...

Notes:
1. No turmeric in here. Don’t think I forgot to mention it in the ingredient list. The slight yellow hue is from the grated carrots.
2. Never spread the rotti on a hot tava, You will end up burning your fingertips & plus it is a waste of time as you will not be able to spread the dough around.
3. You will need another tava at room temperature to prep up for the next rotti. Basically you need time to cool the one that is come off the heat & prep it again for its turn while the other one is on heat.
If you are looking for the akki rotti recipe on my blog – Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka

If you are looking for recipe’s for an accompaniment – Chutney’s & Thokku.


Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli….. Classic GSB breakfast dish

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...

This a classic breakfast dish of the GSB’s or Konkana’s. It is a very simple & delicious breakfast dish. Once you have a look at the ingredients you will agree that the days when you don’t have a breakfast idea, you can give this a try as you would have all these in your pantry for sure.

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...

Mum in town, I love these simple breakfasts she puts together. K & I are usually the paratha or omelette, corn flakes or muesli asked her to make this for breakfast today. You can prepare the phova chutney in another way, using slightly different ingredients, without the onion & sambhar powder. That recipe will be up soon as well.

Poha/beaten rice is called Phova in konkani. I really don’t know how & why the name usli is used. Asked mum.. she just shrugged, she said “From all the dishes that come to my mind when I think of the word usli, all I gather is something tossed with a tempering of mustard seeds, green chilli’s and curry leaves, then garnished with grated coconut, again ask someone else to confirm” she said. Till I find someone to give me the history behind the name, let us stick to this one.

I had put up a status the Keli Paan Facebook page, asking fans for new recipe’s they look forward to see on the blog. Anu Mehta Kapoor asked for new healthy breakfast ideas & since mum made this, it seemed perfect for her request. I hope you enjoy this recipe Anu. :)

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)        Preparation Time: 20 mins
Thick/ Thin beaten rice or Poha – 1.5 cups, I used thick poha
Coconut – 1/2 of a medium-sized coconut grated, keep 2 tbsp aside for the dal
Mung dal – 1 cup, washed & drained
Onion – 1 small-sized, finely chopped
Mustard – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Sambhar powder – 1- 1.5 tbsp
Sugar – 1.5 – 2 tbsp or you can use powdered jaggery
Green chilli’s – 4, slit
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs or about 12 leaves
Oil – 1+1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Muga daali usli:
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai, maintain heat at medium. When the oil heats up add the mustard seeds, let it sizzle. Now add about 5-6, curry leaves & green chilli’s along with the chopped ginger; sauté them for a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups water, salt to taste. Once the water begins to bubble, add the washed mung dal, close the kadai with a lid, simmer & cook. Once the dal cooks and all the water has evaporated, check the seasoning & adjust. Garnish with 2 tbsp of grated coconut.

Phova Chutney:
Meanwhile, when then dal is getting ready, in a large bowl, mix together the grated coconut, chopped onion, sugar, sambhar powder along with some salt to taste. Once the onion begins to sweat a little add the poha little by little & mix well. In a tempering vessel heat up 1.5 tbsp of oil, once hot add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds & let it sizzle. Turn the heat off, add the curry leaves & mix. Transfer this tempering over the poha.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve the poha with a portion of the mung dal on the side. Mix the dal with the poha & enjoy.

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...


Meen Varatharachathu… another fish delicacy from Kerala..!

Meen Varatharachathu.... a fragrant  fish curry from the land of Kerala..

From the very first time I tasted Basa, I just fell in love with it. The meat was so juicy & it just melted in my mouth. I had, had a basa sizzler when I was out with a friend. The meat does not smell at all, unlike most other fish. If you like haddock, then you will surely love it. The meat is firmer than haddock though & doesn’t break into pieces when cooking. I always found haddock melting away when I tried Indian curry’s with it. Have any of you faced such issues with Haddock??

K is very particular when it comes to fish, he won’t eat just about any fish. I’m particular too, but my preference is different. I don’t eat fresh water fish, I only eat Sea fish. K’s fish-eating depends largely on how the fish smells too ;). He won’t come anywhere around a sardine dish, forget eating it. He picks out the skin if he find it on the fish. I don’t blame him though, since he only ate fish once in a while at restaurants. He always prefers fish like Salmon, Haddock, Seer fish etc. whose bone placement is predictable. So, when I discovered this lovely fish I knew for sure he would fall in love with it, just like I did.

Meen Varatharachathu....

For those of you who have never given this fish a try I highly recommend it, the meat is white & nice & firm (when bought fresh of course ;)). It is easily available as fillets at the fish mongers. No bones, no hassles cleaning & making sure the scales are not present. The meat can be cut into smaller chunks, its perfect for an Indian fish curry as it does not disintegrate.

From the time I unpacked my Kitchen Aid mixer, K & I have moved on to eating a lot of Roti, fulka’s, paratha’s etc. as kneading the dough is not a big issue anymore. Our rice consumption has gone down considerably. I sometimes wonder how life changes you, it comes as a shock to K too, I settle easily to eat roti’s now. (If you have read my older posts you would know that I’m a rice eater. A meal was never complete without rice for me). It had been long since I ate some rice with a good curry to go with. I was looking for a hot flavourful curry & suddenly remembered that my aunt had passed me an old cookery book filled with various traditional recipe’s from Kerala. Since I love fish & so do Keralites (People who belong to the state of Kerala) I was thrilled when she passed on this book to me. You are sure to catch some more of their lovely recipe’s on the blog.

Meen Varatharachathu....

Tip: In Kerala Seer fish is usually used for this curry, you can use any fish which remains firm for this curry.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)       Preparation Time: 25 mins
Basa/Seer fish – 250 gms, cleaned & cut into 2-3 inch chunks
Garlic – 8-10 cloves, peeled
Ginger – 2 cm piece,
Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp depending on your tolerance
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Green chilli’s – 4, slit or roughly chopped
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – marble sized ball
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Tomato – 1 large, chopped into chunks
Coriander leaves – 4-5 sprigs, chopped
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

For the fresh ground paste:
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Coconut – 1/2 of a medium-sized, grated
Shallots – 3-4, chopped
Curry leaves – 10-12

Method:
Soak the tamarind in about 100 ml water. Use a tsp of oil & roast the fennel, coconut, shallots & curry leaves till all these are golden brown. Make sure you maintain the heat at medium-low once the ingredients are in the oil and constantly keep tossing them around, we do not want to burn them. Once done keep it aside to cool.

Fry the ingredients mentioned for the freshly ground paste till golden brown..

Make a fresh paste out of the ginger & garlic. Keep aside.

Heat the rest of the oil in a medium-sized kadai or pot. Maintain heat at medium. Add fenugreek, when it changes colour add the chopped onion, green chilli’s & sauté till the onions turn translucent. Add a pinch of salt to help fry the onions.

Note: Fenugreek burns quickly, keep a constant check.

Next add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Add turmeric, red chilli, coriander powder & fry for a couple of minutes. Squeeze the juice out of the soaking tamarind & throw away the pulp. Add the tamarind juice along with another 200 ml water. Simmer & let the water begin to bubble. Add some salt to taste.

Meanwhile, grind the golden roasted coconut & rest of the ingredients to a smooth paste in a blender. Add water as required to help grind them to a smooth paste.

Now add the fish pieces & tomatoes to the bubbling water. Cook till the fish is done.

Add the fish & cook till done..

Now add the ground coconut paste, along with a cup of water.

Add the freshly ground coconut paste...

Mix well. Check seasoning. Simmer & let the curry come to a boil. Turn off the heat.

Garnishing:
Garnish with additional curry leaves & chopped coriander leaves.

Meen Varatharachathu....

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with a bowl of boiled rice or steamed rice.

Meen Varatharachathu.... a fragrant  fish curry from the land of Kerala..

 


Chicken Thoran.. from the yummy state of Kerala.. ;)

Chicken Thoran...

Chicken has been playing on my mind since a few days. K’s cousin also has been craving for some home cooked chicken. Unfortunately when K went to pick some chicken at the butchers, he gave him a very old chicken whose meat was very thready. I was so disappointed that I did not cook that meat. Both K & I do not like eating thready chicken, it turns too chewy when cooked. So had to drop chicken cooking plans for yesterday. Later in the night went over to a supermarket & picked up chicken from their meat section. 

Kerala is a yummy state & beautifully charming. I always have loads to say when it comes to Kerala. Food habits change from the north to the south & a particular recipe is prepared in slightly different ways when compared between the North & South parts of this state.

When I had visited my aunt in Calicut last year, she had prepared this for lunch on one of the days. I love the Mangalorean chicken sukka, this dish is tad similar to that & has a surprise in every bite because of the different spices added to the seasoning & the ground masala.

Chicken Thoran..

You will lick your fingers clean if you are a coconut lover. Remember to eat the curry leaves with your chicken. They are yummy & they are good for you. 

I have had this dish before in small Mallu restaurants (People from Kerala are referred to as Mallu, I mean no offence any of you Mallayali’s) & Mallu messes (Mess is a small eatery which opens up only for lunch & dinner, usually serves a complete meal which consists of a dry vegetable, on chapati, rice, dal, sambhar & rasam along with some pickle & papad. You can order additional non-veg dishes & omelette’s as sides) in & around my workplace.

Note: Traditionally, most cooking in Kerala is done using coconut oil. But if you think the amount of coconut can stop with the grated coconut , go ahead & use any cooking oil of your choice for preparing this dish. Also, traditionally boneless pieces of chicken are used in this recipe. But since we prefer chicken with bones, I prepared it with bones.

Chicken Thoran..

I bought an organic brand of turmeric powder, hence my dish ended up looking a little extra yellowish than brownish.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)       Preparation Time: 30 mins (Time for marination not included)
Chicken – 750 gms, skinless & cut into small pieces, I used pieces with bones, you can use diced chicken breast as well.
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp, use the small fennel seeds rather than the bigger ones if you do not want to bite into them, these closely resemble Cumin seeds
Curry Leaves – 3 sprigs + additional for garnishing if required
Red chilli’s – 4, whole, do not break them
Whole pepper corns – 1/2 tsp – freshly ground
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp, else use any cooking oil of your choice
Salt to taste

For the Chicken marination:
Green chilli’s – 5,
Ginger – 1 inch piece, roughly chopped
Garlic – 8-10 cloves

Shallots/Sambhar onions..

For the freshly ground masala:
Shallots/ Sambhar onions – 5-6, peeled
Freshly grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp or more based on your tolerance
Turmeric – a pinch
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Method:
Wash & drain the chicken pieces. Marinate it with the paste made of the ingredients mentioned for the chicken marination along with some salt. Use some water to help you grind the ingredients to a coarse paste. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes. More is good.

Marinate the chicken...

Put together all the ingredients required for the freshly ground masala into a blender & blend them to a coarse paste. Use very little water to help you grind. You need to feel the grainy texture of the coconut in each bite..

Coarse grind the ingredients...

In a deep bottom pan, heat the coconut oil. Set heat to medium. Add mustard seeds & let them splutter. Add curry leaves. Next throw in the fennel seeds. Let them sizzle. Now add the whole red chilli’s & fry them for a minute. Add the marinated chicken along with any juices left in the marination bowl. Mix well. Toss the mixture around for a minute or two. Add the freshly ground black pepper.

Add the marinated chicken...

Now add the freshly ground masala & mix well. Season with salt. Also we want the raw flavours of the ingredients added to make the fresh coconut masala fade away. Simmer & let the chicken cook.

Note - If you want to make this as a curry, add some water when you add the coconut paste to the chicken.

The chicken will ooze out some water content present in it. When the water evaporates, add the garam masala powder. Mix well. Adjust seasoning. Check if the chicken is done. When the oil begins to separate out & the dish dries up, turns slightly brownish, its done. I wanted some moisture in the dish hence did not fry the chicken till it turned brownish.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some additional curry leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as a starter or as a side along with some boiled rice & curry or along with chapatis’.

Chicken Thoran...

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Chicken Stew – Kerala StyleMeen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curryPrawn Pepper Fry – Kerala styleMutton Chilli Masala……..Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry.., etc.

 


From the villages of Tamil Nadu, a yummy Fish curry – Makerel curry…

Makeral Curry... from the villages of Tamil Nadu..

I’m sure you are surprised to see my post today.. been ages isn’t it? I’m not going to apologise this time.. because it looks like I have been doing the disappearing act too often. Whats kept me busy was shifting.. Can you believe it???@!!! Gosh yes,!! you read it right.. In the last 2 years I have only been shifting houses every 5-6 months. Now you can’t complain about me playing the disappearing act, since each one of you would have experienced it at some time in your lives. Phew!!! That is the nitty-gritty of the disappearance act, been busy setting up my house & buying all the required ingredients to stock up my pantry. I love new places, meeting new people, making new friends, yes.. but I have been doing it way too often now.. but glad this time I’m still in Bangalore.. :)

Things seem to have changed in Bangalore. New places are up, old places have vanished.. not just the store being renovated or taken over by a new business, there are whole new buildings that have come up & changed the whole outlook of the place.My scouting around for ingredients is almost over. I think I have found my places now, but the whole issue this time around is that I don’t find things in stock when I go to buy them… & they lie there on the shelves when I don’t need them.

Now cutting out all my usual rantings… this curry is just plain wonderful.. If you love a fish curry that’s such a heavenly blend of different ingredients then, this is it.. you have found the right recipe. Isn’t that colour very tempting? Oh, come on! it sure is.. Well if the colour is not then go ahead & cook it.. you will then agree that to the fact that the aroma is very tempting indeed :D. Just the right curry to cook small fish in. This recipe was passed on to me by my aunt. She had this curry ready when I reached her home for dinner and the foodie that I am, just loved it from the very first whiff from the fish pot.

The villages in Tamil Nadu have distinct & very flavourful recipes, unlike the urban ones which focus on quick & easy ways to prepare the same dish. This dish tastes yummier when the freshly ground paste is prepared using the stone grinder & the paste ground with loads of love using the hand held pestle, this device is referred to as the ambi (the base) & kulavi (the stone part that moves & grinds). Chutney or any paste ground using this has a completely different flavour.

From the villages of Tamil Nadu, a yummy Fish curry - Makerel curry…!

I have used earthenware to cook the fish curry, just like my aunt did :). My grandmother always cooked fish in earthenware on firewood. It sure does add a lovely flavour to the curry. Damn! I had to give up the idea of cooking using firewood because I do not have that setup with me. But those of you who have had their grandmother/mothers cook fish curry in earthenware on firewood would know what I mean.. it is absolutely delicious. If you get a chance to cook this curry that way… go ahead & indulge :)!

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)        Preparation Time: 60 mins
Baby Mackerel/any small fish of your choice – 1/2 kg, cleaned & drained

Baby Makerel...
Note: I do not cook the fish with its head, but you could if you wish to
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Green chilli’s – 2, chopped
Tomatoes – 2 medium-sized, cubed
Coriander leaves – 3 sprigs, chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

To prepare the freshly ground paste
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Garlic – 10 medium-sized cloves
Shallots/sambhar onions – 3-4, peeled
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or more, use as per your taste
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – a handful
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp, use oil of your choice if you do not like the flavour of coconut oil

Method:
Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a fry pan. Set heat at medium. Add the fenugreek seeds, fry them till they begin to turn soft, throw in the onions. Fry till the onion turns translucent. Now add all the other ingredients mentioned for the fresh paste. Fry all the ingredients for a couple of minutes. Lower the heat if the fry pan gets too hot, we do not want to burn the ingredients. Once you can smell the heavenly aroma of all the ingredients turn the heat off, let it cool.

Ingredients for the fresh paste.. cooled & ready to be ground to a smooth paste...

Once the ingredients for the paste have cooled down, blend all of them into a smooth paste.

Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a pot. Set heat to medium. Once the oil heats up, fry the chopped onions, green chilli’s & tomatoes together. Throw in some salt to help fry them quicker. Once the tomatoes loosen up & the onions turn translucent, add the freshly ground paste. Mix well. Add 500 ml of water & mix well. Let the curry come to a boil. Now drop in the cleaned fish into the curry. Add salt to taste. Simmer & let the fish cook & absorb all the flavours.

Note: In about 5-8 minutes the fish should be cooked. Do over-cook the fish, since they are small fish, they can easily disintegrate into the curry.

Garnishing:
Garnish with chopped coriander & curry leaves.

From the villages of Tamil Nadu, a yummy Fish curry - Makerel curry…

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with a bowl of rice or chapatis’. And yes, traditionally eaten with Dosa/Idli as an accompaniment!

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Quick fish curry – Salmon Phanna UpkariAlle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry..Meen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curryFish Fry with a Konkani style batterTava fried prawns etc.


Taro/Arbi/Alva Manda Masala Stir Fry

Taro/Arbi/Alva Manda Masala Stir Fry..

Arbi is a root vegetable eaten in many states of India.. Each state has different ways in which they prepare this vegetable. My MIL loved Arbi… K is not a big fan of it though. She would have loved this recipe..!!

Arbi/Taro/Alva Mando

This is my moms way of preparing Taro. It is super easy, crispy & yummy. Is a lovely vegetable side dish served usually with rice or chapati’s. Arbi is called Alva Mando in Konkani. My kid brother was a pretty fussy eater. Now when he is around, mum does not have those tensions of cooking things that he used to make faces at as a kid & refuse to eat. Living away from home does change your perspective towards food,specially home cooked food. He now makes weird requests when mum asks him what he would like to eat, this time around I was shocked, since I have never seen him eat those dishes ever..!!

Taro/Arbi/Alva Manda Masala Stir Fry..

Taro can be boiled, baked or roasted. It is filled with natural sugars which gives it a sweet nutty flavour when cooked.This gets starchy when cooked though; but, the starch is easily digestible.

Mum has so many everyday recipe’s which are enjoyable & prepared with ingredients which are easily found in most Indian homes.I’m thoroughly enjoying every bit of  my stay home & learning these recipe’s.

Taro leaves are also a delicacy in most parts of India. There are various preparations made. Tender leaves are usually preferred.
If the leaves are large & old, there may be chances it will lead to an itching sensation in your throat while eating it.

Ingredients:(Serves 2-3)    Preparation Time – 30-40 mins
Arbi/Taro – 250 gms
Mustard seeds – 1.2 tsp
Urad dal/Split Bengal gram – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 1.5 tsp
Curry leaves – 8-10 leaves
Rice flour – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 3 tbsp

Method:
Pressure cook the arbi with some salt & enough water till you hear 2 whistles. Turn the heat off & wait for the cooker to cool & the pressure to be released.
Transfer the hot arbi to cold water. Peel the skin off & then keep the arbi aside in a plate.

Pressure cooked Taro/Arbi..

Cut them into cubes.

Note: Do not get worried if it is gooey, this vegetable is very starchy & gooey when cooked.

Marinate the arbi cubes with salt & chilli powder for about 10 minutes. Since it is gooey, the cubes don’t look like cubes.. ;)

Marinate with red chilli powder & some salt..

Heat oil in a fry pan. Maintain heat at medium. Once the oil heats up add the asafoetida let it sizzle. Next, throw in the mustard seeds & let it splutter. A minute later
throw in the urad dal. When the dal begins to change colour add the curry leaves & fry them for a minute. Now, throw in the marinated arbi cubes. Give it a good mix.
A couple of minutes later sprinkle the rice flour around evenly. Give it a good mix again. Simmer & let the arbi cook till the gooeyness vanishes away & the arbi pieces turn nice & crisp.

Fry till they turn nice & crispy..

Garnishing:
Garnish with some additional curry leaves if required.

Serving Suggestions:

Taro/Arbi/Alva Manda Masala Stir Fry..
Serve hot as a side dish along with some Dal- DDT & rice.


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