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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.. 🙂

 


Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Food for thought..! Ever wondered how some dishes/recipes were named.. !?! I’m sure every cuisine has some very interesting names.. Since my interaction has been the most with Indian food … Indian food  does have some real bizarre names like – pasanda, navratan, jalfrezi, tikka, ragda patties etc.. whoever came up with such fancy names.. hats off! Now come the other boring names, probably named by someone who was simply caught up on a day like this where he could not just come up with anything fancy…I’m talking about the use of names like masala, fry, curry, kadai, handi, tandoori etc. The name of this dish sounds familiar huh… just like Aloo Shimla Mirchi.. I know! But I couldn’t come up with a more innovative name…! I kept racking my brains over it.. Not one of my very innovative days when it comes to naming dishes I suppose & of course not for K as well..! I asked K to try the dish & give this dish a name.. he came up with this tacky name…! I smiled & asked him if it’s all he could come up with.. he replied “I’m hungry, right now this is what I can come up with!”. I did not want to bug him more.. so I just stuck with naming it this way.. !!!

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

I had a huge stash of Paneer in my fridge which I had completely forgotten about… Thanks to my 3 year twin nephews who were fighting for more Paneer on their plate during our Skype Video chat, I decided I’ll cook K a paneer dish for dinner!

With all the shows on TLC I watch.. K is always drooling on the Bacon, the numerous cheese’s, pink salmon, Ham & cheese, fish & chips, .. the list goes on..! You place paneer in front of K along with some roti’s, he is happy..! K’s vegetarian happy meal formula in Indian food has to have some Paneer…!

This dish is again something I just made up on the go.. ! It tangy, sweet & sour and mildly hot… with some lovely flavour & crunch added by the green peppers/capsicum/Shimla mirchi.

Shimla Mirchi & coriander if you were wondering what were those things in the background which were out of focus…

This is one of the first time I tried to shoot pictures this way.. not too much on the background, a less busy picture.. Just a little bored with my usual style of photography. Hope you guys find these pictures appealing..! Change is the only constant isn’t it??!

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3 ) Preparation Time: 30 mins
Paneer – 175 gms, cubed
Onions – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Bay leaves – 1/2 of a medium-sized leaf, roughly torn into 2-3 pieces
Dried red chilli’s – 2, medium spicy variety, each roughly torn into 2-3 pieces
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – a pinch
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble-sized ball, without seeds, soak in 1/4 warm cup water & keep aside
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Capsicum – 1 medium-sized, de-seeded and cubed
Coriander – 2 sprigs, finely chopped to garnish
Cashews – 5, soaked in 1/4 cup milk for at least 30 mins, make a paste of the cashews with the milk
Tip: Skip the Cashews if you wanna go skinny with this dish
Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

For the fresh paste:
Tomato – 1 medium-sized, roughly chopped
Coriander – 10-12 sprigs with the stems
Green chilli’s – 1, roughly chopped
Garlic – 8 plump cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Ginger – 1 small piece,roughly chopped
Cardamom – 3 whole
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Method:
Heat oil in a kadai/deep bottom fry pan. Once the oil heats up, set heat to medium. Throw in the bay leaves bits & let them sizzle. In about 30 seconds, throw in the cumin seeds & let them sizzle, do not let them turn black. Add the finely chopped onion & add some salt to help fry them quicker. Let them turn translucent.

Meanwhile, grind all the ingredients mentioned for a paste except the tomatoes. Once the rest of the ingredients have turned into a rough paste, add the tomatoes & blend to as smooth a paste as possible. Add a bit of water if required.

Squeeze the juice out of the soaking tamarind & throw the pulp away, reserving all the water.

When the onion begins to turn a light brown, add the roughly torn dried red chilli’s, mix it around. Next add the freshly ground paste along with 1 cup water. Simmer. When the sauce thickens throw in the turmeric & coriander powder. Mix it around. Let it fry for a couple of minutes. Now throw in the sugar, tamarind juice & give the sauce a good mix.

Note: Do not let the sauce burn, reduce heat & add a little water if it is too dry.

When all the raw flavours fade away add the cashew paste if you wish to add & throw in the capsicum & fry till the capsicum cooks in to a way you like it, I like a bit crunch in them so I cook them halfway.

Note: If you need some gravy in this dish, add about 1/2 cup of water before you add the capsicum. Else you can let all the water evaporate & make this a dry dish.

Lastly add the paneer cubes, mix well so that the sauce coats the paneer. Cook the paneer till tender. 

Garnishing:
Garnish with some chopped coriander.

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as an accompaniment with hot Indian breads.

Paneer Shimla Mirchi…

Else you can make them into rolls. Add a couple of spoons of the sabji with some freshly chopped onions, coloured peppers and make yourself a roll or a wrap. 🙂 This sounds perfect if you have just enough leftovers right?


Lemon-Coriander Hummus….

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

Hummus is a very popular dip in the Middle Eastern countries made from cooked chickpeas. This essentially needs a sesame seed paste known as Tahini. There are loads of flavoured hummus available in the market. It is a super healthy dip, made of fresh/boiled ingredients with loads of olive oil.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus......

Those of you who saw the recipe I posted yesterday would know that the Hummus recipe was coming up next. I made some homemade Tahini, as ready-made Tahini paste is hard to come by easily in India. You may find it is some exclusive stores in certain cities. Such exclusive stores which stock up of world foods is not close to the place I live, in Bangalore. Anyways it is a pretty simple recipe. One does not really need to go hunting for store-bought Tahini. It is ready in a jiffy. Check here for the – Tahini Recipe.

Ingredients for the hummus....

Now once you have Tahini ready, all you need is a can of chickpeas or you can soak a cup of chickpeas overnight & cook it till tender. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find too. A small bunch of fresh coriander, juice of lemons, a few cloves of garlic, some coriander powder, extra virgin olive oil and some salt to taste… that is it.. blend them all together & your done..

Hummus is traditionally served with flatbread such as Pita or as a part of meze. It is also served as an accompaniment to falafel. You can also eat hummus with some tortilla chips & salsa, instead of the guacamole/sour cream on the side.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

I always used to pick flavoured hummus tubs like – Jalapeño hummus, Thai sweet chilli hummus, Red pepper hummus etc. from stores when living in the UK & eat them with crudités or with tortilla chips. You can even eat it as it is.. Both K &I love hummus as it is, it’s really really tasty & does not actually need an accompaniment with it, just dig in & I guarantee that you will lick your fingers clean..! 

Ingredients: (Serves 3)         Preparation Time: 10 mins

Ingredients for the hummus....
Chickpea’s – 1.5 cups
Note: You can pre-cooked canned chickpeas, washed & drained. Else you can also soak 3/4 cup of chickpea’s overnight, throw away the water used to soak the chickpea & cook it in fresh water till tender, drain away the water and use it for this recipe.
Coriander – 1 small bunch washed & roughly chopped, reserve some chopped leaves to garnish
Note: Let the stalks be, they add a lovely flavour
Garlic cloves – 3, peeled & roughly chopped
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed juice
Extra virgin Olive oil – 3-4 tbsp or use as per required
Salt to taste

Method:
Throw in all the ingredients into a blender jar. Blend until smooth. If the hummus is dry, add some more olive oil. This is a pretty thick, shiny/glossy dip, very flavourful too. The Tahini adds a nutty feel & the lemon-coriander add its tangy bit & freshness…!

Garnishing:
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some olive oil & some chopped cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve it as a dip with some falafel & pita bread or with some tortilla chips or with crudités.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

 

 


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..!! 😀 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”… 😀

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. 😀

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...


My take on the famous Lahsun/Garlic Chutney – Maharashtrian style

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

Being married to a Bangalorean, rather an Iyengar from Karnataka implies that your pantry will never run short of coconuts. You may wonder what the possible connection is. No, Iyengar’s don’t own coconut farms :P, they keep distributing coconuts for every Puja/Wedding/function they conduct. When you are just two in the house & you have surplus supply of coconuts, you most certainly end up with Copra or dried coconut (When the water content inside the coconut dries away leaving behind a dry shrunk coconut called Copra).Extract oil out of it like my grandmother did or use it up in making chutney pudi or rather the chutney powder as it is popularly known. The ingredients are mostly similar to a normal wet chutney that we prepare as an accompaniment to most South Indian breakfast dishes, just that instead of freshly grated coconut, we use dry coconut. The use of dried coconut helps in preserving this chutney for a longer time when compared to the staple wet chutney prepared.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

My grandmother made yummy curry leaf chutney pudi, once my stash of this chutney powder gets done with I’ll make some of that too :). As many who follow my blog already know that I’m a sucker for garlic, I couldn’t think further than my all time favourite Lahsun (Garlic in Hindi) or Garlic Chutney. This is a staple in most Maharashtrian houses. If you are a street food lover & you have had a chance to eat the all time favourite Maharashtrian Vada Pav then you would have definitely tasted this chutney with it. Yes, this is the very famous Lahsun ki chutney that is served with Vada Pav. Who does not love a couple of Vada Pav as a snack. Friends from Bombay a.k.a Mumbai tell me that even at 3 am you will be able to pick up some Vada pav for a snack. A super loved street food from the streets of Mumbai is Vada Pav, followed by Pav Bhaji. If you were looking for that very chutney recipe which is served with Vada Pav then look no further :), you have found the right recipe.

This chutney has a shelf life of about 15 days if stored as is but, you can make it last longer by drying the chutney in the sun so that any moisture from some of the ingredients used dries away. But its a simple recipe. So I suggest you follow the measures I have mentioned below & prepare more when you have used up this batch :). If you prepare in large batches the peanuts used in this chutney may turn rancid & you may have to throw it all away ..

My take on the famous Lahsun/Garlic Chutney - Maharashtrian style

Eat this chutney with – Chapati’s, add it in butter sandwiches, with Vada Pav of course, spread it on the dosa while preparing Masala dosa, add s spoon of ghee/clarified butter to a tbsp of the chutney powder & eat it with some hot idli’s. Well I can snack on this chutney.. don’t need anything to go with it.

Ingredients: (Serves 12 – 15)             Preparation Time: 30 mins
Garlic – 12-14 medium-sized cloves, peeled
Dried red chilli’s – 5 whole medium spicy variety, stalk off
Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp
Raw groundnuts – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 1-1.5 tbsp,use 1.5 if you like your chutney with extra coriander flavour
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp (For the colour, use more if you want the chutney to be hot)
Grated Copra/ Dried coconut – 1 cup
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble shaped ball, Throw away any seeds present
Odourless Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp, I used rice bran oil
Salt to taste

Method:
All you need is a deep bottom fry pan & a mixer apart from the ingredients mentioned of course. You may use a non-stick fry pan if you have else an aluminium kadai is just fine.

Heat the cooking oil in the fry pan. Set heat to low once the oil heats up. Throw in 10 of the garlic cloves & reserve the rest. Fry the garlic till it begins to turn a slightly golden. Take them off heat & transfer to a plate or the mixer jar. Let it cool. My twist to the chutney is not to oil roast all the garlic cloves & add a few raw ones to enhance the flavour & make the chutney powder more fragrant.

Note: If you do not like the chutney to have a strong garlic flavour then oil roast all the cloves.
Now return the fry pan to heat. Maintain heat at low & fry the dried red chilli’s till they turn plump. Do not let them turn black. Keep tossing them continuously. Take them off heat & transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & allow it to cool.

Next add 1 tbsp of coriander seeds & return the pan to low heat & fry the seeds till you can begin to change colour & the aroma of the seeds fills the air. Again toss them around continuously because you don’t want them to burn. Transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & let it cool.

Similarly fry the sesame seeds till they begin to change colour & start popping. Transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & let it cool.

Lastly fry the grated Copra/dry coconut till it starts to change in colour. Do not let it burn. Toss it around continuously. Take off the kadai from heat and let the roasted Copra cool down to room temperature.

Once all the roasted ingredients have cooled down to room temperature, transfer them to the mixer jar & add the tamarind piece along with red chilli powder, the leftover garlic cloves & some salt to taste. Blend all the ingredients into a coarse powder, or finer if you like it that way.

Check for salt & adjust if required.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney - Maharashtrian style

Note: Since we add some tamarind & a few raw garlic cloves while we blend, the chutney powder will have some small lumps, I transfer the chutney powder to a tray and dry it under the sun for a good hour or so. This helps to remove the moisture & helps preserve the chutney powder longer. If you plan to do the same then, keep mixing the chutney powder so that it helps in even drying.

Once ready, transfer the chutney powder to an air-tight container & enjoy while it lasts.

Serving Suggestions:
Get your bread, alu bonda ready & serve this chutney with this famous Indian burger – Vada Pav.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

Else, serve with just about anything that you like. I have mentioned a few accompaniments in the beginning of this post.

 


Soy-Chilli dip… A perfect dip for Momo’s/Dimsums/Dumplings or most Chinese starters….


People loved the Momo’s post so much that they also wanted me to post the dip to go with it. I do relish the tomato dip that the dimsums or the momo’s are usually served wit but like I said in my previous post, a friend introduced me to eating them with some soy sauce & it just took these momo’s to a completely new level altogether..  The saltiness  from the soy sauce perfectly balanced the kinda bland momo to result in a perfect wedding of the two. But then again I had to innovate, why use a just some plain boring soy sauce out of a bottle.. ???? Why not make it a wee bit more flavourful & interesting…. 

If you missed the momo’s post, scroll down to the recipe right after this post on my homepage, else here is the link – Momo’s recipe.

This dip is very aromatic, once you mix it up & keep aside for the flavours to blend, your nose won’t let you concentrate on anything else. It is so magnetic that it draws you towards it.  Don’t blame me if you get addicted to this dip.. !!!!

So here you go.. my soy-chilli dip… Pictures will be uploaded when I get down to preparing the dip & the momo’s to go with them.. that should be really soon.. :D.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 5 mins
Dark Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
White Vinegar – 1 tsp
Green Chilli – 1 small, finely chopped
Ginger – 1/4 inch piece, finely minced
Garlic – 1 small clove, finely minced
Sugar – 1/8 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/8-1/4 tsp, as you please
Honey – 1/4 tsp, 
Coriander leaves – 1 sprig, finely chopped

Tip: Add more honey or sugar if your dip is too hot for your taste

Method:
Take a small mixing bowl & add all the ingredients together & mix well. Cover & set aside for 15 minutes, so that the flavours blend in well.

Note: Taste & check seasoning. I did not need to add any salt. Depends on the brand of soy sauce you use, most soy sauces are salty. If it is too hot for you, add some more honey or sugar. If you want it hot then add some more red chilli powder or more chopped green chilli’s.

Garnishing: (Optional)
You can garnish with  1/2 tsp sesame oil if you have some.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with your favourite Chinese starters like – spring rolls, wanton’s, steamed or deep-fried dumplings etc.


Steamed Momos/dumplings with an aromatic Veggie filling…

Steamed Momos/dumplings with an aromatic Veggie filling…

Allison from the food blog – Spontaneous Tomato had a post on Nepali momo’s a while back. I’m a sucker for dumplings. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner. Sigh no one serves dumplings for breakfast in restaurants :(. I have been on the quest to find that perfect recipe to prepare the wrappers for the momo’s at home from a while now. I have tried at least half a dozen recipes out but never could I master the art of preparing the wrappers just like how they are supposed to be. When Allison posted her recipe, I was way too tempted to try it out because her method was different from the way I have ended up making wrappers earlier. The previous recipe’s I tried always left me with thick wrappers, the wrappers themselves filled me up that I did not prefer to eat more than a couple of them.. :(.

I’m sure no one needs an introduction to this dish. If you do, then I have to say Oh My Goodness, you have clearly missed something wonderful all these years of your existence..! Really???….. what were you busy with???? Just like many other quick eats you can grab from street stalls (Pani Puri or other chat’s, sweet corn, Frankie’s, sandwiches etc.), you find small stalls for steamed momo’s in the streets of most popular cities in India. They serve yummy dumplings too. But indulge only if your tummy works well with street food.

It has been in the back of my mind. I even promised Allison that I would give her recipe a try. She has a lovely blog with truckloads of recipe’s. She made a wonderful tomato based dip for her recipe. I opted to create a soy-based sauce for my dumplings. I halved her recipe & made some changes to suit my taste buds. You can check her recipe out at  her blog – recipe link.  I can’t thank her enough for helping me find my prefect dumpling wrapper making method. 🙂 

You will see more pics for this recipe post the next time I make them. For now you have to do with pics clicked via my phone. I just have a couple of pics.

Don’t the dumplings look so glossy & lovely?? Rather, they look perfect don’t they :D. So inviting & they give you a perfect sneak peek into their contents??? You will say so too and never look at ordering a plate of momo’s or dumplings the next time you visit your fav haunt for them & begin trying out other starter options :D. I’ll give myself a pat on my shoulder since I finally mastered it.. :D. The gloss is not from oil.. it just comes out naturally.. Again another shocker.. isn’t it?? these are oil free too.. ! The only draw-back is that they are made of All purpose flour or maida. Oh well.. you can’t have such yummy tasting food without there being a single flaw in it can you…?? Wish wheat could have been a more accommodating flour.. Let us start with our stairway to Heaven.. 😉

Ingredients for the wrappers : (Makes 25 – 30) Preparation Time: 60 mins (Excludes time for the dough resting)
All purpose flour/Maida – 1 + 1 cup,
Hot steaming water – 3/4 cup
Salt – 1/4 tsp

Method:
Take a heat proof mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Add 1/4 salt & whisk to mix the salt & flour well. Make a well in between & add the hot water. Using a spatula, mix the water & the flour together.

Note: Remember the water is hot, do not add your hand in.

Once the dough gets lumpy add the other cup of flour. Continue mixing with the spatula. Try to handle the dough with your hand once it has cooled down & it is warm enough to be handled by hand.

Lightly flour your counter & transfer the dough over the floured surface. Knead your dough to a smooth ball. Say, takes about 4-5 minutes. Add flour little by little if required.

Let the dough rest in a clean bowl, cover the bowl with a wet cloth to prevent the dough from drying up. Let the dough rest for at least an hour.

After an hour, make small marble or gooseberry sized balls out of the dough. Lightly flour your counter & roll the small balls into round shaped flat breads. Roll it as thin as possible.

Now fill the centre with your favourite kind of stuffing with minced meat, veggies or a mix of both. I used a veggie mix. Continue reading for my mix-veg filling.

Mix-Veggie filling for Momo’s/Dumplings:
Ingredients: (Fills 25-30 dumplings) Time: 10-15 mins
Cabbage leaves – 4-5 medium-sized leaves
Shallots – 15, peeled Note: Use a medium-sized red onion if you do not have shallots, roughly chop it into cubes.
Garlic – 5 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Tip: Please do not use store-bought Ginger-Garlic paste as a substitute for fresh ginger & garlic for this recipe. You might as well give up trying this recipe out if you only have store-bought paste with you.
Coriander leaves – 5-6 fresh sprigs, with stalk
Spring onions – 2 whole with the with the greens, peel the onion bulb & roughly chop them
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, peeled & cut into cubes
Green Chilli’s – 2 medium-sized, stalk removed
Mushrooms (optional) – 5-6, washed & drained. I skipped using mushrooms as I did not have any.
Grated Cheddar Cheese (optional) – If you love your dumplings with cheese, go ahead, mix about a cup of grated cheese to your veggie-mix
Salt to taste

For the meat variant: If you wish to add some meat, then leave out the carrot, mushrooms out of the veggie mix & add some pre-cooked mince of your favourite meat to the rest of the ingredients once they are chopped in a food processor.

Method:
Throw all these ingredients mentioned, other than the salt into a food processor & finely chop this ingredients together. Transfer the chopped ingredients into a bowl, season with salt. Check if you want to add a wee bit crushed black pepper.

Note: Do not add salt if you don’t plan to begin making the dumplings right away. The salt releases the water from the veggies & will make it soggy. So, add salt just about 5 minutes before you begin rolling the dough to make small circular dics.

I was not planning to post this recipe this soon on the blog, so I did not click pictures of the making. 😦 I ended up posting some pics clicked via my phone on Instagram & FaceBook & I had requests to post the recipe. So bear with me till I make this dish again for more detailed pics.

Let us continue with adding the filling to the rolled flour discs. Place a 2 tsp or lesser amount of the prepared filling in the centre of the disc. (The quantity of the filling used depends on how big/small a disc you have rolled). Now slowly bring together the edges together just like a money bag or in other traditional momo/dumpling shapes like I have.

Yes, no oil at all. Isn’t that just brilliant. So you can indulge, it is really ok if you gobble up some all-purpose flour covered steamed vegetable goodness.

I used a traditional dumpling steamer. So I did not need to oil it. If you are using a stainless steel steamer, you may need to grease it before you place your momo/dumplings in it to cook.

Being about a litre of water to a boil, simmer & place you steamer or top. Make sure that your steamer does not touch the water. So choose your vessel carefully. Similar to any double boiling method you have used.

Steaming momo's...

Prepare just about 4-5 dumplings per batch (Unless you have a steamer that is used to feed giants.. I’m kidding I’m sure you won’t own a steamer enough to feed 4 people at the same time unless you run a restaurant. :D). Never crowd the steamer. We need to let the steam circulate well to help cook the dumplings. Steam each batch for about 8-10 minutes or till the dumplings come off the base of the steamer easily (Use a silicone spatula to turn to check if they are done), usually the top turns translucent letting you see whats filled when they are ready. Again only if you have rolled the discs real thin will the wrapper turn translucent when ready.

Note: 1. Don’t use your hand to pick the dumplings out if the steamer is still on the vessel producing the steam, you may burn yourself. 2. Also keep checking on the water & re-filling it, if all the water evaporates, then the vessel will start imparting a burnt flavour to the momo’s.

Repeat the same process to prepare & steam more dumplings.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with your favourite dip.

Steamed Momos/dumplings with an aromatic Veggie filling…

A friend introduced me to eating my dumplings with soy sauce. I loved that variant so much that I wanted to create a lovely soy based dip to accompany my dumplings. Click the link for my soy-based dip recipe.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Chicken Frankie RollAloo Tikki Chole Chaat…Chole Chaat…Egg Pakodi ChaatGreek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki etc.

 


Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

A simple dish, yet so flavourful. This is something I have been meaning to post from a long time. Baby potatoes are a favourite in our kitchen. They have a very distinct sweet flavour & they are just so silky smooth in this curry… A definite must try for all potato & Indian curry lovers. So easy to prepare but, the time taken is a wee longer compared to other curry’s, but then if you are looking for a good curry then you better not complain. Try it out once & it will frequent your kitchen very often then on.

Indulging in a curry with some cashews as the base is not a sin..! Every once in a while you do need to pamper yourself with a rich curry. Look at the brighter side – there is no butter, cream or cheese.. its healthier since you are adding some curd/yogurt. But please don’t go skinny on the yogurt too, else you are going to destroy the dish.

A typical dish from the Northern state of India – Punjab. You can’t say no to Punjabi curry’s can you?? A very staple recipe from a Punjabi family’s house. You will find loads of recipe’s for this dish over the internet. This is the way I make it at home. Being a friday post, hope this gives you an opportunity to try this dish out over the weekend. A true delight & you will never order this at an Indian restaurant again, since you will master this at home with this recipe. 😀
Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 45 mins
Baby potatoes – 22-25, washed
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Green Cardamom – 2 cloves
Cashews – 10-12 whole
Cloves – 3-4 whole
Bay leaves – 1 medium-sized leaf, torn into 3-4 pieces
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – 2 pinches
Ginger – 1 inch piece, roughly chopped
Garlic – 5-6 cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Onion – 1 large, roughly chopped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder/Dried Kashmiri Chilli’s – 1 tsp/4-5; Alter according to your palate as the spices used will also make the dish hot
Fresh curd/Natural yogurt – 3/4 cup
Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek leaves – 1 tbsp, crushed between your palms
Sugar – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves (Optional) – 1-2 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp + 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Take a small fry pan & dry roast the spices – cloves, cumin, coriander seeds, cinnamon along with the cashews. If you have Kashmiri chilli’s add them too (i.e. if you plan to use dried chilli’s instead of the store-bought powder). Maintain heat at medium. Do not burn the spices. Roast them till the aroma of all the roasting spices fills up your nose & they begin to slightly change in colour. Turn the heat off. Keep aside to cool.

Bring about a litre of water to a boil in a pressure cooker. Add generous amount of salt to the water for the baby potatoes to absorb some. Add the washed baby potatoes. When the water begins to bubble, cover with the lid & cook for 10 minutes with the cooker weight on, at medium heat. Turn off the heat & let the cooker cool. It is perfectly fine if the cooker does not blow its whistle at all.

Meanwhile, when the potatoes are cooking away, transfer the dry roasted spices & cashews to a blender jar & powder them to a fine powder. Keep it aside.

If the pressure is off the pressure cooker, open it transfer the baby potatoes to a bowl of cold water. Notice that the potatoes are not completely cooked & they are still firm. Now peel their skin away. Next pierce the potatoes with a fork in 2-3 places so as to help them absorb the flavours from the gravy.

Heat 1 tsp oil in deep bottom non stick fry pan. When the oil is hot a pinch of asafoetida & let it sizzle for a couple of seconds. Turn heat to low & throw in the baby potatoes. Slowly cook them on all sides till they turn golden brown.

Fry the baby potatoes till golden brown..

Probably will take you 12-15 minutes on low heat. While the potatoes are frying away, keeping a close eye on them, mince the roughly chopped onions, garlic & ginger using a mini chopper or food processor.

Take out the golden brown potatoes from the frying pan & transfer them to a kitchen paper to drain away the excess oil.

In the same fry pan add 1 tbsp of oil. Maintain heat at medium. Once the oil heats up, throw in a pinch of asafoetida, let it sizzle for a couple of seconds. Next add the torn bay leaf, fry for about 30-40 seconds till its aroma fills up the air around. Now add the minced onion-ginger-garlic paste. Add some salt to help the onions turn translucent quicker & mix well. When the onion is cooking to turn translucent, beat the curd/natural yogurt to remove any lumps.

Once the onion turns translucent add the turmeric & the freshly ground spice paste & mix well. Add the red chilli powder if you did not use whole dried red chilli’s while preparing the fresh spice powder.Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the beaten curd/yogurt to the frying pan along with the sugar. Mix well. Turn the heat to low.

Once the mixture begins to bubble, throw in the golden baby potatoes along with the crushed kasuri methi. Add about 300 ml water, add salt to taste & give it a good mix. Cover with a lid & cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes, till all the raw flavours fade away & the excess water has evaporated leaving behind a gravy with the consistency you need. Originally this dish is served with a thick gravy sticking to the potatoes.

Note: Be around & check once midway so that the gravy does not begin to burn from the bottom. If you cannot be around, heat a heavy pancake pan/tava & transfer the frying pan with the potatoes over the tava & cook on low heat for 15 minutes or till the desired consistency is achieved.

Garnishing:
Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves if required. You can opt not to as the gravy already has an awesome flavour from the Kasuri Methi.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with Roti’s/Chapati’s/Naan or your favourite Indian breads. This also is a good accompaniment for Vegetable Pilaf/Jeera/Peas Pilaf.

Dum-Aloo truly sinful baby potatoes in a spicy onion-cashew gravy….

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Meen Varatharachathu… another fish delicacy from Kerala..!Makai Malai Palak/Sweetcorn in a creamy spinach sauce..Kumbh Mutter Masala with a Shahi twist to it..! etc.


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.. 😀

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.