January 30, 2009

Horse Gram Chutney

We South Indians love rice. I cannot even imagine a single day without eating rice. Our love for rice gives way to a lot of experimenting with different kinds of gravies like sambar, kootu, gojju and the likes.

We also like eating steamed rice with different kinds of chutneys. Contrary to the popular belief, South Indian Chutney is not just limited to the green Coconut Chutney, we have hundreds of varieties of chutney than one can ever imagine.


Once such chutney, we make at home is the Horse Gram chutney. This is made particularly when the temprature dips, as Horse Gram is known to increase body temprature & keep one warm.

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Horse Gram/Hurali Kaalu
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut - fresh/frozen
  • 1 tbsp grated jaggery
  • 8 - 10 red dry red chillies ( I used Byadagi )
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp tamarind extract
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt as per taste

Method:

  • Dry roast Horse Gram until fragrant & keep aside to cool
  • Grind the roasted gram to a coarse powder & set aside
  • Heat a tsp of oil & roast the red chillies, coriander seeds & curry leaves
  • In a Mixer, blend together grated coconut, jaggery, tamartnd extract, curry leaves, red chillies, & coriander seeds by adding little water
  • Add salt, ground horse gram & blend again to combine. Add water if necessary
  • Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves & 2 broken red chillies.

Serve with HOT steamed rice & Enjoi !!!


This is a little different from the usual chutneys as the Horse Gram is dry roasted & ground. Spiked with red chillies & coriander seeds & with just a little hint of jaggery adding that much needed flavour, this one is a must try.

Hope you enjoy this one as much as we did . .

This goes to Mane Adige's Chutney/Dip Mania !!

January 22, 2009

Channa Chaat/ Chickpeas Chaat

The other day I was going through my Blog's Archive & I realised that I really haven't posted much of Chaat recipes. Not that I don't like chaat, But its just that I really don't make it at home that much. I always feel its more convenient to eat Chaat outside since, for some chaats, you need sooo many ingredients that too a pinch of this & a pinch of that. I don't know about the rest of you, But I think its a pain to make Chaat at home.


Anyways, in India, Chaat is easily available in every nook & corner than you can ever imagine & I bet that you somehow will never be able to replicate the taste of your favourite Chaat waala. Don't you guys agree with this?

Shankar & I are Huge fans of chaat. We love gorging on everything from Bhel puri to Sev Puri to Paapdi Chaats to Paani Puris .. Slurrp !! Shankar's favorite is Masaal Puri which is a speciality of Bangalore/Mysore. I really haven't seen this kind of Masaal Puri anywhere, not even in places like Mumbai or Delhi . .

Whenever I make chaat at home, I always venture into something that is simple & is rather healthy like the Sprouts Chaat or Corn Chaat or something similar.

This evening, I tried my hands on Channa Chaat/ chickpeas chaat. I had soaked chickpeas for making another dish, which I conveniently forgot, so these chickpeas were lying in the refrigirator for quite a while & I also had some Mamra/Puffed Rice at hand. I summoned a few other basics & Voila, this was ready in minutes.

After all the chit-chat about Chaat, will head to the recipe,

Ingredients:
  • 2 handfuls of channa/chickpeas - soaked overnight or for 5-6 hours & boiled. ( Canned chickpeas will do)
  • 1/2 red onion - finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of Mamra/Puffed Rice/Kadale Puri
  • 1 small tomato - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp - grated carrot
  • 2 green chillies - finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt (Remember Puffed Rice is alredy salty)
  • 1/2 tsp Chaat Masala
  • A few sprigs of cilantro - for garnish
  • 2 tsp Sev (optional )

Method:

  • In a large bowl, combine together chickpeas, puffed rice, onions, tomato, carrots & chillies
  • Add in lemon juice, Salt & chaat masala.
  • Mix well & garnish with finely chopped cilantro & Sev ( I didn't add Sev )

Enjoy with your evening cuppa !!!

Since I always need something light to nibble when I get back from the gym every evening, this formed a perfect snack. Very light & nutritious.

NOTE:
  • You can add sprouted chickpeas as well, It will make it even more healthy.
  • Try adding a few finely chopped raw mango for that extra tangy taste.


This goes to JFI-Chickpeas & to My Legume Love Affair, Seventh Helping, Hosted by Srivalli which is a brainchild of Susan


-- Ciao !!

January 14, 2009

Pongal - The Humble South Indian Khichdi


In South India, two dishes that are a must have during Sankranthi/Pongal is the Khara Pongal Sweet Pongal using Jaggery also known as Huggi in Kannada.

This time around, I didnt make the sweet version as me & my husband aren't really fond of jaggery based sweets, But, We do relish the savoury version quite often.

Khara Pongal or savoury Pongal is what I call the South Indian version of Khichdi. A mixture of rice & lentils simmered to a semi-solid consistency & tempered with cumin seeds, green chillies, ginger & pepper corns is a heart warmer. Popular in most South Indian homes as a Breakfast Dish, it can be eaten on its own or even with yogurt or spicy coconut chutney or a traditional eggplant dip, either way its overwhelming. It is way too simple to make & does not involve cutting of any vegetables, which is a blessing if one is short on time. I quite often enjoy this as supper on cold winter evenings.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup short grained rice
  • 1/2 cup Moong Dal
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 green chillies - finely chopped
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coarsely ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Desi Ghee/Clarified Butter or Oil

Method:

  • Dry roast moong dal until it starts to turn slightly brown.
  • Pressure cook Moong dal along with rice along with turmeric powder
  • Heat Ghee/oil in a heavy bottomed pan & add cumin seeds, once the seeds crackle, add curry leaves, green chillies & saute for a minute.
  • Add cooked rice & lentil mixture & Add 1/2 cup water & mix well.
  • Add grated ginger, ground pepper & Salt
  • Simmer on low heat for about 5 - 8 minutes.
  • Drizzle Ghee on top & enjoy with your favorite Side Dish.

Enjoi !!!

NOTE:

  • The Rice:Lentil proportion could be either 1:2 or 2:1 or 1:1 whichever suits you
  • Go easy on green chillies as ground pepper adds quite a bit of heat.
  • You could use long grained rice too, but short grained rice works best.
  • This can be made on stove top too instead of using a pressure cooker. Use Pressure Cooker to save time.

I Wish You All A Very Happy Makara Sankranthi !!!

This is my humble contribution to Sunshine Mom's FIC-Yellow & Preeti's Festive Food.

January 13, 2009

Bhindi Fry / Okra Fry

With the New Year furore dying down, Iam back to my old self. Yes, like every other year, I did make some new year resolutions & like every other year, I convinently gave them up. After all , How can one turn over a new leaf, overnight?? Isn't it ?? ( I know I know, Lame excuses ) Well, Actually, I love my old self & so does my husband :D (assuming of course !!! )
Do bring on your experiences with the resolution this time ( I will smile a little on the inside, Always good to have some company :D )


I really haven't posted anything in a while. I have been feeling extremely lazy to blog. I did open up my laptop last night, but I really didn't know what to write ( I wonder if this happens to you guys too ) But, today I didn't let my laziness get the better of me & have come up with something I really like - An all time favorite, Bhindi Fry.

Ever since I remember, I have loved okra. I really do not know if eating Okra makes you sharper, but I insisted that my mom makes dishes with okra more often during exam times.(Now, don't laught at me. Iam sure you guys would have done some crazy stuff too ) Anyways, that really did not help me get good grades in Math. Nevertheless, Exam or no Exam, I love Okra & so does Shankar.

I often find myself making Bhindi Fry as it is rather easy to dish out & it goes really well with Rotis, Dal & rice. I like my Bhindi Fry a littly tangy Here's how I made it,

Preparation Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 400g Okra - cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion - finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato - finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder(dry mango )/ 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt as per taste
  • 3 tbsp oil

Method:

  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan & add okra. Saute them on medium flame until the sliminess is reduced & the okra is half cooked. Transfer into a bowl & keep aside.
  • Heat another tsp oil in the pan, Add cumin seeds, once the seeds splutter, ass ginger-garlic paste & chopped onions, Saute until the onions turn pinkish
  • Add chopped tomatoes & red chilli powder. Cook until the raw smell disappears & oil separates.
  • Add the half cooked okra & mix well. Add Salt as per taste & let it cook on low flame until okra gets completely cooked. This should take less than 5 minutes.
  • Throw in the Garam masala, Kitchen king masala, amchur powder/lemon juice. ( I used lemon juice ) Mix well & serve.

Serve HOT with Rotis/Rice & Dal .. Enjoi !!

January 7, 2009

Kichuri Comfort

I hope all of you had a wonderful start with the new year. This time, it was just the two of us on new year's eve waiting for the New Year to usher in, very very different from all those noisy parties that we would attend all these years. I really do hope this new year brings some cheer to the slowdown.

We were on much needed holiday & we had some wonderful time together. It really did bring the cheer back on Shankar's face. We are all rejuvenated & ready to be back to the grind.

After weeks of eating those unhealthy, bland & greasy food, we were really craving for some home made food. It really did see that it was ages since we had some Rice & Dal. Back home, we have been enjoying some authentic Indian food, particularly this & this.



I have this tendency of feeling home-sick rather fast, & the first thing I start missing is the comfort of home made food. When you start craving for the bowl of rice or rotis, even a warm bowl of pasta or the most delicious slice of pizza can satisfy those cravings.

In my opinion, Kichuri is one of the finest examples of comfort food. It is rather easy to put together & calls for the simplest of ingredients & is very very soothing on your tummy.

This is how I made my bowl of comfort

Preparation Time: 30 Mins

I used:
  • 1 cup rice - any variety
  • 1 cup Masoor Dal/Red Lentils
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup french beans - chopped
  • 1 carrot - diced
  • 1 potato - diced
  • 1 green bell pepper - diced
  • A handful of green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 green chillies
  • 2 pods of garlic
  • A small piece of ginger - grated
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp Desi Ghee/clarified butter ( substitute with vegetable/sunflower oil )
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • A Pinch of garam Masala
  • A handful of chopped cilantro - for garnishing

Method:

  • Heat ghee/oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add cumin seeds, once they crackle, add green chillies, curry leaves, garlic pods, grated ginger & saute for about 10 secs
  • Add chopped onions & turmeric powder & saute till onions are browned.
  • Add chopped tomatoes & potatoes & saute for a minute.
  • Add rice & dal & add enough water to cook. Add salt & close the lid. Keep stirring in at regular intervals.
  • When it is half done, throw in the rest of the vegetables & add some more water & red chilli powder.
  • Let it cook on medium flame, Keep adding water as per requirement.
  • Keep stirring at regular intervals till the rice & lentils are completely cooked. They should have a semi-solid consistence.
  • Adjust salt, add lemon juice & Garam Masala & garnish with chopped cilantro.

Drizzle some desi Ghee on top (highly recommended) & Serve HOT with some fresh yogurt/pickle/Papad. Enjoi !!!

We devoured ours with some spicy mango pickle. My Dad makes the best kichuri ever, & it did rekindle those fond memories when he served us bowls of kichuri filled with warmth & love & ofcourse I did put a soothing end to our cravings.

Note:
  • I like my kichuri rather runny so I add more water. If you do not want it to be runny, reduce the quantity of water.
  • I you feel the dish has turned out rather thick, Add some more water & heat it up. This dish is rather forgiving that way .
  • You can prepare this with a pressure cooker too. If you are a little short on time or rather busy with things, use a pressure cooker. I personally prefer the stove top method. Watching the kichuri cooking up & the fragrance the emanates from the pot is pure bliss.
  • You can vary the proportion of Rice:Dal. You can either make it 1:2 or 2:1. Its entirely up to you.
  • You can pretty much use any combination of vegetables. If you are a little short on vegetables, this tastes great with only onions & tomatoes too.
This goes to SunshineMom's FIC-Yellow.