Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tondekai Sasive Uppinakayi / Kovakkai Kadugu Oorugai - Ivy Gourd And Mustard Pickle


My cousin is a wonderful and innovative cook. Having lived in many parts of India and also in  other countries her cooking has been influenced by various cultures. I am amazed by her talent of turning out the traditional dishes into mouth watering hybrid recipes. I am posting her 'No cooking, no oil' Tondekai Sasive Uppinakayi / Kovakkai Kadugu Oorugai recipe here after trying it out myself.  The  tangy and crunchy pickle with the pungent flavour of the mustard is something out of this world!

Ivy gourd / Tondekai /Kovakkai- 20
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tbsps
Green chillies - 3 
Lime ( Medium size) - 2
1. Wash the Tondekai/ Kovakkai thoroughly, drain and dry with a cloth.
2. Chop the dried Tondekais/Kovakkai into thin slivers.

3. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, salt and the juice of one lime to the Tondekai/Kovakkai slivers and mix well.
4. Cover and keep it overnight to marinate.
5. Grind the mustard seeds into a slightly coarse or smooth powder in a blender.
6. Chop and add the green chillies and run the mixer again.
7. Add the juice of the second lime and blend into a paste.
8. Add the mustard and green chilly paste to the marinated Tondekai/Kovakkai and mix well.

9. Store the pickle in a clean and dry jar.

This is a  fresh pickle with a CRUNCH and a PUNCH which can be enjoyed with any meal. 
The crisp Ivy Gourd pickle stays good up to one week under refrigeration.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Gongura Tokku - A Spicy And Tangy Roselle Leaves Relish


One fine morning  I was thrilled when my maid brought two big bundles of the much sought after Gongura leaves( Pulicha keerai in Tamil and Pundi Soppu in Kannada). Gongura chutney or tokku as we call it, is my family's favourite. My soppu man who brings all varieties of soppu (greens) to our doorstep never seems to have space for the deliciously tangy leaves in his push cart! Now that my maid  had brought our much  treasured Gongura leaves I jumped into action so that we could relish our favourite Gongura Tokku with our lunch. My sister-in-law who happened to be here on her business trip loved the tokku very much  and she was very happy to share the tangy spicy tokku with her Tupperware friends.
I used 15 red chillies since it was the Byadagi variety. If you are using chillies which are more spicy and hot you can reduce the number mentioned.

Gongura - 2 big bundles
Garlic - 4 cloves 
Red chillies - 15
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbp or more if you prefer.
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
1. Clean, wash and separate the gongura leaves from the stem. Thoroughly wash the leaves again.
2. Spread out the washed leaves on a kitchen towel so that all the water drains away.

3. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they become almost dark in colour emanating a very pleasant aroma.
4. Roast the red chillies in a drop of oil till crisp.
5. Heat one table spoon of oil in a kadai and add the garlic followed by the well drained gongura leaves.
6. Saute till the leaves wilt and become a mass and allow to cool. 
(This wilted mass of sauteed gongura leaves came up to a little more than 2 cups when measured.) 

7. Dry grind the roasted chillies and fenugreek seeds together into a fine powder.
 8. Add salt and the sauteed gongura and garlic to the powder and grind into a smooth paste.
9. Heat the remaining oil and add mustard seeds.
10. Add the smoothly ground gongura paste and keep stirring.
11.The tokku will come together into a ball and you will see traces of oil coming out.
Now the spicy and tangy Gongura Tokku is ready. Cool it and store in a clean and dry jar with a lid. 

Enjoy with steaming hot rice or with dosas, pesrattus and chapaties.