Friday, September 5, 2014

Parippu Pradhaman - Lentil And Coconut Milk Porridge


  Paruppu payasam or lentil porridge is the first dish to be served in any festive South Indian   lunch on the right hand corner of a banana leaf. Then it is served again after the rice and rasam course. A connoisseur of food or a foodie to be precise, always loves to  enjoy the Payasam / Pradhaman as a dessert at the end of the meal.  Ona Sadya ( Onam Feast ) is a very special occasion where twenty six delicious dishes are served on a large banana leaf.  It includes three varieties of sweets and  Parippu Pradhaman / Paruppu Payasam is one among them. Scooping out Parippu Pradhaman  from the leaf  using your hand, and slurping it contentedly  is in itself a deliciously joyous  experience !

Split green gram dal / Cherupayar ( Parippu ) / Moong dal - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1 cup
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Thin coconut milk - 2 cups
 Fresh coconut pieces - 1 tbsp
 Cashew nuts - a few
 Raisins - a few
 Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
 Ghee - 1 tbsp

Add two cups of water and blend two cups of fresh coconut gratings till it becomes smooth.
Squeeze out the thick milk by passing the smooth coconut paste through a sieve,and keep it separately.

Add two more cups of water to the already squeezed coconut gratings and blend once again.
Squeeze out the second thin milk and keep it separately.

1. Heat 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and roast the Parippu/Split Green Gram dal /Moong dal till it emanates a pleasant aroma.
2. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook the roasted dal and keep aside.

3. Melt jaggery in one cup of water and filter .
4. Mash the cooked dal and add it to the jaggery water.
5. Cook till it thickens giving out a very  pleasant aroma.

6. Add the thin coconut milk and keep cooking till the Pradhaman thickens.

7. Finally add the thick coconut milk and cook on low flame.  Switch off flame when it is about to boil.
8. Heat the remaining ghee, fry the coconut pieces, cashew nuts and raisins  separately till they turn golden in colour.
9. Mix  the cardamom powder into the Parippu Pradhaman.

10. Garnish with the fried nuts and raisins.

Enjoy the flavoursome and creamy Parippu Pradhaman and celebrate  Ona Sadya.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Murungai Keerai Porial / Nugge Soppina Palya - Drumstick Leaves Curry


The market is flooded with drumstick leaves since it is the Tamil month Aadi .  Murungai Keerai  Porial is especially prepared on the first day of the Aadi month called Aadi Pandigai and also on Aadi Krithigai day.  Rice, Murungai Keerai Porial, Vadai and Payasam are the main dishes prepared and offered to Lord Murugan on the festive occasion of Aadi Krithigai . After completing the Kavadi bearing ritual, the devotees return home to savour this special and nutritious home made meal along with Panchamruta prasadam (a mixture of   ripe banana, jaggery, dates, honey, ghee and nuts showered on the image of the Lord as part of the temple pooja) , which is brought back from the temple. 
 (A Kavadi is made up of  two baskets of offerings hanging from the two ends of a decorated pole and is  balanced on the shoulder of the bearer. The devotee carries the Kavadi and walks up to the temple and offers the contents to Lord Murugan to fulfill his vow of thanks giving. )
After furnishing me with all the above details my house hold help Gowri  shared the customary recipe of Murungai Keerai Porial / Nugge Soppina Palya which was prepared for the occasion. 


Drumstick leaves/ Murungai Keerai / Nugge Soppu - 4 cups loosely packed
Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Powdered jaggery - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Red chillies - 2 ( broken)
Peanuts - 4 tbsps

1. Separate the drumstick leaves from the stalk and wash thoroughly.
2. Dry roast the peanuts and grind into a coarse powder and keep aside.
3. Heat ghee and add the mustard seeds.
4. Add the broken red chillies.
5. When the chillies become crisp add the drumstick leaves and stir well.
6. Cover and cook till the leaves wilt.

7. Add salt and the jaggery powder and cook till the leaves become tender.
8. When all the water has evaporated add the coarsely ground peanut powder. (Back in the villages powdered oil cake is used instead of roasted peanut powder.) 

10. Mix well and switch off flame .

Enjoy the Murungai Keerai Porial / Nugge Soppina Palya bursting with nutrition along with rice or ragi muddae.