Saturday, February 26, 2011

Molake Hurali Saaru / Kollu Rasam - Horse Gram Thin Soup


Molake Hurali Saaru ( Kannada) or Kollu Rasam ( Tamil ) is a very tasty and healthy dish, which has various medicinal properties. My mother used to prepare it only sparingly,  saying that it had a severe heating property, and insisted that we savoured it with a liberal scoop of pure ghee. Molake Hurali or Sprouted Horse Gram tastes very good in salads and raitas.
Sprouted horse gram - 2 cups
Tamarind - 1 small marble size
Tomato - 1 big
Rasam Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Freshly chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ghee - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
1. Wash and soak horse gram overnight.
2. Drain the soaked horse gram through a clean white towel .
3. Bundle the soaked horse gram in the same towel and store in a vessel covering it with a tight lid. A casserole or a hot box will be perfect for the purpose.
4. Leave the vessel undisturbed for one more night.The wet towel is enough to retain the moisture needed for sprouting.
5. Horse Gram Sprouts will be ready by the next morning.

1. Add turmeric and pressure cook sprouted Horse Gram with one cup of water.
2. Soak tamarind and the chopped tomato in warm water and extract juice to make two cups.
3. Add salt, rasam powder ( can be substituted with one slit green chilly), asafoetida and curry leaves to the juice.
4. Boil the above for ten minutes on low flame.
5. Take out 2 tbsps of the cooked sprouts and grind it to a smooth paste.
6. Add the cooked sprouts and the paste to the boiling saaru/rasam.
7. Cook for two more minutes till all the ingredients blend together.
8. Lower the flame and add 2 cups of water in a steady stream so that bubbles are formed on top of the saaru/rasam.
9. Add coarsely crushed pepper, cumin seeds and garlic cloves to the saaru/rasam.
10. Top it with fresh coriander leaves.
11. Do not stir the saaru/rasam and allow it to form a thick foam on top.
12. Switch off flame when it is just about to boil, and immediately remove the vessel from the stove.
 DO NOT BOIL SAARU/RASAM to preserve the wonderful flavour.
13. Heat ghee and splutter mustard seeds, and pour the seasoning on top of the saaru/rasam.
Molake Hurali Saaru/Kollu Rasam can be savoured with hot steaming rice or Ragi Muddae.
It can be thickened by adding more of the hurali/kollu paste and savoured as a thick soup.

.It can be sipped as a thin saaru/rasam by adding more water according to the requirement.

But do not forget to top the Molake Hurali Saaru/Kollu Rasam with a teaspoon of pure ghee before you start relishing the Ambrosia!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

sukham ayu

sukham ayu

I was pleasantly surprised last week, when the postman delivered a copy of the sukham ayu from Pritya Publishers! It was for a Facebook contest in which Dibs, had taken part and won! I had the opportunity to go through a few pages of the beautifully designed book along with Dibs on skype. I could not put down the book until I finished reading it cover to cover. It was more like reading Upanishad and a self improvement guide rolled into one, studded with delicious recipes prepared, based on Ayurvedic principles.
Armed with their jigyasa ( thirst for knowledge ) and pratibha ( talent ) the authors have deeply delved into the ocean of Ayurveda and brought out this precious pearl of wisdom for the benefit of every individual who is striving to live a healthy and long life. sukham ayu can be considered as an Ayurveda samputam, since it illuminates the reader with a brief but rich knowledge of the ancient native Science.

The recipes are very simple and appealing to the palate.The simple methods for preparing the delicious dishes do not exceed five or six steps which can be easily followed even by a novice.
Kudos to Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain for their wonderful effort in putting together this priceless cook book. It is most befitting that it has been awarded the second place for Best Health & Nutrition Cook Book In The World, by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2009.
Congratulations and may you publish many more award winning books!

Here is Broken Wheat Kheer which I have made following the recipe in sukham ayu. This one is for Dibs for winning the invaluable book.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Neer Sundaikkai - Turkey Berry In Brine

My sister- in - law and I were gallivanting around and purchasing all Bengalooru goodies like avare kaalu, hurigaalu, obbattu and chakkli on the eve of her departure. All through the four days of her stay at Bangalore, we spent a great part of our time exchanging traditional recipes handed down to us by the elders in our families.
We stumbled upon tender green and fresh sundaikkais at Malleswaram Market and bought them on an impulse, remembering how my mother- in - law used to store them in brine.
The sundaikkais thus stored in brine can be used for preparing kozhambus or just vadakkals (Sauteed with little seasonings ) as and when required.
SOLANUM TORVUM is the botanical name for Sundaikkai. Wikipedia has listed Turkey Berry, Devil's Fig, Pea Eggplant and many more names by which Sundaikkai is identified. It is known as Sondkai in Kannada according to the vendor.

Fresh green sundaikkais - 4 glasses
Salt - a little less than 1/4 glass
Water - 2 glasses
1. Remove the sundaikkais from the bunches .

2. Pick and clean the berries after removing the stalks.
3. Discard the ones which are damaged.
4. Wash thoroughly and spread them out on a kitchen towel for drying.
5. Boil water and salt together.
6. Reduce flame and add the cleaned and dried sundaikkais to the brine and switch off flame immediately.

7. Thoroughly cool the pickle before storing in a clean dry bottle.
This preserved sundaikkai can be used in preparing various dishes.


1.Filter out a table spoon of sundaikkai without the brine, using a dry spoon.
2.Heat 2 teaspoons of ghee or cooking oil in a small pan or a seasoning ladle.
3.Add the sundaikkai to the hot ghee/oil and saute till it crackles.
4.Pour the popped up sundaikkai over hot steaming rice and relish the unique taste and flavour of the vadakkal.
A couple of morsels thus savoured at the beginning of a meal is very good for digestion. It is believed that sundaikkai has the power to even eliminate harmful bacteria from the system.

INGREDIENTSThick curds - 1 cup
Fresh grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Green chilly - 1 big
Fresh grated ginger - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sundaikkai - 2 tbsps
Cooking oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch

1.Grind coconut gratings, green chilly, fresh ginger gratings and salt into a smooth paste.
2. Mix the paste into the thick curd and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds.
4.When the mustard seeds crackle add curry leaves , and then add the sundaikkai.
5. When the sundaikkai cracks add turmeric powder.
6. Add the curd mixture and immediately switch off flame.
Mix well and savour with steamig hot rice.
SUNDAIKKAI has great healing properties. Periodic consumption of this berry helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system and keeps coughs and colds away.

Sun dried sundaikkais are available in super markets. This can be deep fried and savoured as an accompanimet with the main meal. Sundaikkai vattal kuzhambu is a gravy where the dried berries are fried with the seasoning and cooked in a tamarind based gravy.
A WORD OF CAUTION - Sundaikkai has a very bitter taste. Hence only a small quantity (which is powerful enough to act as medicine ) can be used at a time. It can not be savoured like green peas. Sauteing or cooking with ingredients like tamarind , salt , spices and jaggery helps to tone down the bitterness to a certain extent. You are sure to enjoy this medicinal berry if you develop a taste for it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ragi Dosae - Nutritious Finger Millet Pancake & Vegetable Sagu

Every day Dibs and I get together on skype and chat for a while over a cup of coffee. She with her evening cuppa and I with my mid morning cup. Our chat usually revolves around food (what else,when two foodies get together?), and our blog posts.
Dibs had prepared Ragi Dosae for breakfast, and had also clicked a few pictures of the same. And here is the recipe for a nutritious ragi dosae with the photos of the dish clicked by Dibs.
Split black gram dal - 1 cup
Ragi ( Finger millet ) flour - 3 cups
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 pinch
Curds - 1 tsp
1. Soak black gram dal and fenugreek seeds for 3 hours.
2. Grind the dal to a smooth and fluffy batter.
3. Mix the batter with ragi flour, salt, sugar and curd in a deep vessel.
4. Add little water if necessary to get the right consistancy.
5. Cover and leave it in a warm place to ferment over night.

1.Finely chopped onion - 1
2.Finely chopped green chilly - 1
3. Chopped fresh coriander leaves- 2 tbsps
( Mix the above ingredients and keep aside)
4. Cooking oil - for roasting
1. Grease a dosae pan/ tava and heat it.
2. When the tava is hot enough pour a tablespoon of dosae batter on it and dribble a few drops of oil around it.
3. Remove the first cooked dosae and leave it aside.
4. Pour a ladle of batter on the now seasoned tava.
5. Spread the batter into a thin dosae with circular movements,using the back of the ladle.

6. Sprinkle a tablespoon of onion, green chilly and fresh coriander mixture on top of the dosae.
7. Dribble oil around the dosae.
8. When the dosae looks cooked on top, remove with a spatula on to a serving plate and serve immediately with chutney or sambar.
9. There is no need to cook on the flip side. Raw onions and green chillies accentuate the taste of ragi in any form of dish.
Ragi dosaes taste very good when savoured straight from the tava.
Here is a simple recipe for a quick vegetable sagu to go with the delicious Ragi Dosae.

Onions chopped - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chopped potatoes - 1
Chopped carrots- 1
Frozen green peas - 1/2 cup
Tomatoes - 2 big
( Blanch the tomatoes and process into puree.)
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch.
Curry leaves - a few
Oil - 1 tbsp

1 . Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
2. Add curry leaves and chopped onion.
3. When the onion becomes transparent add potatoes, carrots and peas.
4. Stir in sambar powder salt and turmeric powder.
5. Add tomato puree, cover and cook till the vegetables are done.
Enjoy the hot vegetable sagoo with hot and crisp ragi dosae, preferably topped with a dollop of butter .

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kadalaekai Parishe (Groundnut Festival) Event Round Up

KADALAEKAI PARISHE @ Chitra Amma's Kitchen

Here is the roundup of the Kadalaekai Parishe Blog Event. We received few entries via blogs as well as Facebook! A big big thanks to all our participants! Check them out below, but only after listening to this song, which can be described as ‘a vintage namma Bengaluru’ song by S. Janaki! It is from a 1970 Rajkumar and Kalpana starrer – Karulina Kare!

Now for the entries....
We had very varied entries and some novel ideas as well! Check out the array below! Yummy!
Kadalekai Parishe Entries!

Tara sent two entries. Here is her healthy Peanutbutter Noodle Salad and a yummy bowl of Kung Pao Tofu with Peanuts, from her blog Finishing with Cilantro.

We received the following 3 recipes on our Facebook Page.
Vidya has sent us her chutney recipe.
Simple Peanut Chutney (Dip).
Ingredients: Peanuts(1cup), 1 big onion chopped, 4 large Dry Red Chillis, 1 Tbs. Tamarind Paste. Salt.

Method: Dry roast peanuts till the skin pops and the nuts are slightly coloured. Set aside to cool. Heat 2 spoons oil in wok, add chopped onions and chillis with a very small pinch of sugar and fry till reddish. Put in blender along with peanuts , tamarind and salt .Grind into thick, pasty chutney. ( with a dash of water if needed) . Sprinkle a garnish of splutted mustard seeds and karipatta ( bayleaves)

A very delicious and classic sambhar recipe from Krithika Ram.

Brinjal and Peanut Samhar

Ingredients: 1 cup tur dhal, 1/4 cup peanuts, tender brinjals 4 slit into 4, tamarind extract-1/4 cup, dry red chillies-4 nos, green chilly-2, coconut grated-1/4 cup, corriander seeds-1tbsp
fenugreek seeds-1/4 tsp, channa dhal-1/tbsp, sambar powder-1/2 tbsp, jaggery-1tsp, oil-1tbsp
mustard-1/2tsp, asafoetida-1/4tsp, turmeric powder-1/2tsp, salt to taste, curry leaves to garnish.
Method: Pressure cook the peanuts and toor dhal till done. Dry roast the corriander, fenugreek,channa dhal,red and green chilly,and finally the coconut. Grind to a fine paste and keep aside. Heat the oil in a deep pan, and add 1/2tsp mustard seeds and the asafoetida.
Add the slit brinjals and saute for a few mins till tender. Now pour the tamarind extract and allow to boil. Add the cooked dhal and peanuts, sambar powder,ground paste and 1/2 cup water, allow to simmer and then add salt to taste and some jaggery. Garnish with fresh curry leaves and serve hot with rice and pappadoms.

Here is Krithika Ram’s second recipe! A delicious podi like this in your kitchen, is so so handy, not only as an accompaniment for various tiffins, but you can just have with rice and ghee when you don’t feel like cooking!
Peanut Chutney PowderIngredients: peanuts-1 cup, channna dhal-1/2 cup, urad dhal-1/2 cup, dessicated coconut-1/4 cup, sesame seeds-1tbsp, dry red chilly-15 nos, small piece of tamarind, curry leaves-1 tbsp, asafoetida-1/2 tsp, salt to taste, jaggery-1tsp, garlic-3 flakes.
Method: Dry roast all ingredients, except the salt and jaggery. Allow to cool, and then grind to a coarse consistency. Finally add the salt to taste, jaggery and further grind the contents, not making it too fine in texture. Store in an airtight container. This can be used as an accompaniment to idli/dosas/as a topping on podi dosas with sesame oil. Make sure you only make a small batch, to retain its freshness, or the fat in the nuts can go rancid.

Here is our own entry for the event - Occhi Kadalaikai!

Few of our older posts on peanuts are Raja’s Special and Kharada Kadalaekai.
Happy munching!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mallige Idly - Soft white steamed rice and lentil dumplings!


Soft, fluffy, white and light ! These are the attributes expected out of a perfectly delicious mallige idly. However, everytime I prepared idlies, one or more of the above qualities were missing in my finished product.
Wherever I tasted idlies that were perfect and delicious, I started asking for the recipe shamelessly; even if I happened to be at a restaurant! I found out that there were variations in the ingredients and the quantity of ingredients used, which influenced the quality of the batter. Even the climate or the weather mattered in the preparation of the batter for a perfect mallige idly.
After trying out various methods I have finally come to like this recipe which has given me the pleasure of savouring mallige ( jasmine ) like idlies which are soft, fluffy,white and light!

Raw rice - 2 cups
Urad Dal (Split black gram dal) - 1 cup
Idly sooji/tari ( par boiled rice broken similar to the texture of semolina) - 1 cup
Hard beaten rice ( Avalakki ) - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curds - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 and 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
1. Soak rice, black gram dal, beaten rice and fenugreek seeds together for 5 hours.
2. Soak idly sooji in warm water just before you start grinding the rice dal mixture.
3. Wet grind the rice dal mixture ( a table top stone grinder is ideal) adding water as required, into a smooth fluffy paste.
4. Squeeze out the idly sooji from the warm water and add it to the fluffy batter and run the grinder for 2 minutes.
5. Add salt, sugar and curd, and run the grinder for one more minute for uniform blending.
6. Remove the batter into a deep vessel allowing space for the batter to rise.
7. Cover tightly with a lid and place the vessel in a warm place with out disturbing. I usually keep it close to my stove.(Stand the vessel containing the batter on a plate so that any over flow due to fermentation will be contained by it.)
8. Let the batter ferment over night.
9. Next morning grease the idly plates with pure ghee and ladle in the batter.

10. Steam in the pressure cooker with out weight for 15 minutes and switch off flame.
11. Allow the idlies to settle for about 10 minutes and then scoop out the hot idlies into a serving bowl using a knife.
The remaining batter can be immediately stored in the refrigerator before it becomes sour.

Enjoy Mallige Idlies with sambar, molaga podi ( A roasted chilly and dal powder also known as gun powder due to its hot taste) mixed with pure ghee or gingelly oil.
A note from Dibs
"Making idlis in Aussie -- another story all together!"
I have often tried making soft white yummy idlis in Sydney, but in vain ! The batter will turn sour, but simply will not rise despite the sweltering summer, much to my frustration (and my hubby's, who is forced to eat some hard idlis! haha!). According to an an article I found on the web (cant seem to find the link now!), since tap water here is treated, it retards growth of natural wild yeast, and overly washing the dal with this water even removes the yeast found on its surface! Moreover use of pesticide sprays etc too reduces the amount of wild yeast in the environment in general! Now, I have no idea weather all that is true, however, I did manage to finally make decently fermented and soft idlis, by carefully managing temperatures and fermentation times! I have tried this exact method three times now and been successful all three times! This is how I prepared the batter!
Urad Dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tuvar Dal - 1 tsp
Basmati Rice (An aunt who lives here told me to use Ponni rice, but our Indian store didnt have them in stock!)- 2 cups
Salt - 1 and 1/2 tsp
1. Soak urad dal, and fenugreek seeds in 2 cups of water.
2. Separately, soak rice and tuvar dal in 3 and 1/2 cups of water.
3. Leave both to soak for at least 4 hours.
4. Now grind (I used my Sumeet mixie) the urad dal mix, first to a smooth paste and set aside.
5. Next grind the rice mix to a fine paste and mix well with the urad dal paste. Mix in the salt as well.
6. Preheat your oven to 100 degrees celcius. (Mine is a fan forced oven. If you have an ordinary oven, 80 degrees should be enough!)
7. Take a tall steel / aluminium vessel (should be big enough, as the batter can easily rise 3 times in volume). Warm the empty vessel over a stove top. If the vessel is too hot, it can cook the batter, so if you find its too hot, leave it a minute to cool. The warmth of the vessel should be such that you can comfortably touch the vessel!
8. Now pour the batter into the vessel, and place the vessel in the oven. I ensured that I had foil below the vessel, to catch spills in case the batter rose beyond the vessel!!
9. Keep the oven on for at least 10 minutes, and then switch it off. Leave the vessel in the oven for about 12 to 15hours!!!!
10. The batter should have risen really well and ready to make soft idlis! Store the batter in the refrigerator, and use within two or three days, as it becomes sour verrry fast!
I typically soak the grains at 11:00 am. Grind, mix and place in the oven at around 3:00pm, and leave it overnight. Its ready to steam by around 8:30 - 9:00am the next day. I hope this method works for you, if you are in Aussie or in the USA and have similar problems with idlis! I will update photos the next time I prepare idli batter!