Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kaalu Dosae - Indian Crepe With Field Bean Topping

We enjoy a kaalu dish at least once in two days during the avarekai season.The legume is adored for its distinct aroma. Even a simple dish like upma becomes flavoursome and adorable when a handful of kaalu is thrown into it. 
Kaalu Dosae is a delicacy and it is a sure - fire  hit when served hot. Topped with a dollop of fresh butter and a variety of chutneys to go with it, savouring  kaalu Dosae is nothing but  the seventh heaven!
 I used Puri - puffed rice - while grinding the batter for  dosae  along with rice. The dosaes were very soft and spongy and the edges were crisp and golden in colour.

Raw rice ( Sona Masuri ) - 1 1/2 cups 
Par boiled rice ( idly rice ) - 1 1/2 cups 
Puri ( Puffed rice ) - 1 cup 
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp 
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 tsp 
Sour curds - 1 cup 
Salt - 2 1/2 tsps 
Sugar - 1/2 tsp 
1. Wash and soak all the ingredients except curd, salt and sugar for two hours. 
2. Grind the soaked ingredients adding little water into a smooth and thick batter. 
3. When the batter is smooth add the sour curds,salt and sugar and grind for another three minutes. 
4. Store the batter in a big vessel giving it space for rising. 
5. Cover with a lid and leave it in a warm place for fermenting overnight. 


Hituku Bele ( Peeled and deskinned Kaalu ) - 1 cup 
Finely chopped green chillies - 2 tbsps 
Finely chopped fresh coriander - 2 tbsps 
Finely chopped fresh ginger - 2 tbsps 
1. Boil the hituku bele in just enough water adding a pinch of salt for ten minutes. 
2. Drain excess water if any and spread it out on a kitchen towel. 
3. Mix all the chopped ingredients with the now dry hituku bele kaalu
1. Heat a tava and grease it evenly with oil using the cut surface of a halved onion. 
2. Pour a table spoon of batter on the tava to check the consistency of the batter as well as the heat of the tava. 
3. When the batter is poured on the tava , it should spread into the shape of a dosae by itself. Small holes should appear on top of the dosae when it is cooked. When you turn over the dosae,  the flip side should look golden in colour. The dosaes will come out well after two or three small ones are tested. 
4. Adjust the consistency of the batter adding water if necessary,and pour one large ladle of batter on the hot greased tava
5. Dribble oil all around the dosae and wait for small holes to appear on top. 
6. Spread a scoop of the prepared kaalu on top of the still cooking dosae, and press them down with a spatula so that they get embedded on the dosae

7. Cover with a lid and cook for two more minutes on low flame. 
8. Remove lid and check if the dosae is cooked well on the top. 
9. Cooking on the flip side is not necessary. 
10. Gently remove the cooked Kaalu Dosae on to a plate and increase the heat before pouring the batter for the second dosae

Enjoy the hot Kaalu Dosae with a dollop of fresh butter and your favourite chutney.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pachai Poondu Takkaali Chutney - Raw Garlic Tomato Chutney


We love to visit our native village as often as possible. The hospitality showered on us by the ever smiling Rukmini is one of the great attractions besides the pristine environment and the serene temples of the village. Rukmini's preparations especially the Chettinaad dishes are real tongue ticklers. I always return home with more knowledge handed down by her regarding the secret ingredients and the special tips which make the everyday dishes more tastier.
During our latest visit, Rukmini treated us to a delicious Idly - Vade - Saambaar breakfast along with Pachai Poondu Takkaali Chutney. Initially the rawness in the garlic hit our palates strongly. But towards the end of our breakfast we were surprised to see that we had polished off all the chutney that Rukmini had prepared along with the fat and fluffy idlies.
 Raw Poondu or garlic is recommended by doctors as a cure for various illnesses. It is also considered as a general health tonic. For people who abhor raw garlic, savouring Pachai Poondu Takkaali Chutney with the morning breakfast is the best way to imbibe its benefits without much fuss!
You can always use a strong mouth wash after breakfast if you do not like the lingering garlic flavour!


 Raw garlic ( Peeled ) - 1/2 cup 
Tomatoes ( Chopped ) - 1/2 cup 
Red chillies - 4 
Salt - 1/2 tsp 
Sesame oil - 2 tsps 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
1. Grind the peeled garlic, chopped tomatoes, red chillies and salt together into a smooth paste without adding water. 
 2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. 
 3. When the mustard seeds splutter add the ground paste and immediately switch off flame. 

 4. Mix thoroughly and store in a cup. 


Yesterday we enjoyed Pachai Poondu Takkaali Chutney with Raagi Muddae. It was a deadly combination!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Podalangai Curry/Padavalkai Palya - Snake Gourd Curry

Snake gourd is known as Podalangai in Tamil and Padavalkai in Kannada. Ayurveda and Naturopathy point out to the various health benefits of Snake gourd. Snake gourd is suitable for preparing delicious koottu, curry, morkuzhambu and other dishes. 
The addition of crushed pepper gives Podalangai curry / Padavalkai palya a special flavour. 


Snake gourd - 1 ( 4 cups when chopped )
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida -1 pinch
Peanuts - 2 tbsps
Coarsely crushed pepper - 1/2 tsp 
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp 
Curry leaves - a few 
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps 
Salt - 1/4 tsp
1. Chop the tender snake gourd into medium size pieces. 
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. 
3. When the mustard seeds splutter add asafoetida. 
4. Throw in the peanuts and fry till they crack. 
5. Add the crushed pepper followed by cumin seeds. 
6. When the fried pepper gives out a pleasant aroma , add the curry leaves, chopped snake gourd and salt. 

7. Stir well, cover with a lid and cook on low flame. The tender vegetable will cook in its own juice. 
8. Stir once in a while till the snake gourd becomes uniformly soft. 
9. Open the lid, increase heat and gently cook the curry till dry. 
10. Switch off flame and mix in the fresh coconut gratings. 

 Enjoy the juicy and peppery Podalangai Curry / Padavalkai Palya with your favourite meal.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Red Carrot Pickle


My family has a craze for pickles. Apart from the long lasting spicy and oily pickles, instant pickles are also a hit for their distinctive tang and the crunch. This is my mother's recipe for an instant Carrot pickle which can be easily prepared. Its shelf life is limited to a couple of days but it is a colourful party delight. 


 Red carrot ( Laal gaajar or Delhi Gaajar) -1 (one cup when chopped)
 Lime (the size of a ping pong ball) - 2 
Green chillies - 3 
Fresh ginger - 2 inch piece 
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp 
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seed powder - 1 pinch 
Asafoetida - 1 pinch 
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp


1. Wash, peel and cut carrot into slightly thin and long pieces. 
2. Slit the green chillies lengthwise and cut them across similar to the size of the carrot pieces. 
3. Peel and chop fresh ginger likewise. 
4. Immerse the whole lime fruits into boiling water, switch off flame and cover it with a lid. 
5. When thoroughly cooled remove from water and wipe them dry. 
6. Place the fruits on a clean and dry plate or on a cutting board and cut them into small pieces using a very sharp knife. Take care to preserve the thick juice with the cooked pith, which may spurt out of the lime while cutting. 
7. Pick out the seeds using your hand, because filtering will remove the essential pith of the lime along with the seeds. 
 8. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. 
9. When the mustard seeds splutter add asafoetida and fenugreek seed powder. 
10. When the powders emanate a pleasant aroma mix in the turmeric powder. 
11. Stir in the chopped ginger, green chillies and carrots. 
12. Finally stir in the chopped lime along with the pith and the juice. 

13. Mix in salt and switch off flame. 
14. Allow to cool and store in a small pickle jar. 

You can relish this addictive tangy and crunchy Red Carrot Pickle immediately with your meal. Refrigerate after use. Mangai inji ( a variety of  ginger with mango flavour ) can also be used instead of normal ginger for its special flavour.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sakkaraivalli Kizhangu Curry / Genasu Palya - Sweet Potato Curry

Sweet potato is known as Sakkaraivalli kizhangu in Tamil and Genasu in Kannada . This is one of the many native vegetables offered to Sun God during the harvest festival. It is usually grilled on  live charcoal, the skin is peeled and then relished as it is. It tastes yummy when cooked in jaggery syrup until it reaches the consistency of jam. Sakkarai valli kizhangu Curry / Genasu palya is another delicious dish which can be cooked in no time. 

Sweet Potato - 2 
Salt - 1/4 tsp 
Powdered jaggery - 2 pinches 
Oil - 2 tsps  
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch 
Black gram dal - 1/4 tsp 
Bengal gram dal - 1/4 tsp 
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch 
Asafoetida - 1 pinch 
Broken red chillies - 2 
Curry leaves - a few 
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps 
1. Scrape away the peel of sweet potato and store the peeled vegetable in a bowl of water. 
2. Chop into cubes and immediately immerse the cubes in water to prevent discolouration. 
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. 
4. When the mustard seeds splutter add the dals and roast till they turn golden in colour. 
5. Decrease flame and add red chillies and fry till they turn crisp. 
6. Stir in the asafoetida, turmeric powder and the curry leaves.
7. Drain the cubed sweet potato and add to the seasoning. 
8. Add salt and sprinkle little water, cover and cook on low flame till almost done. 
9. Add powdered jaggery, sprinkle little more water and cook till the curry becomes soft and dry. 

10. Switch off flame and garnish with fresh coconut gratings. 

Relish the sweetish Sakkarivalli kizhangu curry / genasu palya with your favourite meal.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baadaam Poli For A Happy Pongal / Sankranti

I am very happy to be back on time to post Baadaam Poli for Pongal/Sankranti after a short visit to our native village. I was pleasantly surprised to see an award waiting for Chitra ( Chitra Amma's Kitchen ) from Chitra at (Chitranna). Thank you Chitra for your  appreciation and  kind gesture.
 Here is a special Poli to celebrate the harvest festival.


 Grated Copra / Dry coconut - 1/2 cup 
Almonds - 1/2 cup 
Jaggery ( crushed ) - 3/4 cup
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
1. Dry roast the grated copra lightly for a minute on low flame. Remove as soon as it gives out a pleasant aroma.
2. Blanch almonds and remove the skin. 
3.Grind the roasted copra and the almonds into a slightly coarse and thick paste sprinkling little water.
4. Dissolve jaggery in 1/2 a cup of warm water and filter. 
5. Cook the ground paste and filtered jaggery water till everything comes together in a lump and add the ghee.

6. Switch off flame and mix in the cardamom powder and let it cool.

7. Pinch portions of the filling and make lime size balls and keep aside. 
Plain flour / maida - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch 
salt - 1 pinch 
Oil - 2 tsps 
1. Knead the above ingredients together into a soft  dough, cover it and leave it aside for at least an hour. 
2. Divide the dough into lime size balls. 
3. Flatten one dough ball and place a ball of the sweet copra and baadaam filling on it.

4. Flatten another dough ball and cover the filling .

5. Press the edges together and seal the filling between the two flattened dough balls. 
6. Roll out into thin Polis using a rolling pin lightly dusting it with flour.

 7. Heat a greased tava and cook the Baadaam Poli on low flame.
 8. Turn over and cook on the flip side dribbling with  little oil. 

9. When golden brown spots start to appear remove the Baadaam Poli on to a plate. 

Enjoy the Flavoursome Baadaam Poli topped with a dollop of fresh ghee or drenched in a cup of hot milk.

Baadaam Poli can also be prepared using wheat flour following the same method.The bigger one on the plate is prepared using wheat flour.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year With Custard Powder Fudge

Here is a short Sweet recipe on the first day of the happy New Year.

Vanilla Custard Powder - 1 cup
Sugar - 3 cups
Water - 4 1/2 cups
Juice of 1 lime = 4 tbsps
ghee - 2 tbsps
Nuts roasted in another 2 tbsps of ghee

Mix all the INGREDIENTS together without lumps and cook on medium flame stirring continuously till the translucent mass leaves the sides of the pan, mix in the GARNISH and then pour on to a greased plate.