Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why?


Human atrocities of every kind, in every country, every day, and soon one  develops a numb shield  to stop responding to the daily horrors - and quickly move on  looking  for the happier parts of life. 

Then comes the next story so ghastly, that it breaks down the armour in a second, and evokes such strong emotions of every kind.

This post is a personal note to not forget, and not let her death go in vain.

This write up voices well what we feel  http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?283477

Prayers for change and a safer world.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kaalu Uppittu - Broken Rice And Field Beans Upma


KAALU UPPITTU 

Once again it is Kaalu season! The  Kaalu obsession has taken over the  fanatics and  we love to exploit its flavour  in as many dishes as possible till the season lasts. I always wonder about how this simple and shiny green  bean is capable of lending a magical  aroma to any and every dish it touches! Even a simple straight forward Akki Uppittu is elevated to a  star status when a handful of  Kaalu is thrown in while cooking!

  


INGREDIENTS 

Raw rice - 1 cup 
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp 
Field beans / Kaalu ( cooked till tender but not mushy) - 3/4 cup 
Fresh grated coconut - 4 tbsps 
Salt - 1 tsp 
Sesame oil - 3 tbsps 
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch 
Black gram dal - 1 tsp 
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp 
Broken red chillies - 3 
Asafoetida - 1 pinch 
Curry leaves - a few 

METHOD 

1. Dry grind raw rice using a mixer till it resembles Semolina. 
2. Add the cumin seeds and run the mixer for another 10 seconds. 
3. Heat the sesame oil in a heavy bottomed pan or kadai
4. Add mustard seeds. 
5. When the mustard seeds splutter add both the dals and fry till they turn golden in colour. 
6. Add broken red chillies, lower the heat and roast till the chillies become crisp. 
7. Add asafoetida followed by curry leaves and the cooked field beans.
8. Saute for two minutes and then add three cups of water, fresh coconut gratings, and salt to the seasoning and increase flame. 


9. When the water starts boiling, gently add the broken rice and cumin seeds mixture.

 

10. Keep stirring till the broken rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed. 


11. When the cooked Kaalu Uppittu comes together reduce flame and cover it with a lid. 
12. Switch off flame when it is thoroughly done.


Enjoy the flavoursome Kaalu Uppittu as it is, or with any pickle of your choice, and a cup of thick curd.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thaalagam - Winter Vegetables In A Spicy Gravy

THAALAGAM

It is late December and the Kaalu frenzy has started! Here Kaalu/ field beans mingles with other winter vegetables and transforms into a delicious and flavoursome dish called Thaalagam.
Thaalagam is another version of Yezhu Kari Koottu which is prepared along with Thiruvaadirai Kali.


INGREDIENTS FOR THE THAALAGAM POWDER


Sesame seeds - 4 tbsps
Split Black gram dal - 4 tbsps
Raw rice - 2 tsps
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 8
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fresh grated coconut OR Dry coconut(Copra) gratings - 4 tbsps

TO MAKE THE THAALAGAM POWDER

1.Dry roast sesame seeds in a pan and remove it into a dry plate.
2. Heat a drop of oil in the same pan and add split black gram dal, rice, fenugreek seeds, pepper and red chillies.
3.Roast till golden in colour and add asafoetida.
4. Remove the roasted ingredients on to a plate when you get a pleasant aroma.
5. Add fresh coconut gratings to the same pan and roast on low flame till golden in colour.
( Dry coconut and sesame seeds are a flavoursome combination. If you are using copra instead of fresh coconut gratings, there is no need to roast the same.)
6. Cool the roasted ingredients and grind with roasted coconut gratings / copra into a moderately smooth powder.

OTHER INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THAALAGAM



Pumpkin - 1/4 kg
Field beans / kaalu - 2 cups
Broad beans/ Avarakkai( Chopped ) - 2 cups
Choyate / Chowchow ( peeled and chopped ) - 2 cups
Carrots ( peeled and chopped ) - 2 cups
Baby eggplants - 12
Taro - 12
Tamarind - The size of a plum
Powdered jaggery (Optional) - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - 2 tsps
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few.

TO MAKE THAALAGAM

1. Wash, peel and chop Pumpkin, Carrots and Choyate into big cubes.
2. String the Flat beans and chop them.
3. Remove the stalk and slit the Eggplants lengthwise into four taking care not to separate them at the bottom.
4. Wash and cook Taro till done, peel and dice into thick pieces.
5. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice and keep aside.
6. Wash Kaalu and cook with Carrots with enough water.
7. When half done add Choyate and Flat beans and continue to cook adding more water if necessary.
8. After a while add the Pumpkin and the Eggplants.
9. When the Pumpkin is half done add tamarind juice, salt, turmeric powder and jaggery if you are using it.
10. Cook till all the vegetables are done and then add the cooked and diced Taro. Do not allow the vegetables to become mushy.


11. Mix Thaalagam powder with little water and blend the paste into the vegetables.
12. Switch off flame when the Thaalagam thickens.
13. Heat sesame oil splutter the mustard seeds and add the curry leaves.
14. Pour the seasoning over the Thaalagam.


Enjoy the delicious and flavoursome Thaalagam with Thiruvaadirai Kali after offering them to Lord Shiva.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Race Kuzhambu - A spicy and tangy gravy with Eggplant


RACE KUZHAMBU 

After spending a rollicking good time at Sydney with my cute little granddaughter (and my daughter), I returned to Bangalore not only with a heavy heart but also with a heavy head, stuffy ears and blocked nose! Though a lot of hoohaa is being raised about global warming, the December chill of Bangalore still bites as always! 
My aunt passed on the secrets of making this unique kuzhambu to me when I started craving for something hot, spicy and tangy to fight the cold and to rekindle life to my taste buds.

INGREDIENTS 


Tamarind – 1 lime size 
Salt – 2 tsps 
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch 
Eggplants- 4 
Black chickpea ( whole )– 2 tbsps 
Mustard seeds – 1pinch 
Curry leaves – a few 
 Sesame oil – 1 tsp 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE RACE KUZHAMBU POWDER 


Split Yellow pigeon peas / Toor Dal – 2 tsps 
Bengal gram Dal – 2 tsps
 Green gram Dal – 2 tsps 
Black gram Dal – 2 tsps 
Pepper – 2 tsps 
Cumin seeds – 2 tsps 
Coriander seeds – 2 tsps 
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp 
Red chillies - 5 
Asafoetida – 1 pinch 

TO MAKE THE RACE KUZHAMBU POWDER 

1. Heat a heavy bottomed kadai and decrease flame when it is hot. 
2. Add fenugreek seeds and pepper and roast till the pepper pops up. 
3. Add cumin seeds and keep roasting till it emanates a pleasant aroma. 
4. Remove the roasted ingredients on to a plate and add ¼ tsp oil to the kadai. 
5. When the oil is hot add all the lentils, coriander seeds and the red chillies and roast till golden brown in colour. 
6. Add the asafoetida powder and remove when it gives out a pleasant aroma. 
7. Cool all the roasted ingredients and then grind into a smooth powder. 

 TO MAKE THE RACE KUZHAMBU 

1. Soak the chickpeas for an hour and drain. 
2. Wash and cut the eggplants into cubes and keep immersed in water. 
3. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice. 
4. Boil tamarind water with salt and turmeric powder. 
5. Add chickpeas and the drained eggplant cubes to the boiling tamarind water. 
6. Cook till the vegetable and the chickpeas are done, adding little more water if necessary. 
7. Add water to the ground Race Kuzhambu powder and make a smooth paste. 
8. Stir in the paste and blend well using a ladle. 
9. Switch off flame when the kuzhambu thickens. 
10. Heat sesame oil in a seasoning ladle and add the mustard seeds. 
11. When the mustard seeds splutter add the curry leaves and pour the seasoning over the Race Kuzhambu. Enjoy with steaming hot rice topped with a dollop of fresh ghee.

 The spice and  flavour of the delicious Race Kuzhambu  raced through  my  ear, nose and throat passages  and hit my head chakra, immersing me in great bliss!