Friday, June 28, 2013

Pachai Molagai Pisiral - Green Chilly Pickle


 Here is a quick and easy to make pickle using green chillies for Fresh Pickle lovers. The variety of green chillies - (Banana/Capsicum annuum) - used for preparing Molagai Bajjis are less hot and the same can be used for making Pachai Molagai Pisiral. 


Big green chillies - 6 
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps 
Asafoetida - 1 pinch 
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch 
Powdered fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch 
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp 
Juice of half lime or more according to taste 

1. Wash, dry and chop green chillies into small pieces. 

2. Heat sesame oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. 
3. When the mustard seeds splutter add asafoetida, turmeric powder and fenugreek powder. 
4. When the seasoning emanates a pleasant aroma add the chopped chillies and salt. 
5. Stir, cover and cook on low flame for two minutes. 
6. Remove lid and keep stirring till the chillies are cooked. 

7. Squeeze the juice of lime and switch off flame. 
8. Stir well and allow to cool. 

Enjoy the flavoursome and lemony Pachai Molagai Pisiral along with any type of meal.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pudina Kollu Chutney - Mint And Horse Gram Chutney


 Kollu or Horse gram is said to have various health benefits. Kollu is effective in weight management and in balancing cholesterol levels. It is also administered to alleviate kidney stones and to lower glycemic levels.But it is best to take an Ayurvedic doctor's advice before using Kollu as medicine. However including Kollu now and then in one's diet is beneficial for an overall well being. A spicy and nutty Pudina Kollu Chutney with hot rice is an ideal meal for a cold and rainy day. 

Horse gram/Kollu - 1/2 cup 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Black gram dal - 1 tsp 
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp 
Asafoetida - 1 pinch 
Red chillies - 4 
Sesame oil - 1 tsp 
Tamarind - a plum size ball 
Salt - 1 tsp 
Mint leaves/ Pudina - 1 bunch 

1. Remove the roots and wash Pudina/mint thoroughly. 
2. Heat sesame oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. 
3. When the seeds splutter add Black gram dal and Bengal gram dal and roast till they turn slightly golden in colour. 
4. Add  Kollu/Horse gram and keep roasting till they crack. 
5. Now add red chillies and asafoetida and roast till the chillies become crisp. 
6. Lower the flame, add Pudina and stir till the leaves wilt. 
7. Switch off flame, shred tamarind and drop it into the seasoning so that it becomes soft. 

8. Add salt and grind all the ingredients together into a slightly coarse and thick Chutney adding little water. 

Enjoy the spicy and flavoursome Pudina Kollu Chutney with steaming hot rice topped with a spoon of fresh ghee. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vazhaipoo Palakottai Koottu - Banana Blossom And Jack Fruit Seeds Cooked With Lentils


Long time ago when we  were not too familiar with words like antibacterial and antioxidants  my grand mother commanded us to eat Vazhaipoo/Banana Blossom for its   Raktha Shuddi (meaning cleansing of blood) property. She knew how to use food as medicine and  she would concoct a spice, vegetable or herbal therapy for the prevention of  various ailments. Vazhaipoo dishes were prepared often to keep our blood stream 'clean'. Here is a recipe using Vazhaipoo for your health benefit. I have also added my favourite Jack fruit seeds to the koottu

Vazhaipoo/Banana Blossoms Chopped - 2 cups 
Split yellow pigeon peas/Tur dal - 1 cup 
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch 
Split Black gram dal - 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp for seasoning 
Red chillies - 4 
Pepper - 1/4 tsp 
Cumin seeds - 2 tsps 
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps 
Rice flour - 1 tsp 
Curry leaves - a few 
Sesame oil - 1 tsp 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Jack fruit seeds - a few 

1. Grease your fingers before handling the banana blossom to avoid black and sticky stains. 
2. Remove the bracts and separate the florets. 
3. Work towards the pointed tip of the flower till no more florets can be separated. 

4. Open the florets one by one by rubbing the tip gently, using the tips of your forefinger and thumb. 
5. Pull out the hard pin like stigma from the center of the floret, and also the plasticky sheath like sepal which holds each floret. 
6. Chop the florets and immediately immerse in watery butter milk to prevent blackening of the flowers. 

 7. Sun dry the seeds and peel the shells to separate the seeds. Or microwave the seeds for fifteen seconds till you hear the first popping sound and then peel the cracked shells. Pressure cook the seeds separately without adding water.

8. Wash the Tur dal, add two cups of water and turmeric powder. 
9. Squeeze out the chopped banana blossom and add to the dal
10. Pressure cook till the cooker gives out three whistles and switch off flame. 
11. Heat 1/4 tsp of sesame oil in a pan and roast one table spoon of black gram dal till the dal turns golden in colour. 
12. Add pepper and cumin seeds and fry till the peppers crack, and then add the red chillies and asafoetida powder and continue to fry for one more  minute on low flame. 
13. Grind the roasted ingredients into a slightly coarse powder. 
14. Add the coconut gratings and rice flour and grind the powder into a paste adding little water. 
15. Remove the cooked dal and banana blossom mixture and stir in the ground paste and salt.  
16. Cook the koottu till it thickens and let all the ingredients blend together. 
17. Finally add the peeled and cooked jack fruit seeds to the koottu and  cook for another minute. 
18. Heat the remaining oil in a seasoning ladle and add mustard seeds. 
19. When the seeds crackle add Black gram dal
20. When the dal turns golden in colour add curry leaves and pour over the Vazhaipoo Palakottai Koottu. 

Relish the flavoursome Vazhaipoo Palakottai Koottu with steaming hot rice or chapaties

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Palapazha Dosai And Tenga Vella Paagu - Jackfruit Pancake And Coconut Jam


Just as the Jack fruit mela was being organised at the University of Agricultural Sciences at Bangalore, I earnestly wanted to post a dish using this beautiful succulent fruit. On the very same day I received a vesselful of fresh and flavoursome ready to eat jack fruit bulbs from my brother's garden at Mysore. Wow! The whole universe had conspired to fulfill my wish! The neatly cut and separated bulbs were crunchy, luscious and fresh.They had a delightful colour resembling the kenda sampige flowers. I used only six bulbs for preparing Palapzha Dosai

Raw rice - 1 cup 
Beaten rice - 2 tbsps 
Powdered jaggery - 1/2 cup ( the fruit by itself was very sweet) 
Fresh coconut gratings - 1 cup 
Salt - 1 pinch 
Jack fruit bulbs - 6 
Ghee for cooking the Dosa 

1. Wash and soak rice and beaten rice together for one hour. 
2. Dissolve jaggery in 1/2 a cup of warm water and filter. 
3. Slit the Jack fruit bulbs and remove the pith and seeds. 
4. Cook the fruit in very little water till tender. Pressure cook the fruit if it is of a hard variety. 
5. Grind the soaked rice, beaten rice, coconut gratings and cooked jack fruit together into a smooth dosa batter adding the filtered jaggery water and salt. Add more water if the batter is too thick. 
6. Heat a greased tava and pour a ladle of jack fruit batter and spread it into a slightly thick dosa.

7. Dribble ghee around the dosa and cover it with a lid. 
8. Cook for two minutes till the top is done on medium flame. 

9. Flip the dosa when it is golden brown underneath.

10. Cook till the flip side gets golden brown spots.

 Enjoy with Tenga vella Paagu. 

Powdered jaggery - 1 cup 
Fresh coconut gratings - 3/4 cup 

1. Dissolve one cup of powdered jaggery in one cup of warm water and filter. 
2. Grind coconut gratings into a very smooth paste adding little water. 
3. Cook jaggery water and the coconut paste together till it reaches the consistency of a jam. Enjoy the delicious and flavoursome Palapazha Dosai with Tenga Vella Paagu