Thursday, May 29, 2014

Aam Badaam Lassi - Mango And Almond Yogurt.

There was a bumper harvest of mangoes in our garden this year. We were happy to share a lot of mangoes and mango recipes   with family, friends and neighbours.  Ever since we have been relishing mangoes in  dal, rice, chutney, kozhambus, pickles, and  jams. Now that the remaining mangoes have started ripening  milk shakes and Lassis are becoming irresistible !
A naturally sweet curd is most essential to make a delicious Lassi. Boil one liter of milk till it reduces to three  fourths its volume and set it aside to cool. When the milk  is lukewarm , use  1/2 a teaspoon of good curd as starter and  blend into it. Cover it with a lid and allow it undisturbed for four hours. When the curd is set, refrigerate it overnight. Use this sweet thick curd for making Lassi

Sugar is not essential if naturally sweet mangoes are used.
Ripe and sweet mango / aam - 1
Curd - 1 cup
Almonds / Badaam - 6 to 10

1. Soak badaam / almonds in warm water and peel the skin.
2. Wash and cut the mango / aam  and scoop out the pulp and juice into a bowl.
3.Blend the sweet mango pulp, mango juice and blanched almonds ( leaving aside a few for garnishing ) together for one  minute. Let the almonds be slightly coarse.
4. Add the curd and blend for a few more seconds.
5. Pour into a glass and chill.
6. Garnish with blanched almonds. 
Sugar, flavouring or colouring are not necessary to enjoy the thick and creamy  Aam Badaam Lassi - a pure mango bliss !

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pazhayadu / Tangalanna - Fermented Rice


Pazhayadu / Tangalanna in Kannada has been the traditional breakfast dish since ancient times. Many families continue the tradition even now knowing its high nutritive value. The leftover rice from the previous night's dinner is covered with clean water and left to ferment overnight in a tightly closed  pot. The next morning the soaked and fermented rice is squeezed out from the pot and is mixed with curd . This  Pazhayadu / Tangalanna is known to be very rich in vitamin B 12 which is vital for a strong body and a healthy living. The water drained out of the rice (again full of B vitamins since it is fermented ) is supposed to be galactogenous. This water known as Shaateetam ( may be a tweaked word from Shaadam meaning rice and teertham meaning water in Tamil ). It is served as a tonic to the new moms, starting after forty days of delivering the baby. Pazhayadu / Tangalanna and Shaateetam are not only nutritious but are also Summer  coolants. Here is how you can prepare fresh Pazhayadu / Tangalanna and Shaateetam starting from scratch !

Rice - 1 cup
Curds - 2 cups
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Chopped green chillies - 1/2 tsp
Chopped green mangoes - 1 tbsp
Chopped onion - 2 tbsps
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few

1. Wash and pressure cook rice with 3 cups of water until three whistles.
2. Thoroughly cool the cooked rice.
3. Fluff up the rice and add  3 to 4 cups of water until the rice is fully submerged.
4. Cover with a lid and allow it to soak overnight.
5. Next morning squeeze out the now slightly fermented soft rice and place in a bowl.

6. Add the curry leaves and salt and mash well. 
7. Mix well adding curds.
8. Heat ghee and add mustard seeds.
9. When the mustard splutters add the chopped mangoes, green chillies and asafoetida, and pour the seasoning over the Pazhayadu / Tangalanna.
10. Top with chopped onions.

The power packed Pazhayadu / Tangalanna is ready for breakfast.

SHAATEETAM is conventionally savoured as it is or mixed with buttermilk. Here is a variation which my husband liked.
1. Pour the water into a tall glass after squeezing out the rice for Pazhayadu / Tangalanna.
2. Add a few drops of lime juice and a dash of salt to this water.

 Stir well and enjoy the nutritious coolant. Eat cool ! Drink cool ! Stay cool this Summer ! 
(Thanks to my dear sister - in - law Savithri Sumanth for sharing the information about Shaateetam.)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Keppai Koozhu / Ragi Ambli - Finger Millet Gruel


Long before the nutritionists discovered its nutritional benefits, Ragi / Finger Millet has been the staple food of the agrarian society  in South India. Realizing its health benefits  many urban families have now turned to Ragi for a healthy disease free life. Keppai Koozhu / Ragi Ambli in Kannada is a gruel prepared using Ragi flour. It is a very nutritious and cooling breakfast food especially during the hot summer months. Street  vendors selling koozhu from the pots balanced on their heads or from the pots tied up to their bicycle carriers,  is a very common sight in the small towns of Tamil Nadu. I heard from my brother that Keppai Koozhu was  served as a beverage instead of tea or coffee after breakfast in a small town hotel of Tamil Nadu during his recent visit.
The recipe is quick and simple but the health benefit is immeasurable. 

Finger millet flour / Ragi flour - 2 tbsps
Water - 250 ml
Sour curd or buttermilk - 1 cup
Salt - 1 pinch
Chopped coriander and curry leaves - for garnishing
Chopped baby onions - for garnishing

1. Mix Ragi flour with little water and make a loose  paste.
2. Bring the 250ml of water to a boil and reduce flame.
3. Add the ragi paste to the boiling water stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
4. Keep stirring till the koozhu thickens and becomes shiny similar to custard.

5. Switch off flame and allow the koozhu to cool down thoroughly.
6. Blend in the sour curd and salt.

7. Garnish with the chopped coriander and curry leaves and top it with chopped baby onions.

Enjoy the bowl of the cool and nutritious Keppai Koozhu / Ragi Ambli for a healthy and filling breakfast.

Or  dilute it  with more butter milk to a drinking consistency and enjoy it as a beverage after   your favourite breakfast.
Eat cool! Drink cool! Stay cool this Summer . 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Beetroot Kosumalli / Kosambari - Beetroot And Lentil Salad


Kosumalli / Kosambari in Kannada, is a must in a traditional South Indian complete meal. Traditionally two varieties of Kosumallis are prepared. One is the savoury version using grated fresh vegetables and soaked green gram dal. The other one is a sweet version, usually prepared using soaked Bengal gram dal, fresh coconut gratings and sugar.We have just entered the hottest phase of Summer called 'Agni Nakshatram' which is going to last for another three weeks. The best way to keep cool during this ordeal is by eating  cool, comfortable and nutritious food. Enjoy a bowl of Beetroot Kosumalli / Kosambari - a healthy, cool and nutritious snack - to beat the heat of  a hot and sultry mid morning. 

Beetroot - 1
Green gram dal - 1/4 cup
Raisins - 2 tbsps
Onion- 1 small
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt - 1pinch
Pepper powder - 1 pinch
Olive oil - 2 tbsps

1. Soak green gram dal in warm water for 15 minutes until soft.
2. Wash, peel and grate the beetroot.
3. Peel and chop onion into thin slivers.
4. Soak raisins in warm water till they get plumped up.
5. Take all the above ingredients in a bowl and add salt, pepper and lime juice.

6. Blend in olive oil and garnish with coriander leaves.
I have avoided the traditional spluttering of mustard seeds and green chillieis as I wanted to preserve the sweetness of beetroot and raisins in the Beetroot Kosumalli / Kosambari.Chill and enjoy!

Stay Cool, eat cool and drink cool this Summer.