Monday, March 27, 2017

Beetroot And Mango Ugadi Pachadi- A Festive Relish With Beetroot And Mango


Beetroot Sweet Pachadi occupies a special place in all festival menus. Adding beetroot to the traditional Ugadi Pachadi makes the Pachadi more delicious and colourful.
Raw Mango (peeled and cut into pieces) - 1
Beetroot - 1
Powdered jaggery - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Red chilly (broken) - 1
Cashew nuts (broken) - 1 tsp
Neem flowers (fresh or dry) - 1 pinch
1. Pressure cook the beetroot, peel and blend into a paste.
2. Heat one table spoon of oil and saute the beetroot paste till the raw smell goes and keep aside.

3. Cover the mango pieces in water and cook till they are soft, adding turmeric powder and salt.

4. When the mangoes are done add the sauteed beetroot paste and powdered jaggery.

5. Stir and cook till all the ingredients blend into a jelly like mass.
6. Heat the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds.
7. When the mustard seeds splutter add the broken cashew nuts.
8. When the cashew nuts turn golden in colour add the broken red chillies and neem flowers.
9. Pour the seasoning onto the Pachadi.

Enjoy the colourful and flavoursome BEETROOT AND MANGO PACHADI along with your HAPPY UGADI lunch.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Millet Mor / Millet Majjige - A nourishing Thirst Quencher With Millets and Buttermilk.


 Millets were the oldest food grains used by the ancient civilizations of the world. Millets had virtually disappeared into oblivion giving way to heavy rice and wheat consumption.With the onset of a new type of affliction called life style diseases, Millets  have made a glorious come back as a great   saviour. My family loves the nutty aroma of Millets which is used in the preparation of Pongal, Upma or even Sambar 'rice'. The write up about Millets in The Hindu says all about the benefits of eating it rough and staying healthy.
Inspired by the article  I here in present a nutritious Millet Buttermilk / Kirudhaanya Majjige / Sirudaniya Neer Mor for the Panaka - Majjige/ Panakam - Neermor season.

Mixed Millets - 1/4 cup
Curds - 1 cup
Salt - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Cumin seeds (crushed )- for garnishing
1. Wash the millets thrice and drain.
2. Soak in 3/4 cup of water for 20 minutes and pressure cook until three whistles.
3. Cool the cooked millets and blend it in a mixer adding curd, salt and curry leaves.

4. Blend with 3 or 4 more cups of water and refrigerate.
5. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a pinch of crushed cumin seeds.

Stir the buttermilk to bring up the millets to the fore and enjoy a dash of cooked chewy millets in every sip of the refreshing buttermilk savoured.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mangai Vattal - Sun Dried Raw Mangoes


My Mami is an enthusiastic cook and she loves to prepare traditional recipes and also likes to try out new dishes even now. Come summer her farm house used to bustle with vadam and pickle making activities. She has taught me to make various traditional South Indian dishes in which she excelled. When one of my followers requested for Mangai Vattal recipe I naturally surrendered to Mami and requested her for help! With undiminished zest even in her eighties, she gladly taught me the procedure to make Mangai Vattals.


Fresh raw mangoes - 2
Salt - 1/4 cup
(I used organic crystal salt)
1.Wash,wipe and dry the mangoes thoroughly.
2.Cut them lengthwise into finger-size pieces.
3.Add salt and mix well, cover and leave it overnight.

4.The next day shake the mango and salt mixture well, or stir well using a dry spoon.
5.Leave it covered for one more night so that the mango pieces soak well in a marinade of their own juice and salt.

6.On the third day remove the soaked mango pieces into a tray using a slotted ladle. Reserve the juice and cover it with a lid.
7.Spread out the pieces in a tray and leave it in the sun till the evening.

8.In the evening bring back the mango pieces and immerse them in the reserved juice and leave it covered overnight.
9.Repeat the procedure for three days till the entire juice has been absorbed.
10. Leave the well soaked mango pieces in the sun to dry for three days.


When the Mango Vattals are dried thoroughly you can see crystallized salt clinging to the pieces.
Store the Mangai Vattals in a clean and dry jar.

Relishing Curd rice with Mangai Vattal in summer is a heavenly experience. Vattals prepared in bulk can be stored for one year until the arrival of the next mango season. When mangoes are not in season these vattals are washed in warm water and then used for preparing Vattal Kuzambu or Sambar. Mangai Vattals can also be used to make instant pickles when fresh mangoes are out of  season.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Peas Poories - Fried Flat Bread With Green Peas Filling


There was a time when most of the days the after school tiffin for my children used to be Poories! They loved to eat the hot puffy Poories straight from the frying pan with potato Palya or Chana masala, and sometimes even with jam or sugar. It was not an easy job to attend to the voracious appetite of three growing children all at once. So on Poorie days my kitchen virtually turned into a mini factory where Poories were mechanically rolled out, fried and shot off onto my children's plates in quick succession with only me working on the assembly line! Years have rolled by changing them into health conscious individuals and Poories have gone down to the bottom of their list of priorities!
When my friend shared the recipe for Peas Poories the craving for the long forgotten Poories emerged from the bottom of my heart. And here is the result!
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Salt - one pinch
Oil - 2 tbsps
Oil - for frying

Fresh green peas - 1 cup
Green chilly - 1
Fresh ginger - 1 piece
Fresh coriander leaves - 1 fistful
Salt - 1 or two pinches
Cumin seeds - 1 pinch
1. Add salt and oil to the wheat flour and knead together into a smooth and pliable dough adding water little by little.
2. Brush a tablespoon of oil on the dough, cover and keep it aside.
3. Boil peas till they are just done and drain.
4. Coarsely grind together cooked peas, green chilly, ginger,coriander leaves, cumin seeds and salt without adding water.

5. Pinch out a ball of dough and roll out into a circle. Dusting with flour is not necessary since the oil will facilitate easy rolling.
6. Place a scoop of the peas filling in the center, bring the edges together and seal.

7. Place the sealed side down and roll out into a palm size  Poorie of 1/4 inch thickness.

8. Fry on medium flame till the Poorie turns golden in colour.
9. Fry the Peas Poories one by one and drain on a kitchen towel.

 Hot and crisp Peas Poories may  not look as puffy as the normal poories  but they taste delicious with or without a dip. It is a filling snack and one can not eat beyond one or two of them.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Angaya Podi - An Appetizing Kitchen Medicine


Ugadi is round the corner.The rain washed neem trees sway in the morning breeze carrying the pleasant fragrance of the tiny neem flowers. This is the season to collect, dry and store the tiny pearl white flowers for future use. The foremost among the abundant health benefits of neem  flower is its ability to improve and protect digestive health. Neem flowers do not lose their fragrance even after they are dried. The flavour of any rasam is greatly enhanced by seasoning it with a pinch of dry neem flowers in ghee.
Neem flower is one of the ingredients in a traditional recipe called Angaya Podi which is included in   postpartum diet. The flavoursome, slightly bitter-spicy powder is good for the digestive health of one and all. It is interesting to note that different parts of different plants like seeds, flowers, leaves, berries, roots and spices go into the preparation of Angaya Podi.


Coriander seeds - 1/2 cup
Neem flowers (sun dried) - 1/4 cup
Curry leaves - 1/2 cup
Dried Turkey berries/ Sundaikkai Vattal - 1 tbsp
Dry ginger root - 1 piece
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies(broken) - 2
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
1.Smash the ginger and then powder it in a mixer.
2.Pass the ginger powder through a tea strainer (to separate the fibers)and keep the fine powder aside.
3.Wash and pat the curry leaves dry.
4.Dry roast coriander seeds, dry neem flowers, sundaikkai vattal, pepper and cumin seeds separately till they change colour and emanate a pleasant aroma. Use medium or low flame so that they do not get burnt.
5.Roast the curry leaves till they turn crisp and start spluttering.
6.Heat one drop of ghee in the pan and roast the broken red chillies till they become crisp and switch off flame.
7.Immediately add the asafoetida powder.The heat of the pan is enough to roast the asafoetida powder.
8.When all the ingredients cool down grind them together into a smooth powder adding salt and ginger powder. Cool the Angaya Podi and store in a clean dry bottle.

Add a teaspoon of Angaya Podi and a teaspoon of fresh ghee to steaming hot rice and relish two or three morsels at the start of a meal. The hot delicious morsel activates the digestive juices and kindles the appetite.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kittale Chitraanna / Orange Pazha Sadam - Variety Rice With Orange

Hot days have already arrived! A simple, cool and quick meal is what we wish for! Chitraanna or Variety rice with a cold raita is most soothing when the temperature is soaring. Many a time we start with doing something and end up doing something else! A simple Lemon rice and a mixed vegetable raita was what I had in mind when I started cooking. I ended up making Kittale Chitraanna / Orange Pazha Sadam when an intuitive flash took over!

Rice - 1 Cup
Orange - 1
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Carrot - 1
Capsicum - 1
Green peas - 1 handful
Peanuts - 2 tbsps
Salt - 1 tsp
Black pepper (Crushed) - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies (Broken) - 2
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
Orange wedges(Peeled) - for garnishing
1.Wash and cook rice in two cups of water and allow to cool.
2.Chop capsicum and carrot into thin lengthwise strips.

3.Extract the juice of one orange, add salt and keep it aside.
4.Chop a piece of orange peel into thin long strips.
5.Heat oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds followed by crushed pepper.
6.Add the peanuts and allow them to crack.
7.Add the broken red chillies and the orange peel and saute on medium flame till it emanates a zesty flavour.

8.Add the rest of the vegetables and stir fry till they are just cooked.
9.Pour the orange juice with salt and immediately switch off flame.

10.Fluff up the cooked rice and add to the seasoning.
11.Mix well without mashing up the rice.
12.Garnish the Kittale Chitraanna with orange wedges and chopped coriander leaves.

Enjoy the Orange Rice with your favourite raita.