Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Puliambazha Panagam/Hunase Hannina Panaka - Tamarindade

It is customary to make, distribute and relish Panagams/Panakas while celebrating feasts like Ugadi, Ramanavami and Tamizh Varushapirappu which always fall during the Summer months.The traditional thirst quenchers act as ORS (Oral Re hydration Solutions) and prevent dehydration while helping one to beat the sweltering heat.  Home made Panagams/Panakas are refreshing drinks with lots of health benefits without any side effects. Various types of Panagams/Panakas are prepared using different ingredients, the most common being the Indian lemonade prepared out of lime and jaggery.
Puliambazha Panagam / Hunase Hannina Panaka is a  sweet and tangy thirst quencher prepared using Tamarind and Jaggery. Both Tamarind and Jaggery are rich sources of iron and help in  Rakta Vridhi, meaning: improves the red blood cell count.This drink detoxes the system, purifies blood and is also beneficial for digestive health. Tamarindade is an easy to make healthy drink to stand up to the heat of Summer the healthy way.

Tamarind - 1 lemon size ball
Jaggery - 1 orange size ball
Fresh ginger (peeled and crushed) - 1 tbsp
Powdered cardamom - 1 pinch
Salt - 1/4 tsp
1. Boil tamarind and jaggery in 2 glasses ( 1/2 liter) of water.

2. Boil till the jaggery melts completely emanating a pleasant aroma.
3. Cool the tamarind - jaggery water and filter it.

4. Add 2 more glasses of water to make one liter of Panagam/Panaka.
5. Mix in the crushed ginger and cardamom powder.

Chill the Puliambazha Panagam / Hunase Hannina Panaka / Tamarindade and relish the sweet sour drink sip by sip.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Lentil Dumplings In Tamarind Sauce

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a welcome change from the dal dense sambars and koottus routinely prepared in South Indian households. The spice and tang tickles the taste buds and enlivens a dull appetite. Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu with steaming hot rice and a roasted Papad for the side is the most welcome food after a long trip away from home.
Split pigeon peas/ Tur dal - 1/2 cup
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 cup
Split black gram dal - 1/4 cup
Red chillies - 3
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Grated carrot - 1/2 cup
Chopped coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
1. Wash and soak the three dals and red chillies together for 40 minutes  till they become soft.
2. Drain the dals and grind coarsely without adding water. 
3. Mix carrot gratings, chopped coriander leaves, salt and asafoetida with the ground dal.

4. Take out a scoop of the prepared dal and shape it into a dumpling without applying too much pressure. This will help the dumpling to stay soft.
5. Use up the entire mixture to make more dumplings and steam them for 15 minutes. Keep them aside.

Tamarind - 1 lime size ball
Sambar powder - 2 tsps
Salt - 2 tsps
Jaggery - a marble size piece
Rice flour - 2 tsps for thickening
Sesame Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Broken red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a few
1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice to make two glasses.
2. Add sambar powder, salt and jaggery.
3. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds.
4. Add fenugreek seeds followed by Bengal gram dal.
5. When the dal turns golden in colour add broken red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves.
6. Pour the tamarind juice mixture into the seasoning.
7. Cook till the Kuzhambu emanates a very pleasant aroma.
8. Mix little water with rice flour to make a paste and stir in the paste.

9. When the kuzhambu thickens decrease flame gently and add the Paruppu Urundais.

10. Simmer for two minutes and switch off flame.

Enjoy the flavoursome Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu with hot rice topped with a liberal spoon of fresh ghee which adds a heavenly aroma to the food.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Balekayi Palya with Peel - Raw Banana Curry with Peel Intact

Cooking with peels has been in practice in South Indian homes since ancient times. Peels of ridge gourd, chow chow, cucumber and bottle gourd are used in making delicious chutneys to this day. A tangy gojju prepared out of orange peels is an all time favourite. Raw Banana Peels cooked into a delicious curry is known as Balekayi Sippe Palya in Kannada, Vazhaikkai Tol Curry in Tamil and Kaya Tholi Thoran in Malayalam. In Andhra a chutney known as Aratikaya Thokka Pachadi is prepared using raw banana peels. Vegetable peels are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Simple dishes prepared using them are delicious and nutritious at the same time
Here is a recipe for Raw Banana Curry with the peel and nutrients intact. Since we are cooking the bananas with their peel, select the ones that have a bright green skin without blemishes. Raw bananas kept immersed in water will keep fresh until four or five days, though changing the water every day is necessary.

Raw bananas - 3
Sambar Powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tbsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split Black gram dal - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
1. Wash the bananas thoroughly, slice off the ends, chop them into cubes along with the peel and immerse them in water.

2. Heat oil in a kadai and season with mustard seeds, split black gram dal and asafoetida.
3. When the mustard seeds splutter and the dal turns golden in colour, squeeze out the chopped banana cubes from the water and add them to the seasoning.
4. Add sambar powder and salt.

5. Stir well and close with a lid.

6. Allow the curry to cook on low flame stirring now and then.

7. Switch off flame when the curry is done.

Enjoy the soft and delicious Balekayi Palya with Peel with your meal.