Friday, February 15, 2019

Parangikottai Curry - Baby Pumpkin Curry

Parangikkai/ Yellow Pumpkin is available in plenty during Sankranti/ Pongal season. It is one of the many farm produce which is thankfully offered to Sun God during the harvest festival. Cutting through the huge vegetable is quite a task due to its hard shell-like skin. My grandmother's cook used to hurl it down on the floor to break open the pumpkin since his knives failed to do the job! A pumpkin variety called  Parangikottai (Baby Pumpkins) are smaller and tender and they taste as delicious as the huge Parangikkais. Taste them in this delicious dry Curry and you are sure to be addicted to it!

Baby Pumpkin/Parangikottai - 1 ( roughly yields four cups of cubes when chopped.)
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split Black gram dal - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 2 (Broken)
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Asafoetida -1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps
Salt - 1/4 tsp or more depending on your taste ( It should be just enough to enhance the sweet taste of the Pumpkin)
1. Peel and chop the Parangikottai/ Baby pumpkin into small cubes.

2. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add the dals and fry till they turn slightly golden in colour.
4. Add broken red chillies and fry till they become crisp.
5. Stir in the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder.

6. Add the chopped pumpkin pieces and salt and stir well.

7. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame stirring now and then.The vegetable will cook in its own juice. 
8. Check now and then so that it does not become mushy. 
9. When the curry is just done mix in the freshly grated coconut.
10. Keep stirring till the Curry emanates a pleasant aroma and then switch off flame.

Parangikottai Curry is a delicious side dish and goes very well with rice as well as rotis.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ragi Uppittu / Ragi Upma

My family has been savouring Ragi dishes since a very long time. That was the only millet we were aware of till the other varieties started getting star status. My mother always served soft Ragi Muddaes along with delicious sambar at least once a week. One needs to cultivate the taste for Ragi to enjoy Ragi Muddae. But  Ragi dosaes and rottis are appealing to one and all. Ragi Uppittu/ Ragi Upma is another  tasty and nutritious breakfast recipe which can be easily prepared.

Ragi flour - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Onion (Chopped finely) - 1/2 cup
Carrots (grated) - 1/2 cup
Green chillies (chopped) - 2 tsps
Ginger (grated) - 1 tbsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Juice of one lime
Coriander leaves for garnishing
1. Dry roast Ragi flour till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
2. Add salt after it cools down and mix well.
3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water all over the flour and mix till it becomes moist.

4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard seeds crackle add the dals and fry till they turn golden in colour.
6. Add asafoetida and chopped onion followed by green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.
7. When the onion turns translucent add the grated carrots and saute till done.

8. Now add the moistened Ragi flour to the seasoning and stir well.

9. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water, mix thoroughly and cover and cook on low flame till the flour is cooked.
10. Remove the lid and keep stirring till it becomes crumbly.
11. Sprinkle more water if the Uppittu/Upma is too dry and cook till you get a soft but crumbly Uppittu/Upma.
12. Switch off flame and mix in the lime juice.

Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy the fresh Ragi Uppittu/Ragi Upma with tomato slices and a cup of curd.