Sunday, April 5, 2020

Killiya Milagai Sambar - A Sambar without Sambar Powder

We enjoy our visits to our native village for its rustic and serene atmosphere. The authentic food served lovingly by Rukmini is another major attraction. A mere thought of her Chettinadu Takkali Rasam, Kuzhal Puttu, Pachai Poondu Takkali Chutney, Vegetable Biriani, Vadais, Paniyarams, Bajjis and super soft Idlies is enough to transport us to an entire new world filled with the aromas of a traditional South Indian rural kitchen. Rukmini's special Sambar is a flavoursome blend of local vegetables and dal seasoned with Killiya Milagai ( Broken Chillies ).
Her  plating ( Or leafing? ) was very simple.
A flavoursome Sambar prepared with drumsticks, baby onions and tomatoes was virtually poured over fluffy and light Idlies on a shimmering banana leaf, with delicious Vadais and coconut chutney served on the side.

The secret ingredient she did not use while preparing the slurp worthy Sambar was -Sambar Powder!

Tur Dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - a cherry size ball
Salt - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chillies - 3 ( Broken)
Green chillies - 2 ( Slit )
Curry leaves - a few
Baby onions ( Peeled ) - 1/4 cup
Capsicum / Eggplant ( Chopped ) - 1/4 cup
Potatoes ( Peeled and chopped ) - 1/4 cup
Tomatoes ( Chopped ) - 1/4 cup
1. Pressure cook dal with turmeric powder and 2 cups of water.
2. Soak tamarind in warm water, extract juice and keep it aside.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai, splutter mustard seeds followed by fenugreek seeds.
4. Add broken red chillies, asafoetida, slit green chillies and curry leaves one by one. Increase the number of chillies if you prefer a more spicy Sambar.
5. Stir the seasoning and add baby onions.
6. When the onions turn glassy add capsicum / eggplant (Locally known as Vari kattirikai) and potatoes and saute till they are cooked.
7. Add tomatoes and stir for a couple of minutes.


8. Stir in the tamarind juice, salt and the cooked and mashed dal. Add a cup of water if the Sambar is too thick.

9. Cook the Killiya Milagai Sambar for another five minutes till the flavours blend together.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and enjoy the Killiya Milagai Sambar with Idlies and Dosas. This Sambar without Sambar Powder can also be relished with steaming hot rice.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Jack Fruit Mousse

Days are gradually getting hotter indicating that summer is fast approaching. The occasional thunder storm brings in the aroma of wet mud and also the sweet fruity aroma of the tropical fruits. Just the other day my brother shared with us the first Jack fruit of the season freshly harvested from his garden.The ripe fruit was very sweet and juicy emanating a heavenly aroma. ' Unda Mavu, Hasida Halasu ' is a saying in Kannada which means a mango should be relished after a meal and jack fruit needs to be savoured only when hungry. Jack fruit is a highly nutritious fruit with high fiber content, hence it takes a longer time to digest. Relishing it with honey helps in easy digestion. We enjoyed the fruit well before our meal. And who could refuse the delicious 'Jill' Jack Fruit Mousse prepared and served as a dessert by my dear sister?! ( Jill - means chilled in Tamil)
Recipe and Preparation - By Vidya Murali

Jack fruit bulbs ( ripe and juicy) - 2 cups
Milk or Almond milk or Soy milk - 1/4 cup
Chia seeds - for topping
1. Remove seeds and blend the Jack fruit bulbs into a smooth puree.
2. Add thick milk and blend it again till it becomes fluffy.
3. Pour into a dessert bowl and sprinkle chia seeds.

 4. Chill .

Enjoy the 'Jill' Jack Fruit Mousse and celebrate the flavour of summer ! 
( The fruit was so tender, juicy and sweet that it did not need any sweetening or cooking. Milk can be added as required so that the blend obtains a custard like consistency before chilling.)