Monday, March 30, 2015

Peerkangai chutney / Ridge gourd chutney

Ridge gourd chutney
Peerkangai chutney


When I was looking for a healthy vegetable chutney recipe in internet, I came across with this ridge gourd chutney. I made few modifications and tried this chutney at home to serve as a side dish for idli and dosa. It turned out to a tasty and yummy chutney. Ridge gourd is commonly known as peerkangai in tamil and it has plenty of health benefits. Listing few here:


  • Ridge gourd is extremely rich in dietary fiber and enriched with all the vital elements that include Vit-C, Zinc, Iron, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Thiamin and traces of another minerals.
  • It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories that aids in weight loss.
  • Ridge gourd contains good content of cellulose and high in water content that helps to relieve from constipation and healing piles.
  • It is good for skin care, as the blood purifying qualities in it ensures you to stay clear from pimples and acne.
Health benefits courtesy: healthandbloom.com


Ingredients (serves for 3)


Peerkangai / Ridge gourd - 1 medium size
onion (big size) - 1
green chili - 4
garlic - 1
oil - 3 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
urad dal - 3 tsp
curry leaves - few
salt - as needed
tamarind - 1.5 inch piece


Method:


  • Peel off the sharp edges of ridge gourd skin, slit it and take out the seed part inside . cut into small pieces
  • chop onion and slit the green chilies
  • soak tamarind in little water
  • heat 2 tsp of oil in a vessel and add 2 tsp of urad dal, chopped onion, garlic and green chilies
  • fry till the onion become transparent
  • add the chopped ridge gourd and sprinkle some water on it
  • add salt and cook covered till the ridge gourd becomes soft and cooked
  • switch off the flame and let it cool down 
  • once it is cooled, grind it to a fine paste along with the soaked tamarind piece
  • heat 1 tsp of oil and add mustard seeds, 1 tsp of urad dal and curry leaves
  • once it splutters, add it to the grounded chutney
  • serve as a side dish for idli and dosa. 


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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lauki halwa / Bottlegourd halwa / Sorakkai halwa


Lauki halwa
Lauki halwa
Bottlegourd, widely known as Lauki in Hindi and sorakkai in tamil. We can make plenty of dishes using bottlegourd. One of the hit recipes using bottlegourd is Bottlegourd biryani . Other than the usual curries with bottlegourd, wanted to try my hands on sweet. And it came out very well, and the taste was excellent. Try out this yummy dessert at your home and share your feedback in the comments section below.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Bottlegourd / lauki / sorakkai (shredded) - 1 1/2 cup    [ 1 cup size = 150 ml ]
milk - 1 cup
sugar - 1/2 cup
cashews - 10 -12 nos
elachi powder (cardamom powder) - a pinch
food color - a pinch (optional)
ghee - 4 tsp


Method:


  • Heat ghee in a vessel and add cashews
  • fry till the cashews become golden brown in color. once the color changed, take out the cashews from the ghee
  • In the same ghee, add the shredded bottlegourd
  • saute till the bottlegourd becomes transparent and then add milk
  • cook till the milk thickens
  • add sugar and mix well
  • add food color if needed and then add elachi powder
  • cook till ghee oozes out.
     
  • switch off the flame and garnish it with fried cashews
  • serve as a dessert. 


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Monday, March 2, 2015

Phulka (Soft and flat wheat breads)


Phulka
Phulka

Phulka - also known as roti or chappathi is a soft, flat bread made of wheat flour, popular in several regions in India. Initially I thought, making phulka is a very difficult task but after trying out 2, 3 times, it became easy and everyone prefers to have roti this way. Making roti this way gives a soft and fluffy chappathi and it remains soft for a longer time.

Ingredients (makes around 9 phulkas)


Wheat flour - 2 cups (1 cup size = 150 ml) and some more flour for dusting
salt - as needed
water - as needed


Method:


  • mix salt and wheat flour together
  • add water little by little and make a smooth dough. Dough has to be loose and moist. 
     
  • cover the dough with a wet cloth for 30 minutes
  • after 30 minutes, dust it with some flour, kneed well and make equal size balls of small lemon size.
  • dust some flour on the rolling board and pin 
  • roll the dough balls to thin flat circle. Sprinkle some flour for easy rolling. 
  • heat a pan and put the roti (pan has to be real hot for making phulkas)
  • turn over in few seconds and cook until the ends start lifting up
  • turnover now and you will see some brown spots
  • remove the pan and place the roti wire rack on the flame. Place the less cooked side of the phulkas on the rack, the phulka will start puffing up now. You can use the wire rack on both direct flame stove and  electric stove top or electric coil top. You can also keep it in direct flame, but that needs lot more practice to make perfect phulkas. 

  • Once the phulka starts puffing up, remove the rack from the flame and place the phulka in a plate. 
  • Now place the pan back on the flame and cook rest of the phulkas
  • Serve hot with dal tadka, raita or any other side dish.
  • If you are going to eat the phulkas later, then you can apply some ghee over each phulka and cover it with a lid. Phulkas will remain soft. 


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Monday, February 9, 2015

Mixed vegetable chutney


Vegetable chutney
Vegetable Chutney


I bought Premier mixer 2 years back but didn't happen to see the manual given. Last week, I got to see the manual and was glancing through it. To my surprise, there are so many recipes. And the first one which impressed me in that recipe book is this Vegetable chutney. What a wise way to include chayote and carrot in a chutney. This is definitely a hit recipe and it can be given to kids as well as a side dish for idli , dosa. There is no way, the kids going to find the veggies inside this chutney. This chutney is super delicious, tasty and of course healthy.

I have added only 4 red chilies. As we are adding carrot and chayote, it will add a sweet flavour to the chutney and hence the spice level of this chutney is mild. If you want it spicy, then you can add one or more red chilies to the recipe.

This chutney can be served along with Idli , dosa, rava onion dosa, chappathi, upma, parathas and ven pongal


Ingredients (serves for 4)


onion (thinly sliced) - 1/2 cup ( 1 cup size= 240ml)
dry red chilies - 4
gram dal - 2 tablespoon
carrot (chopped) - 1/2 cup
chayote / chow chow (chopped) - 1/2 cup
tomato (chopped)- 3/4 cup
oil - 4.5 tsp
grated coconut - 1/3 cup
coriander leaves - 1 fist full
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 2 sprigs
asafoetida - a pinch
salt- as needed


Method:


  • Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a vessel and roast gram dal, 1 sprig of curry leaves and dry red chilies. Allow it cool
  • Heat 2 tsp of oil in the same vessel and fry sliced onions
  • once the onions become transparent, add chopped carrot and chayote
  • Once the veggies are cooked 3/4th, add the chopped tomato
  • cook till the tomatoes become mushy
  • finally add grated coconut and coriander leaves.
  • Mix well. Switch off the flame and allow to cool thoroughly
  • put roasted red chili and gram dal in the mixie / blender and powder it 
  • add the fried vegetables and grind it to a smooth paste. Transfer it to a bowl
  • heat 1 tsp of oil and add mustard seeds, asafoetida and 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • Once the mustard seeds splutters , pour it over the chutney
  • Serve as a side dish for idli, dosa, chappathi, upma or pongal.
  • You can increase the spice level by adding more red chilies



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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sutta kathirikkai curry / Roasted brinjal tamarind curry / Brinjal gothsu


Brinjal gothsu
Roasted brinjal gothsu


Brinjal gothsu / Sutta kathirikkai curry is a south Indian recipe, served as a side dish for rava upma, idli, dosa or it can be directly mixed with white rice. As we are roasting the brinjal in direct flame, it gives a unique smoky taste and flavor to the dish. I learnt this recipe from my SIL. First time, I just guessed the recipe and made it but it didn't come out like how my SIL used to make. Next time, when I tasted it at her home, I asked for the recipe and made it right this time. You can also make this recipe with the eggplant.

If you don't have gas stove, you can also cook the brinjal/ eggplant in conventional oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the brinjal in oven safe dish. Make sure, you prick some holes in the brinjal using fork. Cook it for 20 - 30 minutes until the brinjal shrunk. If the eggplant is big in size, then you may need to keep it in the oven for few more minutes.  Peel off the skin and follow rest of the procedure. The only thing that will be missing, if you do this way is the smoky flavor otherwise the taste will be the same.

Try out this flavorful and yummy dish at your home and share your feedback in the comments section below.

Ingredients  (serves for 4)


Brinjal (big size) -3
sesame oil - 3 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
urad dal - 1 tsp
dry red chilies - 8 - 10
asafoetida - a pinch
curry leaves - few
tamarind - small lemon size
salt - as needed
small onions / pearl onions / shallots - 25 - 30 nos


Method:


  • rub some oil in the outer part of brinjal 
  • roast the brinjal one by one in the direct flame (keep the flame low) till the brinjal slightly shrinks. You can prick some holes in the brinjal for cooking the inside part evenly
  • cool it down and peel off the skin
     
  • mash the flesh part and keep it aside
  • soak tamarind in 1 cup of water [1 cup size = 150 ml ] and chop the small onions
  • heat 2 tsp of oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves 
  • once it splutters, cut the dry red chilies and add it to the oil
  • saute it for a minute and then add chopped small onions
  • fry till the onions become transparent and then add mashed brinjal
  • add salt and asafoetida and cook for few minutes
  • extract tamarind juice and add it to the cooked brinjal
  • add 2 cups of water and let it cook till the raw smell goes off. 
  • once the brinjal and tamarind are cooked well, switch off the flame. 
  • Serve as a side dish for rava upma, idli, dosa or you can directly mix it with white rice.


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