Monday, December 29, 2014

Vazhaithandu poriyal / Banana stem dry curry / Plantain stem dry curry



Vazhaithandu (in tamil) is commonly known as Banana stem / Plaintain stem / Plantain shoot in english. The banana tree will only fruit once. After harvesting the fruit, the tree can be cut and the layers can be peeled like an onion to get a cylinder shaped soft shoot. This plantains shoot can be cleaned, chopped and then cooked to a wonderful dry curry which can be served as a side dish for any rice and curries. This Banana stem dry curry is very popular in south Indian side and in Kerala, it is said to be Vazhaithandu thoran. 

Plantain stem has many health benefits:

  • rich in fiber and helps in weight loss. 
  • helps ease constipation.
  • rich in potassium and vitamin B6, which helps in production of haemoglobin and insulin. 
  • helps prevent high blood pressure and maintain fluid balance within the body.
  • it is also used to prevent and treat kidney stones.

Try out this vazhaithandu poriyal recipe at your home and share your feedback in the comments section below.

Ingredients 


vazhaithandu / Banana stem / Plantain stem (chopped) -  2 cups [1 cup size = 240 ml]
oil - 2 tsp
mustad seeds - 1 tsp
urad dal - 1 tsp
moong dal - 3 tablespoon
curry leaves - 1 sprig
small onion / pearl onions / shallots - 15 - 20 nos
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
grated coconut - 4 tablespoon
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
dry red chili - 2
salt - as needed
asafoetida - a pinch



Method:



  • If you don't know how to clean and cut banana stem, please check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_EstGKo5m0&feature=youtu.be
  • wash and soak moong dal for 10 minutes
  • chop the small onions
  • grind grated coconut, cumin seeds and dry red chili to a coarse powder
  • heat oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds
  • once it splutters, add urad dal, curry leaves, soaked moong dal and small onions
  • once the onions become transparent, add chopped banana stem. 
  • sprinkle some water, add turmeric powder, salt, asafoetida and cook covered till the banana stem gets completely cooked
  • once the vegetable is cooked, add grounded coconut mixture. Mix well
  • cook it for 4 - 5 mins and then switch off the flame. 
  • Serve as a side dish for any rice and kuzhambu varieties. 


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kambu koozh / Kambu kanji / Pearl millet porridge / Bajra flour porridge



Kambu koozh
Pearl millet porridge


Millets are healthy, easy to digest, gluten free and  having a high nutritional value than wheat. Millets are great source of starch, making it a high energy food. It is also an excellent source of protein and fiber. Pearl millet is a rich source of phosphorous, which plays an important part in the structure of body cells. It helps in preventing gallstones in woman, helps in minimizing the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks.

Pearl millet is commonly known as Kambu in Tamil  and Bajra in Hindi. We can make plenty of recipes with millet flour. I made porridge for breakfast today as it is very easy and quick to make.

As millet has lot of health benefits, its always good to add dishes with millet to our regular diet. So lets try out this quick and easy porridge recipe with pearl millet flour. Please share your feedback in the comments section below.



Ingredients


Kambu maavu / Bajra flour / Pearl millet flour - 1/2 cup   [ 1 cup size = 240 ml ]
small onion / pearl onions / shallots - 25 - 30 nos
green chili - 2
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
jeera / cumin seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig
asafoetida - a pinch
buttermilk - 3 cups
salt - as needed
oil - 1 tsp
water - 3 cups


Method:


  • mix well bajra flour and water in a bowl using a whisk. You can also use a spoon to mix well. (There shouldn't be any lumps. mix it well)

     
  • add salt and heat this mixture  in medium flame
  • stir the mixture continuously as it tends to stick to the bottom. Switch off the flame when it gets thicker. Consistency will be little thinner than idli batter.
  • let it cool down. When it cools down, it forms a thick layer at the top so stir often to avoid that.
  • once the mixture gets cooled down, add buttermilk. Mix well. [If you don't have buttermilk, just beat 1 cup of curd with 2 cups of water and then add it instead of buttermilk ]
     
  • chop small onions and fine chop the green chilies
  • heat oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds
  • once it splutters, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida
  • add chopped onions and green chili and saute it till the onions become transparent
     
  • transfer it to the porridge and mix well
  • Serve this healthy pearl millet porridge for breakfast.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Corn pulao




After a long gap, got some time to post a recipe. Though I have drafted few other recipes already, I couldn't resist posting this corn pulao recipe which I made yesterday as the taste was delicious. Fresh corn always taste better and when you get it straight from your uncle's farm then its super fresh, no worries about pesticides. That's the advantage of staying in your native.

We usually steam cook the corn or toast it in direct fire to have it as snack. However, this time we got lot of corn and I wanted to try something different than the usual snack. So tried this easy corn pulav. As we are using fresh corn, steaming it before adding to the rice is required as corn takes more time to cook.

Try out this delicious rice dish made with corn at your home and share your feedback in the comments section below.

Ingredients (serves for 4)


Rice - 2.5 cups [ 1 cup size = 150 ml ]
fresh corn kernels - 1 cup [ taken out of one medium size corn ]
mint leaves - 2 fist full
onion - 1
green chili - 3
bay leaves - 1
clove - 1
cardamom - 1
fennel seeds - 1.5 tsp
star anise - 1
cinnamon - 1 small stick
salt - as needed
water - 3 cups [ If you are using basmati rice, add 1 3/4 cups (1.75) of water ]
coconut milk - 2 cups 
ginger garlic paste - 1.5 tsp
coriander leaves - for garnishing
oil - 3 tsp
ghee - 1 tsp (optional)



Method:


  • soak rice for 15 - 20 mins
  • Immerse corn in water and pressure cook it for 4 whistles
  • Once the pressure is released, remove the corn kernels (1 medium size corn yields around 1 cup)
  • slice onions and slit the green chili lengthwise
  • heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker and add fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom, clove and bay leaves
  • saute it for a minute and then add mint leaves
  • fry till the leaves shrink and then add onion, green chili
  • saute till the onions become transparent and then add ginger garlic paste
  • saute it for a minute and add corn kernels and fry it for 2 - 3 minutes
  • add salt, coconut milk and water. 
     
  • add rice and mix well. 
  • If you are using regular rice, then for 1 cup of rice, you have to add 2 cups of water, If you are using basmati rice, then for 1 cup of rice, you have to add 1.5 cups of water. As we are adding 2 cups of coconut milk, adjust the water content accordingly. 
  • pressure cook the rice for 1 whistle and switch off the flame
  • mix using a fork
  • serve hot with onion raita or any type of kurma / gravies. 

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