Category Archives: Cooking

Undiyu (Gujarati mixed vegetable curry)

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As part of Writing 101, our prompt today is to choose a place that we would like to be transported to. This could either be some place in the past or a place I would like to one-day visit in the future. I decided to pick a recipe from childhood, probably because nostalgia is such a strong thing. The recipe I’m sharing today is called Undhiyu. It’s a Gujarati vegetable curry consisting of interesting winter veggies from India. This dish is usually made during the winter months since it is quite a hearty dish or on special occasions (read guests coming over). I’ve always eaten Undhiyu when we used to visit my aunt’s family, who are Gujarati. My aunt’s mother used to make delicious Undhiyu, and serve it thali style, accompanied with thin and fluffy phulkas (a kind of Indian bread) and thick mango juice in a cup beside the bread. As I write this recipe, I think back about the fun afternoons we shared at my aunt’s, enjoying delicious food, playing in the park with my cousins and finishing it up with some fun card games. This recipe is requires some preparation, especially procuring different veggies that lend a unique take to this dish. Also, the traditional recipe is time consuming but I made pressure cooker version that helped cut down my cooking time. This was the first time I tried making this dish and I was very happy with the result. The H approached it gingerly, as he would with any unfamiliar dish, but he liked it as well, so I was happy with the experiment and the effort.

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The recipe:

Source – Bhavna Patel + my aunt

Preparation time – 30 minutes

Cooking time – 15 minutes

Serves – 4

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the muthiyas

  • 1 cup methi (fenugreek) leaves
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • ¼ cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • A pinch of fruit salt
  • Salt to taste
  • A few tbsp oil to fry

For the masala

  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 6 green chillies
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp crushed jaggery or sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Veggies

  • 1 cup tender Indian beans (surti papdi in Hindi, avarekalu in Kannada and mochaika in Tamil)
  • 1 cup cubed yams (I used purple yam like they traditionally do in Gujarat)
  • 6 baby eggplants
  • 2 baby potatoes
  • 1 cup green peas

For tempering

  • 1 tsp carom seeds
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

How to make it

Undhiyu

Muthiyas

  1. Mix all the ingredients listed under ‘muthiyas’ above, using a little water if required to form a stiff dough.
  2. Break small balls and shape them into cylinders as shown in the picture.
  3. Shallow fry on medium flame until golden brown on the outside. Make sure not to have the oil too hot, to ensure the inside is cooked as well. Remove from the oil and pat dry on a paper towel.

Making the masala

  1. Grind the chillies, ginger and garlic into a coarse paste.
  2. Add it to the chopped coriander. Mix with all the other ingredients listed under ‘For the masala’.

Preparing the veggies

  1. Slit all the baby eggplants from the side up, keeping the top in tact. Do the same with the baby potatoes
  2. Now take some of the masala which you’ve just prepared, add a tbsp. besan to this and mix well.
  3. Use this to stuff the baby eggplants and potatoes and keep aside.
  4. Wash and peel most of the Indian beans. If using very tender Indian beans, you can add them in whole like I did.

Making the curry

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Once hot, add carom seeds and reduce the heat.
  2. Add the masala paste followed by the stuffed baby eggplants and baby potatoes
  3. Add the rest of the veggies and stir gently, making sure not to disturb the stuffed veggies.
  4. Add the fried muthiyas, which were prepared earlier.
  5. Add a cup or water and close the pressure cooker. Cook until you hear 3 whistles on medium heat (the Indian beans might take a little time to cook until tender).
  6. Open the cooker once it is cool. Mix everything together and give it a taste test.
  7. Serve hot with rotis or steamed rice. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Additional notes:

  1. My recipe is not traditional, since I did not use all the veggies that this dish normally calls for. Other veggies that can be added include sweet potatoes, regular yams, fresh tuvar beans and plantain and fresh garlic leaves.
  2. Undhiyu is traditionally served with cut pieces of ripe banana on top of the curry. But I’m not a big fan of banana, especially in savory dishes; hence I’ve eliminated this.
  3. This was my first attempt at Undhiyu and I did not want to stray too far away from the recipe and hence I fried the muthiyas. But I’ve been reading that it’s also possible to steam them. So the next time I will try that technique.
  4. I used frozen Indian beans and purple yams due to lack of fresh counterparts. But this helped to cut my preparation time. 🙂 If you area using fresh veggies, preparing and dicing some of the veggies might take slightly longer.
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Maavinakaai Chitranna (Raw mango rice)

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Maavinakai chitranna

Maavinakai chitranna

Sharing a recipe after a hiatus of almost a year! Breaking the no-post bad spell with an authentic kannadiga recipe which I love. I made this today and shared it with a friend. Her son liked it so much that she decided to try it too. So for her benefit and hopefully others too, here’s the recipe.

The recipe:
Source – Mum
Cooking time – 20 mins
Serves – 2 – 3

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 medium sized raw mango (grated)
  • 4 tablespoon coconut (grated)
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch of turmeric
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • salt to taste

For seasoning

  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp channa dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 dried red chilli (broken into bits)
  • 1 strand of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp oil

How to make it:
1. Pressure cook rice with a pinch of salt and a few drops of oil. Use a little lesser water than you would normally so that the rice is not too mushy and soft.
2. While the rice is cooking, grind the coconut, dried chillies, mustard seeds, hing and turmeric into a fine paste with as little water as necessary.
3. Now, we need to prepare the seasoning – For this, to a heated pan, add 1 tbsp oil. Once it’s hot, reduce the flame to medium and add the mustard seeds; let it crackle. Then add the channa dal and let it turn reddish color. As it’s getting roasted add the urad dal, dried chili bits. Finally let the curry leaves in and let them splutter.
4. Pour in the ground mixture to the pan and stir it until the raw smell disappears (or around 5 minutes). Add salt to taste and turn of the stove.
5. As you wait for the mixture to get cooked, peel and grate the raw mango.
6. Add the raw mango to the mixture after turning off the stove. Add rice and mix well. Check for salt before serving.

Note:
– Fluff the rice a bit by cooling it on a plate or a wide bowl before mixing to ensure the rice doesn’t break or get mushy.
– If the raw mango isn’t very sour, you can add a bit of tamarind pulp water into the mixture as it cooks.
– You can make this rice with a variation using onions instead of raw mango – Thinly slice the onions and add to the ground mixture as it cooks in the pan and add tamarind water from a small lime sized ball of tamarind. Cook until most of the water evaporates.

Mishti Doi (Bengali firm yogurt dessert)

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Last week I tried 2 new dishes to celebrate Gokulashtami/ Janmashtami. The first was the Thatai, for a savory snack and then I decided to accompany it with a sweet dish. I know, Mishti Doi is is not a conventional gokulashtami preparation, but it is a great dessert nevertheless. 🙂 It is one of the flagship Bengali desserts from and my must-have-favorites at K.C. Das. What makes this a great dessert is that it can be easily made with commonly available ingredients, almost like making regular curd/yogurt at home. I started out with the recipe (version 2) from Dishesfrommykitchen, a very beautiful food blog. But I replaced most of the sugar with honey and made a couple of changes. And as you can see from the pictures below, the H and I have been trying to get a little creative before we dug into the cups. I was really happy with the outcome of this dessert, both the taste and our presentation, hence proudly presenting to you, the Mishti Doi.

Mishti Doi – sweet yogurt dessert

The Recipe:

Source- inspired from Dishesfrommykitchen
Active cooking time – 20 minutes
Wait time – at least 6 hours
Serves – 2

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups milk (I used low fat)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh yogurt/curd
  • Saffron for decoration (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pot, until it reduces in quantity (to almost half its initial volume).
  2. As the milk boils, heat a flat pan and add the sugar into it. Keeping stirring in medium flame until the sugar caramelizes (turns golden brown with a distinct aroma). It should be done in around 5 minutes.
  3. Once milk has reduced in volume, add the caramelized sugar and honey and mix well, and turn off the heat. Taste check the milk for sweetness.
  4. Let the milk cool down a little. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200 deg F.
  5. Once the milk is warm, not hot, add the curd into it and stir the milk well. Pour it into your little serving cups.
  6. Place the cups in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, not longer. Then immediately turn off the oven, and let the cups bake in the warmth of the oven for at least 6 hours. I left the light in the oven turned on after the oven was turned off.
  7. After the waiting time, check if the yogurt has set and then refrigerate until you serve them. Decorate and serve.

Additional notes:

1. The amount of yogurt you add into the milk can be modulated based on how quickly you want the dessert ready. The quantity of yogurt I have mentioned in this recipe is great to get the mishti doi set in 5-6 hours. If you’re not in a hurry, or live in a very hot place then you can slightly lesser yogurt.

2. I mentioned right in the beginning that I used low fat milk, mainly because that was what I had in my refrigerator. I was afraid it wouldn’t set well or be as creamy as whole milk, but it turned out firm, smooth and creamy.

3. I used honey in the recipe to make it a little more healthy. I also used organic raw sugar which was caramelized. Both together added that hue of caramel color to the doi in the pictures.

4. The slightly uneven bubbly edge in the pictures is due to the air bubbles while pouring the milk into the cups. Pour the milk slowly and carefully to avoid the formation of air bubbles.

5. I would have loved to make the mishti doi in earthen-ware, but I had to be resourceful with my kitchen so I used regular chai-cups and they were pretty and presentable as well. 🙂

Baked Thatai/Nippatu

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I’ve been waiting with eagerness the whole of last week to share this recipe as a ‘gokulashtami’ / ‘janmashtami’ special and here goes! I love savory crunchy tidbits synonymous to the festival season in India. But what I don’t like is the fact that most often they are all deep fried. Thatai in Tamil or Nippatu in Kannada is a snack made from rice flour and some spices and shaped like flat little plates, and hence the name in Tamil. Now that I have started expanding my cooking capabilities, I decided to be a little adventurous and tried a healthy baked version of the traditional Thatai. Of course I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to ruin it. But it turns out that baked Thatai is really simple to make. It doesn’t use too much oil and can be just as crispy and crunchy as the deep fried version.

For the first time, I made sure to take snapshots of all the steps. So this post has step by step illustration of the recipe. 🙂

Crunchy baked Thatai

The recipe:
Source – my Paati (maternal grandmother)
Preparation time – 20 minutes
Baking time – 20 minutes
Makes around 20 mid sized Thatai

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 cup rice flour
2 tbsp Urad dal (roasted and ground into a flour)
3 tbsp grated coconut
2 tbsp Channa dal (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
2 tbsp peanuts (roasted and crushed into big bits)
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp oil (to mix into the dough)
A few chopped curry leaves
Salt to taste

2-3 tbsp oil for baking

How to make it:

1. Lightly roast the urad dal for a couple of minutes. Let it cool and then grind it into a smooth flour.

Lightly roasted urad dal, waiting to be ground

2. Mix all the ingredients together.

All the ingredients, ready to be mixed

3. Add a little water and knead it into a workable dough.

The Thatai dough

4. Let the oven preheat to 350 deg F and grease the baking tray with 1 tbsp of oil.

5. Now to flatten out the thatais, break lime sized balls from the dough, roll it into a smooth ball. Add a drop of oil on your palm and start flattening the ball. This step can be a little tricky and the thatai might start sticking to your hand. If it does so flatten it out on your palm just a little, then transfer it to the baking tray and then flatten it out further. (I moved them from the plate to the tray just before baking it.)

Thatai – before baking

6. Fill out the baking tray neatly and place it into the preheated oven. After 10 minutes, take them out and flip them over and continue to bake them for 10-15 more minutes, until reddish brown in color. (You can reduce the temperature to 300 F after the first 10 minutes.)

7. Let them cool over some paper towels and then store in an airtight container.

Additional notes:

  1. By adjusting the level of urad dal flour, you can play the level of crispness vs. brittleness. We like it slightly brittle at home, giving our teeth something to work on. So I used a tad lesser urad dal flour.
  2. I had a little trouble getting the edges of the thatai to be neat and circular. My mother explained that this could be because the rice flour wasn’t smooth enough. So it might be useful to seive the flour if its not too smooth.
  3. I was worried about the thatai sticking to the tray while baking, but it was so easy to remove, thanks to the lack of any gluten in the mixture. 🙂

Palak Thambuli (Spiced Spinach Yogurt Purée)

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For those of you not familiar with dishes from Karnataka, presenting to you the humble thambuli. This is a kind of raita containing a ground mixture of peppercorns, cumin seeds and some greens or roots like ginger. It is a staple in many homes in coastal Karnataka and regions in the western ghats, forming the first course of the meal. We were introduced to this dish at a very young age from my aunt who hails from Sirsi and from then it became my favorite, so my mum made it very often. This is usually eaten with rice right at the beginning of the meal and it’s known to help in digestion and has other medicinal values based on the type of thambuli. I’m posting this recipe following a request from a close friend, Shri. 🙂

Now that we’re done with my history with thambuli and other trivia, let’s move on to the recipe. 🙂 I made Spinach thambuli this time.

Spinach Thambuli

The Recipe:

Source – My aunt (Dodamma)
Cooking time – 10 mins

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup or a handful of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coconut, grated
  • 1 cup fresh curd (preferably cold from the fridge)
  • 4-5 peppercorns, or 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 1 tsp ghee or butter (you can use oil if you don’t have or don’t like ghee)
  • salt to taste

For the seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp ghee or oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • A few curry leaves

How to make it:

  1. Heat the ghee in a small pan and add the whole peppercorns, cumin seeds, and dried chili.
  2. Once the chili is roasted, add the chopped spinach and cook for around 3-5 minutes until the spinach is done. Let this mixture cool.
  3. Once slightly cool, blend it along with the coconut until it turns into an almost fine pulp.
  4. Now pour in the curd and add salt and give it one whizz, just sufficient to mix it.
  5. Heat a little more ghee in the same pan used earlier, add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the curry leaves bits and hing and season the thambuli. Serve chilled along with rice right in the beginning of lunch.

Additional thoughts:

  1. It is suggested to use ghee or butter because that adds a special aroma that becomes characteristic to this dish, so try using it and you will notice a nice waft in the air and in your thambuli. 🙂
  2. A variety of thambuli can be made by substituting spinach with other ingredients like ginger, Brahmi (a herb supposedly good for the brain), doddapatre (another commonly grown herb in south India, known as omavalli in Tamil. I’ve  linked it to its closest cousin on wikipedia), and kachisoppu (another garden herb with berries, for which I couldn’t find a link). If you’ve come across other types, please share them with me. I’ll be happy to try it sometime.
  3. By the way, thambuli is pronounced as <thumb>(like the finger) and <uLi> (touching the tongue to your upper palette when you say the ‘L’ sound). 🙂
  4. Lastly, the picture shows some spring onions in the background. They are only present to beautify the photo and are not actually used in this recipe. 😛

Lettuce wraps (Vegetarian)

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I was introduced to this tasty, crunchy snack at a friend’s party and ever since I’d been meaning to try making them at home. Thanks to Lekha requesting a recipe with Lettuce, I decided to get down to business and make them. I found this authentic and elaborate recipe which makes lettuce wraps like P.F. Chang’s here. I borrowed some elements, but finally made a much simpler version at home. This dish makes a great evening snack/salad and it also works well when entertaining people at home, since it can be left as a DIY dish. Here’s a picture that was once again snapped on my phone.

Lettuce wraps filled with stir fried tofu

The Recipe:

Source: Based on P.F Chang’s recipe

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Makes: 5-6 wraps

Here’s what I used:

  • Iceberg lettuce, use the inner hearts preferably
  • 1 cup of medium firm tofu (paneer may also be used)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 inch of ginger (thinly sliced)
  • 2-3 sprigs of coriander (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • soy sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)

How to make it:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and stir fry the onions, ginger and garlic, until the onions are translucent or just brown. Add the chilli powder and soy sauce.
  2. Add the firm tofu, crushing it with your hands as you drop it in. Use a fork and break the tofu in bits, like you’d scramble an egg.
  3. Add in the salt and sugar and mix well and let it cook a little until most of the water from the tofu evaporates (may be 5 – 7 minutes).
  4. Peel the required number of lettuce leaves, wash and dry them. Add  a couple of spoons of the tofu mixture on to the lettuce wraps. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and your lettuce wraps are ready to be eaten.

Note:  Super easy huh? I know! 🙂 And the best part is they’re healthy too. You can get creative and add all sorts of fillings. Just replace tofu with egg or paneer. Add some other vegetables like capsicum or mushrooms. May be even use corn and cheese for a filling. The possibilities seem to be endless and are tickling my stomach just as I type this out. So enjoy and let me know if you have other filling ideas. 🙂

N.B:  My mini marathon of blogging has taken a back seat as a result of my new found love of hiking in the weekends. The summer is great time to spend outdoors and I’m trying to do just that. I will try to post recipes as often as I can, but I’m calling of the marathon for now, so that I don’t compromise on the quality of my posts. 🙂

Chivda (Beaten rice snack)

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Week 2, Recipe 2

Well, I’m  now making up for what was supposed to be a post last week with a healthy and tasty snack. Wow, I sound like an advertisement for Maggi. 😛 Anyway, moving on to today’s recipe, I present to you a version of the Chivda! Chivda (Maharashtrian) or Chivdo (Gujarathi) is a light and crunchy making it ideal and ideal nibble food. My gujju aunt used to send  freezer bags full of fresh homemade chivda while I did my bachelor’s away from home, becoming my favorite snack to quell my late night hunger pangs. I’ve modified her recipe and converted it into an very efficient oven recipe, that I borrowed from Bhavna’s kitchen.

Chivda

The Recipe:

Source – Son chickamma (my aunt)

Active cooking time – 5 minutes

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 500 gms or 3-4 cups of thin beaten rice (poha/avalakki/aval)
  • 3 tbsp peanuts
  • 3 tbsp roasted bengal gram
  • 2 tbsp sliced dry coconut
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 4-5 chillies slit along the length
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • a generous pinch of turmeric
  • 2 tsp sugar (powdered)
  • Salt to taste

How to make it:

  1. If you’re following the oven method then, preheat the oven to 100 deg celsius. Keep the beaten rice ready in a  large flat pyrex glass or a baking tray.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. Once its smoking, add the mustard and let it crackle. Lower the temperature to sim andadd the coconut bits, the peanuts and the bengral gram and stir carefully until golden brown. Add the chillies and the curry leaves and turn of the heat. Add the turmeric and salt.
  3. Pour it over the beaten rice, mix well for a minute and place it in the preheated oven. Let it is stay in the oven for an hour, and mix the beaten rice once every 20 mins.
  4. If you’re not using the oven, then add the beaten rice to the pan and mix well. Keep mixing on slow flame for 25-30 minutes or until crisp.
  5. When it turns crisp, add the powdered sugar, mix well and continue the heating for another 5-10 mins.

Note: Using the oven recipe, reduces the actual cooking time and effort while making chivda. Don’t increase the oven temperature and then all you need to do is check on it once in a while and carry on with your other chores.

Pavê (Brazilian dessert)

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Week 2, Recipe 1

If you’re wondering what this unfamiliar sounding dessert is, let me introduce you to a delicious Brazilian dessert, that I learnt from a close friend a couple of years ago. Pavê (pronounced Paa-vey) is a popular brazilian dessert, comparable to the Italian tiramisu. It is a layered dessert filled with biscuits, chocolate, different creams and fruits. I’m sharing a classic version with you. The original recipe uses italian lady finger biscuits as a base ingredient but since that might not be easily available I’ve come up with a suggestion below.

This dessert is filled with thickened condensed milk and whipped cream as layers between biscuits soaked in chocolate milk. A lot of brazilian desserts incorporate condensed milk and/or caramel and toffee, making them irresistable for a caramel lover like me. The original recipe contains egg, which unlike the tiramisu is cooked here. But that can be skipped without altering the taste much. Apologies for the photo which I quickly snapped on the phone before we dug right into it.

Pavê – with loads of condensed milk, whipped cream and chocolate, this dessert is one of our favorites

Pavê – tried to capture a side view of the layers

The Recipe:

Source – a close friend, Paula

Active preparation time – 25 mins

Inactive time – atleast 2 – 3 hours

Serves – 6

Here’s what you’ll need:

                                                 (OR)

  • 1 pound of plain sponge cake or pound cake
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (preferably Nestle)
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 0.5 litre chocolate milk (either readymade or using 2 tbsp cocoa powder/bournvita in 0.5 litre milk)
  • 200 – 250 ml of heavy cream/whipping cream (I used around 250 gms of readily available whipped cream)
  • 2-3 tbsp icing sugar/fine sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa powder/ chocolate sprinkles/ chocolate shavings for topping

How to make it:

  1. This step is necessary if you are using sponge cake/pound cake instead of the biscuits. Preheat the oven to 100 deg C. Cut the sponge cake into finger sized slices (lxbxh = 8x2x2 cms approximately, or if you’re not one for precise measurements like the former, just keep it to the size of your index and middle finger held together). Once they’re all sliced up, line it in a baking tray neatly and stick into the oven for an hour, until it becomes slightly crisp. Flip the slices around once in between, making sure they’re even baked.
  2. Pour the can of condensed milk into a heavy bottomed pan. Add the egg yolk and turn the stove on to low-medium heat. Keep a cautious watch over it and continue stirring continually. It is ready when you run a line on the pan with the ladle and can see the base of the pan. It takes approzimately 10-15 mins while using 1 can of condensed milk. Let this cool.
  3. Once the biscuits and the condensed milk mixture are cooled, whip the cream into a light and fluffy mixture along with the icing sugar, using a electric beater. Make sure the biscuits, chocolate milk and condensed milk are ready before the cream is whipped otherwise it will lose its fluff and become watery.
  4. Divide the biscuits into the number of layers you want to make. I made mine with 2 layers. Pour the chocolate milk into a flat dish to make it easy to dip the biscuits. Dip each biscuit for around 2-3 seconds until fully covered by milk and immediately arrange it on a flat bottomed glass dish/ plastic container. Next spread half the condensed milk mixture onto the biscuits. Follow up with half the whipped cream and lightly spread it all around. Repeat the same steps with the next layer, starting with soaking the biscuits in chocolate milk and finishing up with the whipped cream.
  5. Decorate the top with cocoa powder dusted on it using a sieve. You can also get creative and use chocolate shavings, and maybe some fruits as well.
  6. Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before serving.

Note:

I made my Pavê this time using sponge cake and followed step 1 and it tasted perfectly good. But its important to be patient and not overheat the oven since the slices might burn/brown. All you want them to do is loose their moisture. Keeping the oven temperature low, let’s you forget about them and carry on with your chores, so no stress there.

– The egg yolk adds a golden and silky texture to the condensed milk and once cooked it doesn’t smell eggy at all. I’ve skipped it when I made it for my family sometime ago and it came out just as fine.

– While dipping the biscuits in the milk, be careful not to oversoak them, which I normally have a tendency to do. Otherwise your end result will be too runny and not cake-like. Letting it sit for 2 hours will make it nice and soft. For best results make it the night before you have guests giving it a enough and more time to sit and soak up all the liquids.

Try it and I’m sure you’ll love it. 🙂

Puliyogare (Tamarind rice)

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Week 1, Recipe 3

So here comes the final recipe for this week, just in the nick of time, Puliyogare! 🙂 This dish has become a easy fix choice when the H and I are both hungry and we want something quick and without too much effort. You can have this ready in approximately 15 minutes and the result is a rice that is delicious, homely, and tastes so much better than the store bought ready-mixes. So why not try it one day? 🙂

Puliyogare served with yogurt and cucumber

The Recipe:

Source – Mum

Cooking time – 15 minutes

Serves – 2

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp peanuts (shelled)
  • 1/2 tbsp channa dal (bengal gram dal)
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 green chilli (slit along its length)
  • 5-7 curry leaves (torn into bits)
  • 1 tbsp dried coconut grated (or freshly grated coconut)
  • 1 heaped tbsp rasam powder
  • 1 lemon sized ball tamarind (diluted in 1 cup of warm water)
  • 1/2 tbsp jaggery
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (roasted and powdered)
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi) (roasted and powdered)
  • 1 generous pinch of asafoetida
  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil (optional: could use sesame oil)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup rice

How to make it:

  1. Cook the rice with 1 tsp oil in an open pot. I used the microwave so that I could check on the rice regularly and make sure it wasn’t mushy. If you’re using the pressure cooker be careful not to add too much water or overcook by letting it whistle too many times.
  2. While the rice is cooking, we need to aim to get the puliyogare gojju ready. So heat the oil in a pan and add the peanuts. Roast them for a minute and throw in the channa dal. Continue roasting until both of them just begin to turn light brown. At this stage, add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the Urad dal. Lower the flame and roast until the dal just turns dark brown. Be carfeul not to burn them.
  3. Once they’re ready, throw in the chilli and the curry leaves. Then add the grated coconut and stir well. It’s recommended to use dry coconut if you want to store it for a longer time or carry it with you while traveling etc. But fresh coconut tastes great too, which I used while making this today.
  4. Add the rasam powder, give it a good stir quickly and add the diluted tamarind pulp. To soften and dilute the tamarind faster, I normally put it in a bowl, add some water and stick it into the microwave for 30 seconds and then squeeze out the pulp. Add the jaggery and salt and boil until it thickens into a paste. When its almost ready, add the sesame seeds powder and methi powder and mix well. Give it a taste check to reach the right level of saltiness, sourness and sweetiness you want. 🙂
  5. The rice should be ready by this time. Add the mixture to the rice and fold it in lightly, without mashing the rice too much. Drizzling a little oil while mixing would be handy as well. Make sure to taste the rice one more time to ensure you’re good on the salt front.
  6. Serve warm with curd and urad dal papad.

Note: There would be hundreds of recipes out there on how to make to most authentic/best puliyogare in Iyengar style, each being tuned to the tastes of the individual. I don’t make any claims, I offer you one possible recipe handed down from my mum. Feel free to alter it according to your tastes. The best part about this dish is that it is so robust that you can alter some ingredients and probably skip some that you don’t have in your pantry and still be happy with the end product. No wonder this dish used to be/is a no-fail last resort when maamis have last minute guests for dinner. 🙂

Majjige Huli (Morkozhambu)

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Week 1, Recipe 2

OK folks, so here’s the second recipe as part of the mini marathon this month. Majjige huli in Kannada or Morkozhambu in Tamil is a curd based sambar most famous for its appearance during weddings and the festive season. It is often served along with other types of sambar like hulthove in kannadiga weddings. This can be made with different types of vegetables and the popular ones are ash-gourd, ladies finger, drumstick. My mum also makes it with the leaves and stem from amaranth (known as dhantina soppu in kannada). This time I’ve made it with drumstick. Anyway, let’s get started with the recipe under the spotlight, Drumstick Majjige Huli.

Majjige Huli / Morkozhambu

The Recipe:

Source – Mum

Preparation time – 15 minutes

Cooking time – 15 minutes

Serves – 3-4

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 drumsticks (chopped) (or 1 big cup of veggies like ash-gourd or bhindi chopped into thumb sized pieces)
  • 2 tbsp channa dal (Bengal gram dal)
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds (Dhania)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4 heaped tbsp coconut (grated)
  • 3-4 strands fresh coriander leaves)
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 cups curd (preferably slightly sour)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp freshly squeezed tamarind pulp (optional)
  • salt to taste

For the seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • a generous pinch of hing
  • a few curry leaves

How to make it:

  1. Soak the channa dal in warm water for 2-3 hours.
  2. Take 1.5 cups of water in a vessel and boil the chopped vegetable (drumstick in this case). If you’re using bhindi, first saute it in a pan with a little oil and then boil it in water. Add a small pinch of turmeric and salt to it.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, grind the dal along with the dhania seeds, jeera, red chillies and green chillies, coconut, coriander, and hing. Make sure to grind it into a fairly smooth paste.
  4. Add the mixture to the boiling vegetable. Add one cup of water and continue boiling for another 10 minutes until the mixture is cooked.
  5. Once ready, add the curd. Using tamarind is a good trick if you want achieve the right level of sourness when you don’t have sour curd. If you’re using the readymade concentrated tamarind, then 1 tsp should be sufficient.
  6. Upon adding the curd boil for a maximum of 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook at this stage since the the curd will begin to break away leaving behind water. Give it a quick taste check and its almost ready.
  7. Last step, seasoning. Heat the pan with oil. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Turn off the stove and add the hing and curry leaves and the dish is ready to be served piping hot with rice.

Note: In case you want to make this dish in advance and you’re not serving it right away, then hold off step 6 and 7. Keep everything ready and add the curd and boil for a couple of minutes just before serving.

My recipe is kind of a cross between the kannadiga and tamilian versions. Ash-gourd, drumstick and bhindi are the most popular veggies used. Have you ever eaten majjige huli/morkozhambu made of other vegetables? I’d love to try them. 🙂