Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pudina Tomato Chutney / Mint Tomato Chutney - For Idly, Dosas


Mint / Pudina always sit in my refrigerator and comes as a handy ingredient at times. Today I made a spicy, flavourful and super tasty chutney for my golden crisp dosas in the morning. Freshness of the pudina makes the chutney so special and it is an excellent accompaniment to dosas. Try this chutney in your kitchen with fresh mint leaves and enjoy with any south indian tiffin varieties.   

"Adding Mint / Pudina in your daily cooking is a very healthy option. It has good antioxidant properties, prevents allergies, relieves cold symptoms, helps in indigestion. "

Ingredients

Fresh Mint leaves - 2 cups
Tomato - 2 Medium
Garlic Pods - 6 Big
Green Chillies - 2 Big
Dry Red Chili - 2
Sesame Oil - 2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Urad Dal / Ulutham Paruppu / Mina Pappu - 2 tsp
Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu / Senaga Pappu - 2 tsp
Salt - To Taste
Tamarind - 1 pinch
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp

Method
  • In a frying pan, add sesame oil first. When its heated, add hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, channa dal in succession. When they turn golden yellow, add garlic pods, green chillies, dry red chillies into the pan and fry them for a minute. Add the tomato pieces next and fry them till they get mushy. Finally add the mint leaves and fry for another 2 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  • After the contents cool down a bit, grind them along with other ingredients. Add salt while grinding the chutney in the blender.
  • Transfer the chutney into a serving bowl and enjoy with your dosas, idlies or any other tiffin.

Green Dried Peas Sundal / Pachai Pattani Sundal / Green Peas Sundal


"Pachai Pattani" in tamil is mostly added in many south indian tiffin along with other vegetables. Pattani Sundal is also one of the popular navarathri sundals that can be prepared easily. Process of preparing sundals is almost the same except that the soaking time might differ. Green Peas / Pachai Pattani sundal can be made in different ways. Here I have blogged the common version. We can also add shredded carrots, tiny pieces of mango and make a colourful version called "Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal". Needless to say that the leftover sundal can be added in sambar, kootu or kuruma along with other veggies at the end.

Ingredients
Green Peas / Pachai Pattani ) - 1 Cup
Water - Enough to soak the green peas.
Oil - 2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 2 tsp
Urad Dal / Ulutham paruppu / Mina Pappu - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 small stick
Dry Red Chillies - 2 
Salt - As Required
Fresh coconut flakes - 1 tbsp
Method
  • Soak the green dried peas / pachai pattani in water for 7-8 hours. Drain the water from the soaked peas.
  • Pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles.  Drain the pachai patani and keep aside.
  • In a cooking pan, add oil first. Add mustard seeds , urad dal , curry leaves, dry red chillies and temper them.
  • When the mustard seeds sputter, add the drained cooked green peas into the pan.
  • Add required amount of salt into the pan. Allow them to set for a minute with the salt.
  • Finally add the grated coconut flakes into the pan and garnish them.
  • Enjoy this sundal either as an evening snack or with meals. But its a very healthy option for kids.
Tips
  • Do not overcook the green peas in the pressure cooker.
  • You can make some special sundal powder ( using coriander seeds, red chillies) and sprinkle them at the end to enhance the taste of any sundal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yellow Dried Peas Sundal / Vellai Pattani Sundal / White Vatana Sundal


Yellow Dried Peas called as "Vellai Pattani" in tamil, "Vatana" in Hindi is a good source of Protein. Vellai Pattani sundal is definitely prepared on one day during Navarathri at my home. We all like the buttery taste of this Vellai Pattani sundal. Even if we have some leftover, it can be easily transformed into Kurma or added into sambar. I love making this Sundal at home during Navarathri and I love to do patties, kurma or other Indian delicacies using this Yellow Peas ( Vatana ) during other time.
Ingredients
White Vatana ( White Peas / Yellow Peas ) - 1 Cup
Water - Enough to soak the white peas.
Oil - 2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 2 tsp
Urad Dal / Ulutham paruppu / Mina Pappu - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 small stick
Dry Red Chillies - 2 
Salt - As Required
Fresh coconut flakes - 1 tbsp
Method
  • Soak the yellow dried peas / vellai pattani in water for 7-8 hours. Drain the water from the soaked peas.
  • Pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles.  Drain the vellai patani and keep aside.
  • In a cooking pan, add oil first. Add mustard seeds , urad dal , curry leaves, dry red chillies and temper them.
  • When the mustard seeds sputter, add the drained cooked vatana / yellow peas into the pan.
  • Add required amount of salt into the pan. Allow them to set for a minute with the salt.
  • Finally add the grated coconut flakes into the pan and garnish them.
  • Enjoy this sundal either as an evening snack or with meals. But its a very healthy option for kids.

Tips
  • Do not overcook the yellow peas / vatana in the pressure cooker.
  • You can make some special sundal powder ( using coriander seeds, red chillies) and sprinkle them at the end to enhance the taste of any sundal.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple Thokku / Apple Ginger Thokku / Inji Apple Thokku


An apple can be enjoyed in many different ways in Indian cooking. We can make apple jams, apple payasam, apple halwa, apple kesari, apple pickle, apple thokku, etc., I ventured again with apples and made apple thokku. Spicyness from the fresh ginger and the sweetness from the red delicious apple perfectly blend with the spices and yields a flavourful apple thokku. It can be a good accompaniment to adais, rotis or any tiffin varieties. 

Ingredients
Red Delicious Apple - 1 Big
Ginger - 1 Medium Size
Oil - 1 tbsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 Dash
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 4 or 5
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As Required
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp


Method

  • Wash the apple thoroughly and grate it. Grate the ginger too and keep it ready.
  • In the cooking pan, add oil first. When its heated, add hing and mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds sputter, add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves into the pan.
  • Add the grated apple and ginger into the pan. Stir them slowly and allow them to cook for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Add red chili powder and required amount of salt into the pan.
  • Allow the contents to get cooked on medium flame till the quantity gets reduced considerably. Stir occasionally to avoid the thokku turning black at the bottom.
  • When the thokku consistency is reached, switch off the flame. Let the thokku cools down completely.
  • After its cooled down, store it  in a glass container and enjoy.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bellam Sunnundalu / Bellam Minapa Sunnundalu / Minapa Sunnundalu / Sunnundalu


"Sunnundalu" is one of the mouth watering recipes of Andhra which could be prepared either using Jaggery or Cane Sugar. I opted for the Jaggery version as my other sweets for the festival were made out of Cane Sugar.  Bellam Sunnundalu is a healthy sweet treat for the kids as its made out of Urad Dal totally. Due to Jaggery, Bellam Sunnundalu might be little... sticky in your mouth compared to the Sunnundalu made with just sugar.  Very simple to make with less ingredients and less time. Try making these yummy laddoos for the coming diwali and enjoy.

Ingredients

Urad Dal Flour / Minapappu Flour  - 1 Cup
Cardamom Powder / Elachi Powder - 2 tsp
Jaggery - 1 Cup
Melted Ghee - 1/2 cup 

Method 
  • Dry Roast the urad dal / Mina pappu on medium flame till you get a nice aroma and turns golden yellow.  Dont fry on high flame as it might turn the dal into black before we notice.
  • After the roasted dal cools down completely, blend them with jaggery pieces together to a coarse powder.
  • In a big mixing bowl, transfer the blended powder. Add the cardamom powder into the bowl and slowly add the melted ghee into the mixture.
  • Shape the flour into small round balls and enjoy.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Happy Navarathri 2014

Golu at our home, first day - 2014
Navarathri always bring lots of cheers inside my mind and the body gets energized by unknown power suddenly. Mind constantly thinks about the various activities which we would be doing at home during these lovely nine days. I do have to install a speed braker to slow down my thoughts and events sometime. Honestly I wish to pass on all the goody moments I had during my childhood navarathri / golu at my native place Thanjavur to my kids. My kids neither took a small bag to different houses for collecting sundals or dressed up in sarees or other costumes during this occasion like us. Still, they cherish Navarathri in a different way now by listening to all P.Suseela navarathri devotional songs in the mornings ( in a little higher volume to get a south indian temple feel!!!!) , munching the sundals I make in the evenings, dressing up in indian costume when some families visit our home for thamboolam, chant slokas along with me, everything they do as I am asking them. But I trust that these feelings are so unique and they will appreciate it one day when they grow up. I still remember each and every thing my parents did during navarathri at my home and the shades of childhood always brings up brightness in my eyes and melts my heart. 

Hoping that they will keep golu, make sundals, sing songs, chant slokas, invite friends to their homes in future and appreciate their mom and dad as I do now, I will keep Navarathri Golu every year for achieving that. 

Happy Navarathri to all my dear family, friends and everyone in the world. Let us all pray to have peace throughout the world with no war zone, fights, blood sheds. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Healthy Ladoo / Nutty Ladoo / Ladoo - With No Sugar / Sugarless

On a sunny hot afternoon, my little one was asking for a dessert and wanted a yummy one. I was breaking my head and did not have an idea of what to offer. I had dates, dry grapes, jaggery as sweety things in my kitchen except multi vitamin gummy vites. Then I realized that i did not have any sweety things in my kitchen at all. ( In a way, its good!!)  I offered the dates but the demand was for a dessert only. So, in minutes, a nutty ladoo was made with all the available ingredients. Brownish nutty ladoo was made in a quick fashion with the goodness of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, white sesame seeds, dates and little jaggery. No need to add ghee to make these ladoos as the dates itself act as a good binding agent while forming them.. But for good flavour, add a tsp of ghee and cardamom powder to the nutty mix. This ladoo can be made in minutes and its highly nutritious too...Its definitely a healthy dessert to the kids at any time.
Ingredients
Almonds - 1/2 cup
Walnuts - 1/4 cup
Pistachios - 1/4 cup
Sesame seeds - 1/2 cup
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Dry Grapes - 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder - 2 tsp
Jaggery - 1/4 cup
Dates seedless chopped into pieces - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 or 2 tsp
Note : You can adjust the ratio of the ingredients as you like and enjoy.!!
Method
Dry roast the nut ingredients except dry grapes,dates,jaggery for 2-3 minutes on medium flame till a nice aroma emanates.Grind all the roasted ingredients as mentioned in the list except ghee to a fine powder in a good blender. Transfer them into a mixing bowl and add ghee. Mix them well and form laddoos of small lemon size. 
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