Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pasta Soup

After posting a lot of authentic Indian dishes , I felt like giving something easy like a one pot meal with Pasta. We can make innumerable dishes with Pasta, but this soup is my very own invention:). No need to add any cheese / cream / ranch .The vegetables, nutrition makes it a whole meal and ofcourse a mild dinner after a generous evening snack.
So here goes a pasta dish, Just for a change.



Ingredients:
Pasta (whole wheat) - 1/2 cup (sea shell or Conchiglie Pasta)
Corn (frozen) - 2 tbsp
Frozen peas - 2 tbsp
Shredded cabbage - 1/2 cup
Minced Onion - 2 tbsp
Carrot (shredded) - 1/2 cup
water - 4 cups
Corn flour / All purpose flour - 1 tsp
Tomato sauce - 3 tbsp
To grind:
garlic - 2 pods
Cumin - 1/2 tsp

Method:
Bring to boil 4 cups of water. Then add the pasta , cook it for 10 minutes. Then add the ground items and vegetables given above.
Cook till the pasta becomes soft.
Then goes the tomato sauce.Add salt to taste.
Dissolve the corn flour in 1/4 cup water and add it to the soup.
Bring to a boil and switch off immediately.

Serving suggestions:
Serves 2 adults.
Serve with a dash of freshly ground Black pepper.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Paruppu Urundai Kulambu (Lentil dumpling curry)

Happy Ugadi to all of you my friends!

'Paruppu Urundai kulambu'(Tamil) is an authentic South Indian recipe , with a lot of lentils and flavor. There are many versions. Basically we need to make a masal vadai batter and it is common in all the recipes. But the base curry can be a sambar like gravy or a spicy kuruma or a tamarind based curry or even a curd based curry (More kulambu) .
Also click to see my Paruppu urundai kuruma kulambu, with garam masala. 
and vadai more kulambu / paruppu urundai more kulambu
Moreover making the Urundai / ball also varies by region . Some people fry / steam cook the batter balls and add it to the curry , while the experts simply drop the raw balls in the boiling curry to cook it in that gravy itself.
I do not prefer dropping the raw balls in to the gravy, as it may not be successful always. The safest way is to steam cook the balls before adding to the curry.

All the above versions are unique and will taste great in its own way.
I am narrating here a tamarind based curry with steam cooked dhal balls.



To make the puli kulambu / Tamarind curry:
Ingredients:
Tamarind - 1 small key-lime size
red onion - 1
Tomato - 1
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
mustard - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
oil - 1 tbsp
asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsp
sambar powder - 1 tsp (optional)
turmeric powder - 1 pinch
water - 2 cups
salt - 2 tsp

Method:

Heat oil in a pan.
Crackle the mustard seeds , add fenugreek seeds , curry leaves, cumin and asafoetida.
Add the chopped onion and fry till it becomes soft.
Then add the chopped tomato and cook till it becomes mushy.
Then pour the tamarind extract.
As soon as it starts boiling , add 2 cups water , chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, sambar powder ,salt and close tightly with a lid.
Cook till the raw smell goes.The curry should be thin like rasam in this stage.
Put off fire and keep aside.

To make the paruppu urundai /Dal balls /lentil dumplings:
Ingredients:
Channa dhal/ Bengal gram lentil - 1 1/2 cup.
salt - to taste (1 tsp full)
ginger - 1 inch
onion - 1/2 cup
curry leaves- 1 brig
coriander leaves (chopped)- 2 tbsp
Red chillies - 3
cooking oil-250 ml. for frying (If we are making the balls by frying. I steam cooked)

Method:
Soak the dhal for 1 hour in water.
Drain the water.
Grind it in to a coarse mixture with red chillies, salt. Put it in a mixing bowl.
Wash the mixer / grinder with 1/2 cup of water and keep aside. This water will thicken the curry.
Chop the onion, ginger, cilantro and curry leaves and mix them with the dhal mixture.
Make small balls out of the mixture (in the size of a lemon). Keep 2 tbsp of batter without cooking. Mix this batter with the water we reserved from washing the mixer / blender.
Steam boil them in Idly baking style. (or) Deep fry them in oil (or) Bake in oven at 375 c for 30 minutes.

Now bring the base curry we made to a boil, add the batter paste we got.Add the steamed lentil balls . After the curry starts becoming thick put off fire. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Paruppu urundai kulambu is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Makes 15 big size lentil balls.
Can be served for 5 people.
Serve hot over cooked rice. There is no need to make any extra dish, as we already have the yummy urundais soaking in the curry as side dish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sukku (Dry ginger ) Kulambu - (veg)

Dry ginger (sukku in Tamil)in Kulambu can be very new to many, but it has a lot of curative properties in digestive ailements.We can call this as a native Indian kulambu , but long forgotten by us.Dried ginger is one of the best ingredients that can be included in our cooking for the sake of our family's health.
It is also used as a medicine for people suffering from low body temperatures (chilling in hand and feet), body pain, laziness, common cold (not fever) etc.
Basically people add brinjal or boiled egg or fish to this gravy.
But I am presenting the basic sukku kulambu.
My mom used to make this kulambu atleast once in a month during rainy season and I love it very much while my brothers keep a long face:). This is her recipe and may be passed on from many generations back.

Marunthu kulambu / Medicinal kulambu /Sukku kulambu/ Dry ginger gravy.



Ingredients:
Dry ginger - 1 piece (index finger length)
or Dry ginger powder - 2 tbsp
(soak the dry ginger in hot water for an hour before grinding. I used the ginger powder sold in Indian stores).
Shredded coconut - 1 tbsp (a must)

To roast and grind:
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
cumin - 1 tsp
fenugreek / methi seed - 1/2 tsp
fennel/ sombu - 1/2 tsp
mustard - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper corn - 1 tbsp
curry leaf - 1 brig

To temper:
Black pepper corn - 1 tsp
curry leaf - few
Sesame oil - 1/4 cup

other ingredients:
Shallot Onion - 10
Garlic - 10 pods
Tamarind - 2 inch
Turmeric powder - a pinch
asafoetida / hing - a pinch
salt - to taste

Method:
1.Heat a wok without oil.Dry roast the given items till the curry leaf becomes crispy. Cool them.
Grind them along with soaked dry ginger and coconut into a fine paste with little water.

2.chop the skinned onion and garlic . keep them separately.
Extract juice from tamarind.

3.Heat oil in a wok.
Add the curry leaves and pepper. Pepper may crack, so carefully stand a few steps back:). After the curry leaf becomes crispy, add the onion , asafoetida and saute till the onion turns red.

4.Then add the garlic and saute for a while. Then add the tamarind extract, Turmeric powder, salt .

5.After the raw smell of tamarind goes , add the masala paste and cook covered in very low flame.
(In this stage , we can add brinjal / fish / egg. But I have made a plain sukku kulambu).

6.After the gravy becomes thick and oil starts showing up in the edges, put off the flame.
Sukku kulambu is ready!

Serving suggestions:

The kulambu will have a very mild bitter taste in the end, but that will change after one hour of settling time.
The above said quantity yielded me 16 oz/ 450 ml / 2 cup of kulambu approximately.
Good to go with plain cooked rice or chapathi / dosa / idly.
We can make some extra quantity and can be safely refrigerated for 1 week.
I love it with chapathi:)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bottlegourd sambar

This is another variety of sambar prepared without sambar powder or Red chillies.It is something similar to my another post 'village paruppu kulambu'.Indian medicine prescribes people suffering from arthritis , menorrhagia and few other problems to avoid tamarind for a certain length of time (or) while taking Indian medicines .
But many of the Indian dishes are based on tamarind only. So our ancestors used to prepare these kind of curry (kulambu) as 'pathiya kulambu ' (meaning - the diet curry) without tamarind and spices. Many a times people have to sacrifice the sour taste completely to get cured in such cases. They never prefered tempering also:)
But my version is a tasty but mild sambar.


Bottle gourd Sambar / Surai kai Sambar / Surai kai puli Illatha sambar / Sambar without tamarind and red chilly




Ingredients:
Bottle gourd - 1 (350 gm)
Thoor dhal (Red gram)- 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1
Green chilly - 5
Tomato - 2 (50 gms)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
garlic - 3 pods
asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste - 1 brig
curry leaf
Sesame oil - 2 tsp

Method:
1.Wash and clean the red gram (Toor dhal). Pressure cook the dhal with chopped onion, garlic, green chilly, Turmeric powder and asafoetida to 5 whistles.

2.Wash the bottle gourd. Slice it in to rounds. Remove the skin and chop them into small cubes. Add 2 cups of water and cook it covered.

3.Microwave the tomatoes with skin On. (Or)Put the tomatoes on boiling water.Remove the skin.
Mash the cooked tomatoes and add it to the cooked bottle gourd.

4.Mash the cooked dhal along with cumin seeds and add it to the cooked vegetables.
Add salt to taste.

5.Tempering:
Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. After it starts crackling add 1 brig curry leaves and a handful of chopped onion.
Fry real good , till you get a nice aroma and red color in the onions.
Run it over the cooked dhal + vegetables and bring to boil.
Immediately switch off the flame after it starts to boil.

Bottle gourd sambar is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Good to go with Idly , dosa, roti or on cooked rice.
Makes nearly 1 liter of sambar.
cooking time : 30 minutes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Brinjal serwa

Being a lover of nature (just call me crazy, ha ha) , I have the habit of googling the images of many flowers and vegetables:). Lets say that is my only one way to quench my thirst. While doing so , I bumped into an interesting article about 'Mullu kathirikai',(meaning - brinjal with few tender thorn like attachment) a native brinjal grown in Vellore of TamilNadu. Guess it would be the most yummiest brinjal one can ever taste. I am also one among those luckiest people who had the chance to taste it, while I was in Chennai. That is a unique variety of brinjal with few thorns in its outer skin. But unlike all other brinjal , it will never show any bitter taste. After cooking we can compare the taste like that of a butter melting in the mouth:)
Then I googled again if I can find an authentic recipe with it. Interestingly the first link showed up belonged to Malar of Kitchen Tantra. The name of the recipe is 'Kathirikai serwa' and we can get this dish as a side dish along with Ambur / vellore / kushka biriyani in Madras. I have tasted it in restaurants but never knew the exact recipe. The end result was so good, that my hubby couldn't control himself on seeing his favorite dish.




The whole recipe belongs to Malar and here is the link for the original Vellore serwa recipe from her. She has a vast collection of unique Indian dishes. If you are a great Non-veg fan or looking for some authentic south Indian dishes , then I strongly recommend you to visit her blog.
(Original recipe Posted by Malar Gandhi at Sunday, April 27, 2008 )

Ingredients:
To Grind:
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4 pods
Scallions - 2
Country tomato - 4 (1/2 lb)

To Powder:
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
(I added 1 tsp sesame seeds because I ran out of sesame oil. But if you are using the sesame oil, you can leave the seeds).

For Tempering:
Peppercorns - 1/2 tsp
Cumin - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves few
Sesame oil - 1/4 cup

For Serwa:
Indian Eggplants - 1/2 lb .
Green chilies - 3 slitted
onion - 1 sliced
Salt
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
tamarind extract - 1 tbsp

Method:

Wash and clean the brinjal. Remove the stem, but retain the bracts.
slice them legthwise along with bracts (crown).

Dry roast the items given to powder and make a fine powder.
Grind the ginger, garlic , tomato , chopped onion (2 tbsp) together.

In an iron wok, heat up oil. Add tempering spices, followed by chillies and onions. Fry real good till onions turn golden. Add salt to hasten the process.

Now add ground ingredients and fry till raw odour leaves the pan.

Followed by sliced eggplants. Mix well.

Add Turmeric ,tamarind , salt and chilli powders . Cover and cook till the vegetables become tender and oil shows up on sides.

Then add powdered spices and bring to one boil, remove from heat. Care should be taken not to break the brinjal while cooking.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as side dish with biriyani , any rice or rotis.
Makes nearly 500 ml of thick gravy.
serves 5 generous helpings.
Time taken for the entire process: 30 minutes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Curry leaf chutney (dipping )



Happy St.Patrick's Day!
I am very glad to post something green on this day.
I wish to make a post on some herb for Weekend Herb Blogging event started by Kalyn and now conducted by Halo . This week it is hosted by Yasmeen of Health Nut. Congrats dear!
The herb I have chosen is the curry leaf (Botanical name: murraya koenigi).
Hope this curry leaf chutney suits the event.

(courtesy : google images)
The curry leaf plant belongs to shrub variety and is a native of India ,Sri Lanka in Asia.
Where to find it? In all Indian stores. Globally they call it as curry leaf in English.
What is the price? Up to my knowledge , we can get a small pack of curry leaf (just enough to make this chutney) for one dollar in USA.
How to select them? Choose fresh and tender leaves.
Medicinal value:
It is used to treat kidney disorders, digestive disorders, premature grey hair, premature aged look, skin problems, nausea, vision disorders etc.
In case of a digestive upset, buttermilk enriched with the paste of curry leaves, common salt and cumin seed powder is recommended.

But the most popular dish recommended for diabetic patients, weight loss stimulant, beauty therapy is to make chutney / dipping out of it.
Because the curry leaves just like any other herb will tend to loose its medicinal value on overheating. Moreover each and every ingredient in this chutney will help our body to absorb the nutrients from the curry leaf.

Here is the recipe.

Curry leaf chutney / curry leaf dipping.


Ingredients:
Curry leaf - 15 sprigs (1 pack)
Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
Tamarind extract - 1/2 tsp
green chilly - 3
cilantro leaf - a handful
garlic - 1 pod
cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp

Method:
Remove the center stem in each brig and take the curry leaves alone.
Wash the cilantro and curry leaves in running water.
Remove the skin of garlic.
In a blender / mixer add all the above and grind them to a fine thick paste with very little water.
Curry leaf chutney is ready!

Notes: Do not temper the chutney as it may reduce the medicinal values.
We can add 3 drops of lime instead of tamarind juice.
Cilantro can be omitted , but it enhances the flavor.
Shredded coconut can be substituted by coconut milk, if you are using it as a dipping. But authentic chutney will have shredded coconut as the thickening agent.
Fresh garlic and cumin helps in absorption of the nutrients from the curry leaf.
Reduce the green chilly to suit your taste buds.

Serving suggestions:

In India it is Served as side dish / dipping for Idly , dosa, rice, roti.
It can also be used as spread on sandwiches and pizzas.
we can make it in advance and mix a pinch with buttermilk for a healthy drink.

If you want to know more about curry leaves , here are some links:
Medicinal values of curry leaf.
Curry leaf in Ayurveda.

curry leaf - other names.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Unripe Papaya koottu

Hope even now every house in an Indian village will be blessed with a curry leaf ,papaya and drumstick tree in the backyard.
No one can deny the health aspects we derive from a kitchen garden and the amount of satisfaction we get from the home-grown vegetables. Personally I believe a lot that having some plants in our garden / indoor pots will boost our energy level and balance the ecosystem soon. So if you wish to leave a healthy world to our future generation, kindly introduce the gardening skills to the kids.
That is why our elders could have educated us to worship the main tree in the Hindu temples (sthala virutcham).Lovely way to appreciate the Mother Nature. Isn't it!

I remember the days when guests visit my dad's house surprisingly in odd hours.
(Those were the days when people considered comforting the guests as service to God.
But unfortunately, they won't be having enough vegetables in stock or any restaurants nearby like us. So they will try to find a quick fix meal to serve the guest within half an hour.)
Immediately my mom would serve them a tall glass of cool butter milk flavored with curry leaf and sea salt / hot tea according to the outside weather.
Then while our dad / grandpa talking with them and we (the kids...that time ..ha ha) digging into their gifts , mom would run to the backyard to reach out some drumsticks and an unripe papaya.
Then what? mom could have finished an entire array of piping hot rice with ghee, vatral kulambu or green gram sambar , papaya koottu with some appalam / egg.
What could be more pleasing than this simple home made meal for our surprise guest!!
Hope every one likes this koottu:)

Unripe Papaya koottu / Papali kaai koottu




Ingredients:

Unripe papaya - 1 (350 gms)
Channa dhal (Bengal gram)- 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
salt - to taste
To grind:
Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
green chilly - 2
Cumin seed - 1/4 tsp
To temper:
oil - 1 tsp
Chopped onion - 1 tbsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
mustard seed - 1/2 tsp

Method:
1. Soak the channa dhal for 30 minutes.

2.Select a matured but unripe papaya.
Wash and clean the papaya.
Quarter it and remove the seeds along with its hairy fiber.
Remove the skin with a knife and wash the pieces again, so as to remove any milk like fluid from the outer layer.
Chop the papaya in to small cubes.

3.Pressure cook the channa dhal along with papaya, a cup of water and Turmeric powder to 3 whistles.
Put off flame and wait till the pressure gets released.

4.Grind coconut, green chilli and cumin seeds together.

5.Take a vessel with lid. Add the cooked papaya + dhal and ground mixture.
Bring them to a boil.Add salt to taste.

6. In the same time, heat oil in a wok.
Splutter the mustard seeds, then add the curry leaf and finely chopped onion.
Fry them till the onion turns red and crispy.
Add this tempering to the boiling papaya and put off flame.

Unripe papaya koottu is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Good to go as side dish with any roti or paratha or south Indian rice dishes.

Note:

1.Green papaya is believed to be harmful for pregnant women.
2.A small piece of green papaya added to the meat will make it tender and the meat will get cooked very fast. So it can be used as a meat tenderiser.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coconut milk rice

I am very sure this is a well known dish to many. But posting it just to recollect my favorite rice recipe.
I got introduced to this coconut milk rice from my mom's friend, Mrs.Noohu. She lived in another town called kayalpattinam (TN, India), some miles away from my dad's house. Mom told me that , the aunt used to stay with and comfort my mom when she conceived us. During Ramzan and other other festival days she would not be able to travel so far to share her amazing dishes. So whenever she visits us, she would love to cook /teach so many fabulous dishes for my mom. Mom took note of those recipes and preserved them as treasure. The following rice is also one among them.
We call it as 'thengai paal choru ' that means 'rice cooked in Coconut milk'. Just like the ghee rice, they serve it along with any spicy non veg curry during the special occasions.
Here goes the recipe for the 'Thengai paal choru'.



Thengai paal choru/ coconut milk rice/ Thangai pal saatham

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice / Jeeraga samba unboiled rice - 2 cup
Shredded coconut - 1 cup
(or) canned thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
water - 3 cups
water measurement for open vessel cooking and rice cooker :(number of cups of rice x 2) - 1 = (2x2)-1 = 3
Onion- 1 (or) Shallot - 10
cloves - 2
cardamom - 1
cinnamon - 1 inch
Bay leaf - 2
cashew nut - a handful or more
oil - 1 tbsp
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp

Method:

Step 1:
Measure the rice using a cup. Wash and clean it. Drain water and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Step 2:
Measure water using the same cup.  Use this water to extract milk from shredded coconut.

Step 3:
Take a big vessel with lid.
Heat it with a tbsp of oil / ghee. Roast the soaked rice till it becomes fragrant (not red). Add the coconut milk and bring to boil .
Add 1/2 tsp salt for every cup of rice and swich off flame.

Step 4:
Chop the onion into thin long slices
In the mean time, heat ghee in a wok.
Fry the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and cardamon .
Then add the cashews and fry them to golden color.
Put the chopped onion and saute them to golden color.
Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
Care should be taken, not to char the mixture.
(otherwise we cannot get a white rice in the end)

Step 6:
Add the fried items to the rice . Cook in very low flame till all the water gets absorbed.
Switch off flame.
Garnish with a handful of chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
Coconut milk rice is ready!

Note:
The rice grains may seem sticky at first .But after an hour of settling time, the oil in the coconut milk will make the grains remain separate and we will get a perfect thengai paal satham.

Serving suggestions:

The above said quantity will be comfortably enough for 3-4 people, as we feel very full to have the rice cooked in coconut milk.
Serve hot with any vegetarian or non vegetarian spicy curries.

Alternate method:
Bring water to boil. The quantity of the water should be more than that required to immerse the rice. Add the rice , salt and coconut milk. Cook till the rice gets cooked 90% . Drain the water and garnish like the above said way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Turkey curry (vaan Kozhli kulambu)





Main Ingredient:
Turkey thighs - 2 lb

To temper:
Onion - 1 (big)
curry leaf - 1 brig
cilantro , mint leaf - a handful
tomato - 2
fennel seeds - 1 tsp

To grind :
Paste 1.
fresh / dry Ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 4 pods

Paste 2.
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
poppy seeds - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
cinnamon - 1 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp

others:
chilly powder - 1tsp
coriander powder - 2 tbsp
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Method:

Step 1:
Choose Turkey thighs for making a kulambu / gravy. Drumsticks and boneless meat do not taste that good for this preparation.
Wash and clean the turkey . Chop it into big chunks. If possible break the bone into two, so that the curry becomes more soupy.
Place it in a pressure pan.Add water just to immerse the meat.
Add turmeric powder, chilly powder and coriander powder.
Pressure cook it for 1 whistle, then reduce flame and keep it in low flame for 5 minutes.

Step 2:
Remove the skin of ginger and garlic and grind them to a fine paste.
(If dry ginger is used, soak it 1 for hour before grinding.) Keep aside.
Separately grind the other items given to grind in 2. keep aside.

Step 3:
Heat oil in a wok. Add fennel seeds. After it becomes red, add the chopped onion and fry well till it becomes golden brown.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook till it becomes mushy.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry well.
Then add the cooked turkey pieces along with its soup (water added becomes a soupy liquid).

Step 4:
Now add the Paste 2. Add all the powders mentioned above.
Let it boil till the raw smell vanishes. Check for salt and turn off heat.

Serving suggestions:

Serve hot with roti, chapathi or cooked rice.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Kushka

Kushka is a kind of biriyani popular in Madras / Chennai. It is served without the meat / chicken pieces .It is something different from the ghee rice. Mainly the chicken / mutton broth will act as the the flavor enhancer here. Instead of Basmati rice , it is usually made with a rice called 'Jeeraga samba unboiled rice', which is a short grain rice with the flavor of basmati rice. This variety of rice easily absorbs the broth and makes the biriyani more juicy and aromatic. In the restaurants of Chennai, they use the chicken pieces instead of broth and retain the pieces to sell with the chicken biriyani in the end:). I used chicken broth to make this kuska biriyani.
Hubby used to buy this for me weekly once from a typical Biriyani shop. Actually it was a very small business place but famous for its authentic chef and non veg menus:)
The 'dham' style recipe I have narrated below belongs to that chef.
It is my favorite biriyani as I am not much interested in the chicken pieces in biriyani :) . Hi! Don't under-estimate my taste buds.ok. I love well marinated pieces :). So we can count this as a comfort food for people like me.

To make broth:

Chicken - 1/4 kg (with bones)
water - 2 cups
turmeric - 1/4 tsp

Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Pressure cook the chicken with water and turmeric to 5 whistles. Filter the chicken soup alone leaving behind the pieces. We can use the left over pieces to make kuruma along with some potatoes.
Otherwise use a store bought 'clear' broth (Its ok to use , if some vegetable soups are also added). But be sure that it does not contain any flour / carbohydrates in the broth, as it will make the briyani mushy.


Kushka / Kuska briyani / Plain Biriyani




Main Ingredients:
Jeeraga samba raw rice - 1 1/2 cup
Chicken / mutton Broth - 2 cups

Other Ingredients:

Red onion - 2 (medium size)
Tomato - 2
cilantro- 1 handful.
mint leaf -1 handful.
curry leaf - 1 brig
Ginger - 2 inch
Garlic - 5 pods
green chillis - 8 (uncut).
Briyani powder / curry masala powder - 2 tsp
Lemon - 1/4
Fennel - 1 tsp
bay leaves - 2
star aniseed - 1,
cinnamom stick - 2 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
ghee - 3 tbsp
vegetable oil - 3 tbsp
salt - to taste
pepper powder - 1 tsp

Method:
Step 1:
Wash the rice, drain the water. Leave it for 1/2 an hour on the sieve.

Step 2:
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a broad vessel.
Add fennel ,star aniseed , cinnamon stick,cardamom ,cloves, bay leaf .
And saute a little.
Then goes the chopped onion , green chillies . Fry till it becomes golden brown.
Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
Now add the chopped tomato and cook till the oil oozes out of it.

Step 3:
Now add the rice to the masala prepared and roast it till the rice gets heated .
If it needs some more oil, add the ghee now.
Add the briyani masala / curry masal powder.
Now we can see the rice trying to get fried.

Step 4:
Add the broth and let it come to boil.
Now put the required salt and lemon juice.
Spread finely chopped cilantro, mint leaf, curry leaf , pepper powder and few whole green chillies over the rice.

Ste 5:
Cover it tightly with a lid . Heat a dosa tawa and place the vessel over the tawa.
Bring to boil 10 cups of water in a vessel and place it over the lid.
(In the restaurants they add burning charcoals over the lid, to make 'dhum')
This kind of heating from top and bottom cooks the kushka evenly.
Cook it in slow fire for 90 minutes or till the biryani flavor fills the house:)

Kushka biryani is ready!

Serving suggestions:

The above said quantity can be enough for 2 people.
Serve it with chicken curry and onion raitha.

Note:
Calculate and increase the broth and rice quantity simulatuosly to make for more people.
If you are making this kushka in a bulk quantity, then you cannot measure the rice in cups. So add broth to the roasted rice, so that rice gets completely immersed in the broth and masala. Then proceed as described above.

Bunches of Awards.

Malar Gandhi of Kitchen Tantra has passed me this cute award. Thanks for choosing me dear.


The award states that: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement (? big word, lol). Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."


Just picking up only eight is a tough job.My friends list is growing like anything. So I randomly choose 8 among them and pass this award.

Asha of Foodie's Hope
Deepa of Simple Home cooking
Gita of Gita's Kitchen
Purva Desai of Purva's Daawat
Solai of Solai's True chettinad Kitchen
Sandhya: Everyday Musings
Vij of A foodie anf her cooking hat
Shyamala Ramanathan Edwards of Food in the Main..
Congrats friends! Enjoy.

Vasha of willow the wisp and Divz of yum world have tagged me to write 25 facts about me. I have to explore me a lot to write this . So I will take some time and write it in course of time friends:) so kindly bear with me. ok?

Chitra of Ratatouille has passed me the following awards. Oh! You are so generous and Thanks a lot my dear.


I am speechless to see your love , my friends. Thanks and hugs to all of you dear.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Paruppu Boli (dhal stuffed sweet parathas)

Boli is a south Indian sweet similar to a sweet stuffed paratha.
I got introduced to this boli in the train journeys from Chennai to Tirunelveli. The total traveling time may consume around 12 to 14 hours. Usually we board the train in the late evening and will reach Tirunelveli for breakfast:)
But before an hour to reach the destination, we have to halt in a station called 'vanchi Maniyachi' . It is the memorial spot for the Indian freedom fighter Mr. Vanchi Nathan. The train usually stops there for nearly 20 minutes , as it is a jucnction and also to get signal. But it will be a good time for the street vendors to sell their homely Boli, vadai ,Murukku, coffee, tea and Idly. The famous dishes are Murukku and boli.You know what, this stop will be my long waited one to get my favorite 'Boli'. I love to finish off my breakfast there with these yummy bolis alone. One more place famous for boli is Kadamboor in that area. My taste buds always crave to taste and compare them in different places. The differences I found were, the Maniyachi Bolis are thinner and made with sesame oil, while in other places they use ghee on the thicker version of boli.
Still it gives a native taste and I love it very much. I tried it last month and it came out very well. But forgot to post this recipe. Here is the recipe and you can try it this weekend:)


Paruppu Boli/ Maniyachi Boli / Sweet paratha.

outer layer:

All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
baking soda - a pinch
salt - a pinch
Sesame oil - 1/2 cup

Mix the flour, salt , baking soda, Turmeric powder and mix well.
Add water little by little to get a thick chapathi dough like consistency.
Coat it with little sesame oil and cover it with a wet cloth.
Leave it for 4 - 6 hours . Mom used to make this dough in the morning and use it in the evening by 3 pm, so that we could have it with tea.(This setting time makes the dough very flexible and manageable. In the mean time prepare the stuffing or pooranam).
After that divide the whole dough into 15 equal portions.
Shape them in to balls. Keep aside.

stuffing:
Channa dhal (Bengal gram) - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
cardamom - 3
shredded coconut - 1/4 cup

Soak the dhal for 2 hours. cook the channa dhal completely and drain water.
(We can use the water to make rasam / soup).
Mash the dhal to fine paste using a mixie / a spatula.
Heat 1/4 cup water and dissolve the jaggery in it. Then filter any dust / sand present.
Mix the jaggery solution with mashed dhal and heat it in a wok.
Add coconut and powdered cardamom now.
Let it loose all the moisture and become a thick mass.
Switch off stove and let it cool.
Divide it in to 15 equal size balls.

Method:
Take one 'all purpose flour ball'.Apply oil to it. Using a rolling pin flatten it to a circle. Do not use flour to spread the circle. Instead apply oil generously to spread it.
Take one 'stuffing ball'. Place it on the center of the circle.
Now fold it with the covering dough closely , so that no stuffing can be seen from outside.
Now again apply some oil and carefully spread it to a thin circular shape (approximate diameter should be 5 - 6 inch). Don't worry if you see some pooranam from inside in this stage, as it will become fine after frying.
Heat a dosa tawa. Evenly apply sesame oil on the tawa .Reduce flame and fry the bolis on both sides till we see some brown dots all over.
Again increase the heat, apply oil, reduce heat and fry the bolis in lesser heat.
Take out and store in a container.
Like wise proceed with the rest of the dough.
Paruppu Boli is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Serve as dessert or evening snack.
Makes 15 Bolis .
The leftover boli (if any) can be wrapped in ziplock covers and kept refrigerated for a week.

Note:
Like wise we can make numerous verieties of sweet stuffed bolis like, coconut boli , date fruit boli, sesame boli, fruits boli, ghee boli, Jeera boli (boli soaked in sugar solution) etc. I have tasted some varieties in the sweet stalls of KK nagar , Chennai,India :) . You can experiment any thing with it and will become a fan of bolis soon:)

Sending this boli to Purva's Holi haii ! event.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Vangi Badth (Eggplant rice)

Vangi badth (Eggplant rice) is a Karnataka special. It needs a special powder called 'Vangi badth powder' and if you have it handy , then it is a very easy job.
I prepare this powder in a small batch and keep it refrigerated for further use.
It can be served as a complete meal , as we do not need any side dish or curry. It tastes great with appalam or potato chips.


Vangi badth powder: (Just enough to serve 2 people once)
Coriander Seeds - 1 tbsp
Channa dhall - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 2
Cardamom - 1
Cloves - 2
Cashews / almond - 2
Coconut - 2 tbsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp



Vangi Badth / Brinjal rice / egg plant rice / kathirikkai satham


Ingredients:
Rice - 1 cup
Brinjal - 200 gms
onion - 1
tamarind - 1 inch
mustard - 1/2 tsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
ghee - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
olive oil - 1 tsp

Method :
1. Heat a wok with 1 tsp oil. Roast the ingredients given for the vangi badth powder, till the channa dhal turns red.
Grind it to a coarse powder using a mixer.

2. Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup water. Extract the juice out of it.

3. Cook the rice with little salt and 2 cups of water (twice the quantity of rice).
Spread the rice and cool it a little.

4. Heat another tsp oil in the wok. Add mustard seed and let it splutter.
Then add chopped onion , curry leaf and saute till it becomes tender. Then add the brinjal and turmeric powder , fry a little. Sprinkle the tamarind juice and cook it covered. After it gets cooked , add the vangi badth powder and check for salt.

5. Mix it with the cooked rice. If desired mix 1 tsp of ghee .Reheat and serve hot.

Vangi badth is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Serves as main course meal for 2 people.
Potato chips or Appalam / pappadam can be served as side dish.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Elephant Yam - stir fry

Indian yam stir fry / Senai kilangu pirattal / Suran fry
Hope almost all the regions of India will have a cuisine with this yam.
Fresh yams are a kind of itchy . so carefully chop off its skin by applying tamarind juice in your hands before and after cleaning it. I used the 'frozen surans' which we get in Indian stores.
My mom used to fry wide pieces of senai kilangu (yam) , just like a fish fry and I adore it a lot:) We call it as 'vegetarian fish fry' in my dad's house.(I will post that recipe too , if I see any fresh yam).
But this recipe does not require any deep frying , still maintains a great taste. This 'senai kilangu pirattal' recipe is also from my mom's kitchen notes.
I am sure this is a quick fix recipe to grab the attention of the guests.




Ingredients:

Yam - 200 gms
Onion - 1
Tamarind extract - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (sombu)- 1/2 tsp
olive oil - 3 tbsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
salt - to taste

Directions:
Clean the yam by removing the skin and washing it in water.
Chop the yam into medium size cubes.
(Or , if frozen suran is used , then just keep it in a colander and show in running water to defrost it.)
Chop the onion.
Heat oil in a wok, add fennel seeds and let it become red. Add the curry leaves.
Then goes the onion and fry till it becomes tender.
Now add the chopped yam with turmeric powder, salt , and stir fry it.
Reduce the flame to minimum .
Add the tamarind extract and close the wok tightly with a lid.
Stir it occasionally.
After the yam gets cooked add the red chilli powder and garam masala and fry it for few minutes.
Senai kilangu pirattal is ready.

Serving suggestions:

It can be served as side dish with any sambar / more kulambu on plain rice.

Note:

We can add the red chilli powder along with yam also, but doing so will emit spicy vapors that no one can stand. So I prefer to add red chilli powder, minutes before switching off.

Beautiful awards:

I felt honored and touched when my friends Malar of Kitchen Tantra , Madhu of Madhu's food journal, Vinolia of Akal's saapadu and Varsha of Will-o-the-wisp hugged me with this award.
Thanks and hugs to all of u there.
I would like to pass this award to all in this blogosphere. So everybody please feel free to embrace each other with this lovely award. Enjoy!

Shama Nagarajan of Easy2cook recipes has passed me 'blogging with purpose' award. I am telling myself, to focus with some purpose :)


Sriharivatsan of Enthaligai and Divz of yum world have passed me all the above awards. I am speechless.
Thanks Shama, Divz and Sriharivatsan.

Moreover, Divz of yum world has made me feel elated with her Jewel of a friend award. Thanks dear for showing me this much love and friendship.