Monday, July 18, 2011

Arbi (Seppankilangu) cutlet

One day I tried to make some poriyal with arbi instead of my usual arbi fry. But that poriyal became so loose and dry (due to that variety). So I wanted to make something edible out of it without wastage. To my surprise the cutlet tasted as good as a potato cutlet and this is the story behind my unusual cutlet:)

Seppan kilangu (Tamil) means colocasia or taro root(English), Arbi (Hindi).

Arbi cutlet.

Arbi - 200 gm
onion - 1
green chillies - 2
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
fennel - 1 tsp
curry leaf, cilantro, mint leaf (together) - finely chopped 2 tbsp
red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
garam masal powder - 1 tsp
lime juice from 1/4 fruit
salt to taste
bread crumbs - 1 cup
all purpose flour - 1/4 cup
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
oil - to shallow fry

Cooking the arbi:
Remove the skin and wash the arbi. Cut it into big chunks.
Heat a tbsp oil in a wok and add fennel. Then goes the finely chopped onion, chillies. Immediately add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell vanishes.
Then add the chopped arbi and stir well. Add the garam masal powder, chilly powder, turmeric, salt, 1/4 cup water and cook covered till done.
Mash it to a fine paste and add finely chopped cilantro, curry leaf, mint leaf, lemon juice and check if it tastes really good.

Prepare the bread crumbs at home or simply buy it.
Spread the bread crumbs on a broad plate.

Prepare a dipping batter using all purpose flour (maida), water. The batter should be thick like a pan cake mix (or dosa batter).

Frying the cutlet:
Heat some oil in a broad-shallow pan.
Now take a lemon size ball from the prepared arbi mixture. Flatten it to get a oval or circular shape with 3/4 inch thickness.
Dip that in maida batter and roll it bread crumbs.
Bring it to a perfect shape. Shallow fry it both sides. Drain oil and serve hot.
Proceed with all the balls and add oil whenever necessary.
Arbi cutlet is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as evening snack or along with rice as side dish.
Arbi cutlet goes well with tomato sauce.

Bread crumbs can be prepared at home using few bread slices. Just leave them in a hot oven for a few minutes and powder it using a mixie.
Left over arbi poriyal can also be made into this cutlet.
If you cannot bring good shape to the cutlet, then try adding  a few tsp of besan flour or home made puffed channa dal flour.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pearl millet candy (Kambu urundai)

This candy might have been the power bar / cereal bar for the farmers of  India before this commercial era. Not only Indian farmers, each and every working community all over the world would have had their own recipe before industrialization. While growing up I never cared much for these village recipes as they were readily available to me on daily basis. But after tasting all kinds of store bought power bars and realizing the benefits of home-cooking, I wanted to try my own using the traditional recipe. In my native we used to make a lot of this kind of candies / cereal bars using various combinations. These candies have loads of fiber and nutrition , hence they can be served as after work-out food, evening snack, break fast with milk, dessert etc. We can adjust and make them within 150 K Cal (each).

I have heard people calling it as Kambu kozhukkattai, but I tell it as kambu urundai (candy) as it is prepared without steaming.
Kambu - pearl millet (bajira - Hindi), kolukkattai / kozhukkattai - steamed sweet dumbling, urundai - ball (here it means candy).

Kambu (bajira) - 1 cup
sesame - 1/4 cup
groundnut - 1/2 cup
dry ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
jaggery - 1 cup
rice flour - 2 tbsp

Dry roast the kambu till it smells good and powder it.
(If we can't get whole kambu, then use the powdered version here after roasting).
Dry roast the sesame and groundnut separately.
Remove the skin of groundnut by scrubbing gently.
Coarsely grind the sesame and groundnut, so that groundnut remains as big pieces.
Melt the jaggery and remove any impurities. Bring it to rolling boil (2 string consistency).
Mix the powdered kambu, crushed sesame, crushed groundnut, dry ginger powder, cardamom powder and make small spherical balls (palm size). If needed add a tbsp rice flour to facilitate the rolling process.

Kambu urundai is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve just like protein bars
It can be had as healthy snack, after work-out meal, breakfast etc.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Batham palkova (Almond kova)

Other names: Almond milk halwa, Bathaam palkova, almond fudge.

I don't know , if there exists a sweet dish in this name. But it will be a good choice when we want to make something similar to almond halwa with very little almonds and lesser time. With all these sweet ingredients, we will definitely arrive at a wonderful result.  As expected, this newer sweet was so delicious and became our comfort zone for that weekend. Enjoy this sweet on a special occasion and let me know how it turned out:)

Batham paal kova.

Almond - 15
milk - 1/2 cup
milk powder - 4 tbsp
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 can (14 oz / 396 gm)
Butter – 2 tbsp
cardamom powder - a pinch
Saffron – few strands

Bring 1 cup water to boil and put the almonds. Let them be in that heat till they swell and show wrinkles. Switch off and put them in cold water for 10 minutes. The skin will come off. (We can soak them overnight too). Peel the skin and grind them to a coarse paste along with the milk.

Now put everything above on a thick bottom wok and start heating in a medium flame. Stir continuously. Don't leave it unattended for a second. If necessary reduce the flame to the lowest. After 5 minutes bubbles will start appearing all over. It will be very hot, so take care. If doing in a big bulk, wear a gloves for safety.

Within 8 - 10 minutes, the kova will thicken and start leaving the sides. It is the best stage. If we want to make slices, then go ahead and stir for few more minutes. Add cardamom powder before switching off.
I wanted mine in halwa stage and so stopped there.

Almond kova is ready!

Another version: (updated 2011, Oct 25)

Almond - 1 1/4 cup
sweetened condensed milk - 300 gm (12 oz / 80 % of a 386 gm tin / 3/4 cup )
milk powder - 3/4 cup
(instead of condensed milk and milk powder we can use equal weight of sweetened milk khova - says the old recipe )
cardamom - 5
saffron - few strands
yellow color
ghee - 2 tbsp

Soak almond overnight. Remove skin and grind coarsely with 1/4 cup milk.
Fry the almond paste in ghee in medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add the milk khova and stir well. Do this in medium heat for another 10 minutes,
Add color, cardamom.
Garnish with finely chopped alomond, saffron.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot or cold as dessert.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bittergourd curry

Translation : Pakarkkai - bittergourd / bitter melon.

In my childhood, the bittergourd we get nowadays were a hybrid and not available in local shops. We were buying a smaller version of them called 'mithi pagal':), those used to be very tiny and not bitter like the ones we get nowadays. Moreover that mithi pagal plant, root, fruits everything can be made into a juice and drank for obesity and diabetes. Then came the longer version and one day we saw them in our Vivekanandan uncle's house and were amazed at that yield. They were gathering them in big baskets and no one was there to buy them as they couldn't find a better way to cook them without that bitterness. Mom showed them a way using more oil and chilly powder and it was so excellent. Yes, my Mom used to make very good fried curries with this bittergourd and call it as pakarkkai varuval along with paruppu kulambu. At that time I have also consumed that but after I started cooking, I could neither take that bitter flavor nor add oil like my mom. So bittergourd became a rare commodity in my kitchen and I prepared it sometime ago and with chapathi for supper and packed it with lentil rice the next day. Anyways everybody liked it and I am just noting it down because of the way I added very minimal oil.

Myth: Bittergourd curry is a big no no in my native , while inviting guests:)

Bitter gourd - 2 (150 gm)
tomato - 3 (100 gm)
onion - 1
salt - to taste
red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
oil - 1 tbsp
fennel - 1/2  tsp

Finely chop the vegetables. Remove the seeds of bittergourd.
Heat oil in a wok and add fennel. After they get red, add the sliced onion, curry leaves and fry till they wilt. Then put the tomato and cook till they get mushy.
Now add the bittergourd along with salt and other masala powders mentioned above.
Stir well and after a minute sprinkle a handful of water and cook covered till the bittergourd is cooked well.
Switch off.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with roti or any rice.
If you still find the bitterness unacceptable, then try adding a few drops of lemon or tamarind extract.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thakkali kuruma (Type 2)

Meaning: Thakkali -  tomato, Kuruma - a kind of Indian stew served with rice, breakfast or roti.

Earlier I posted another version for tomato kuruma (type 1) long back and that was quite different from my usual. The kuruma recipe which I am narrating now is a common one in Tirunelveli and its kind of a quickie too. Whenever we got bored of the usual coconut chutney for idly , mom used to make this tomato kuruma. But nowadays idlies are becoming obsolete in most of our houses as we all want to wake up in front of that oats bowl or bread-omelet:) Lunch is the only time to have some rice and writing them and recording is the best way to remember my native kulambu names in these years:) Hubby dear prefers only veggie foods for his lunch box and for me this recipe comes handy only after my sambar:)

Ripe tomato - 4 (250 gm)
Red onion- 1/2 cup
green chilly - 2
red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
coriander powder - 2 tbsp
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
oil - 2 tbsp
fennel - 1 tsp
cinnamon - a small piece
Bay leaves - 2
curry leaf - 1 sprig

To grind:
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
cumin - 1/2 tsp
fennel - 1 tsp

Choose country tomato (vine tomato, the juicier ones).
Finely chop the tomatoes and put in a lidded vessel.
Cook the tomato with required salt, 2 cups water, red chilly powder, coriander powder.
After the tomato gets cooked (15 minutes), mash with a ladle.
Heat another wok with a tsp of oil and fry the fennel, bay leaf and cinnamon for 10 seconds. Then add the chopped onion , green chillies, curry leaf till the onion gets golden brown. Then put the ginger garlic paste and stir well. Pour over the cooked tomato. Add the ground masala and bring it to a boil. Switch off.

Tomato kuruma is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Makes 4 cups of Thakkali kuruma.
Serve as a side dish for rice, Idly ,dosai or chapathi.
If served with rice, beans fry, appalam or omelet can be made as side dish.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kozhi Rasam

Kozhi(koli) - Chicken ; Rasam - Indian soup.

Rasam made of non veg items is not a common one. But this kind of rasam is prepared in Tamilnadu villages. They generally use a small chicken weighing 1/4 kg for a big family. But for a small family, just use the ribs or the drumsticks in the regular chicken. I prepared this during last winter and it was so good with piping hot rice.
It is a good remedy for body aches, cold, cough and for convalescent period.

Chicken (with bones)- 100 gm
water - 5 cups
Tomato - 3 (200 gm)
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
salt - to taste
curry leaf - 1 sprig
cilantro - few leaves
dry red chilly - 2
mustard - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
oil - 1 tbsp
asafoetida / hing - 1 pinch

To coarsely grind:
garlic - 5 pieces
black pepper - 1 tbsp
cumin - 1 tbsp

Choose a very tender small chicken portion with bones.Wash it with water. Cut it into small pieces and smash the bones with the back side of the butcher's knife.
(Generally they used to crush the pieces in a big mortar).

Put the chicken, salt in a large vessel. Add enough water (5 cups) to cover it. Add the finely chopped tomato, turmeric and cook covered till done. (We can pressure cook it too).

Heat a wok with a tbsp of oil. Add methi, mustard seeds and let the mustard crackle. Put a pinch of hing and curry leaves, dry red chillies. Then add the crushed garlic,pepper, cumin and stir well for 20 seconds.

Pour the cooked chicken along with that soup and bring it to a boil. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and switch off. Close tightly and let all the flavor remains intact.

Chicken rasam is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve with piping hot rice and fried chicken or egg.
It can also be served as soup.

Vazhaikkai Poriyal (Plantain stir fry)

This vazhaikai poriyal was a staple in our house as we had some (lot) of banana trees in our backyard. I have seen amma running there to pic...