Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Bellpepper Raitha

I always have a 'thing' for raitha. For some people it is the 'rasam' that gives the zing, but for me it is the raitha 😀😀😀. So I make it quite often. Some raitha like onion raitha are very simple, just chop onion and mix with yogurt and salt, you got it ! (We can jazz it up with some more steps too). Still I love 💕 it anyways !

For people who may not know what a raitha is ? Raitha is an Indian yogurt based side dish, accompanied with rice or roti.

Raithas tastes better when made using, thick whole milk Indian plain yogurt, aka curd (தயிர்). But I use a fat free milk only to prepare curd.  This bell pepper raitha needs a tempering and some cooking time along with fresh ground masala too. So it's a special one in my dictionary.
We can use any bell pepper for this. For more Indian flavor use a green one. A tiny capsicum is more than enough to give that punch. I have used orange capsicum, as I had that from that colorful big pack of peppers from Costco Instacart that week. I was finding all possible ways to incorporate them in my cooking 😀. So feel free to use any variety you get. It will surely taste great. Bell pepper and Capsicum are same (as far as I know, 👋 I am not a botanist, still in love with Botany 😍). 
I am typing this in Tamil too, as per some of my friend's request.  There may be many versions for this, but this is recipe is my creation.
Capsicum raitha

Capsicum raitha, chicken koftha, chapathi 

Any color Bellpepper (capsicum குடைமிளகாய் ) - 1
onion -(நறுக்கிய வெங்காயம் ) - 2 tbsp
Indian yogurt (தயிர்) - 1 cup
salt - to taste
To grind:
shredded coconut (துருவிய தேங்காய் )- 2 tbsp
cumin (சீரகம்)- 1/2 tsp
ginger (இஞ்சி)- 1/2 inch
green chili (பச்சைமிளகாய் )- 1
turmeric powder (மஞ்சள் தூள் ) - 1/4 tsp
To temper:
coconut oil / any oil (தேங்காய்எண்ணெய் ) - 1 tbsp
mustard , urid dal (கடுகு, உளுந்தம்பருப்பு  ) - each 1 tsp
hing (asafetida) - a pinch
curry leaf (கறிவேப்பிலை)- few
cilantro (மல்லித்தழை)- few

Chop the onion, bell pepper into 1/4 inch cubes (tiny). Keep aside.
Heat oil in wok. Add mustard, urid dal and let mustard splutter.
Then add hing, Curry leaf, cilantro and then add the chopped capsicum, onion and cook closed with a lid on , till it gets half cooked.
Let it cool a bit. Keep it in a serving bowl.
Grind together everything said above.
Mix with the sautéed items and add salt, plain yogurt. Mix well.
Keep refrigerated or serve immediately.
Garnish with karaboondhi (காராபூந்தி ) , if desired.

Serving suggestions:
Serve along with any chapathi or rice.
வெங்காயம் , குடைமிளகாயை பொடியாக நறுக்கவும்.
வாணலியை சூடாக்கி, எண்ணெய் கடுகு , உளுந்தம்பருப்பு சேர்க்கவும் .
கடுகு பொரிந்தவுடன் கறிவேப்பிலை , மல்லி தழை, நறுக்கிய வெங்காயம், குடைமிளகாய் சேர்த்து வதக்கவும்.
மூடி போட்டு சிறிது வேக விடவும். அரைப்பதம் வெந்தால் போதும்.
தீயை அணைத்து, வதக்கியவற்றை ஒரு பரிமாறும் கிண்ணத்தில் மாற்றி வைக்கவும்.
அரைக்க வேண்டியவற்றை அரைத்து சேர்க்கவும்.
தயிர், உப்பு சேர்த்து பரிமாறவும்
விருப்பப்பட்டால் காரபூந்தி யை தூவி அலங்கரித்து பரிமாறவும்.
இந்த குடைமிளகாய் ராய்தா,  சப்பாத்தி, சாதம் உடன் பொருத்தமாக இருக்கும்.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Peas potato masala

Having a pack of dry peas in the pantry can save your day :)  That's what comes to my mind whenever I see this grocery item. I have written this recipe with ingredients, that can be stored up in pantry (without much grocery shopping). But feel free to substitute with fresh ingredients (for example use freshly ground  coconut paste instead of coconut milk as I have suggested). 

A Basic Indian meals always include some dal (protein) and a carbohydrate (rice or wheat flour). Adding yogurt in the form of a raita (a vegetable with plain yogurt) makes it more scrumptious. One can prepare a complete homemade food using dry groceries with a few vegetables for a month or more.

So before this 'social distancing' started,  I started buying some bulk quantities (enough for 4 months or more) of dry groceries like rice for meals, idli rice, brown rice, whole wheat flour, besan flour,  toor dal, moong dal, channa dal, green dried peas, rajma, channa, urid dal, spices , appalam, fryums , various cooking oils and a lot more to write down here . LOL ! then we stocked them up along with other stuffs.
I found that Potatoes and onions could stay fresh in fridge (I have never tried it before) and used canned tomatoes and the homemade ginger garlic frozen paste.
So instead of regular weekly fresh vegetable haul,  I started cooking a dry bean curry along with chapati or rice and some raita and we could never tell a difference.  In fact we love that simple meals too as much as the fresh vegetables! Some days went with frozen chicken, cup noodles, egg curry , sambar rice, rasam rice etc. I started cooking every alternate days to reduce the onion consumption as I wanted my onions to stretch as far as possible 😀 (I used to cook everyday). One such curry, that can be made bulk is this peas potato curry.
Here is a peas curry with potato that tastes yummy too!

Peas potato curry and beetroot raita with chapati.

Dry peas (whole) - 1 cup
tomato puree - 1/2 cup
onion - 1 cup (chopped)
coriander leaves - a handful.
mint leaves - few
curry leaves - few
coconut milk (from can)- 2 tbsp
cumin powder - 1 tsp
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
cooking oil - 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
bay leaf - 1
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Potato - 2 (200 gm)

Soak the whole dry peas in water overnight or in hot water for 1 hour. Click to know how to cook peas in instant pot.
Put it in a pressure cooker vessel and add enough water to immerse it (not above the peas). If the water level is above  will become mushy.
If the peas is under-soaked, then add water enough to cover the peas and it should stand 1 inch above the peas level.
Place potato with skin (after washing well) along with peas and pressure cook it. Pressure cook till we get one whistle reduce flame and keep in minimum for 5 minutes. Then switch off flame and open the lid after 10 minutes .The peas have the tendency to get over cooked if gone beyond one whistle.
Grind ginger 1 inch and garlic 5 pieces together. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Fry some fennel seeds and bay leaf.
Add the chopped onion, curry leaves, cilantro and mint leaves. After the onion turns golden brown , add ginger garlic paste and saute well.
Now add pureed tomato and saute till oil separates.
Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder , curry masala  powder , salt and stir well. Boil till the raw smell vanishes.
Add the coconut milk , 1 cup water and let it come to a boil.
Peel the potatoes and cut into big cubes.
Then add the potato, cooked peas along with the water.
Mix well , check for salt and let it boil for two minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Pattani urulaikilangu kuruma is ready!

Serving suggestions:
serve hot with rice ,chapathi or naan .
Makes 5 cups of pattani kuruma .

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...