Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, South Indian, Vegan

Kothamalli (Coriander Leaves) Chutney – Tamil Nadu Style

I have a distinct memory of the taste of the coriander chutney served with dosa at a restaurant in Thiruvannamalai. It did not have the raw green taste. I asked them how to make it. But, since I did not get the proportions right, it had not turned out well. So when I found out that my new domestic help belongs to Thiruvannamalai, I asked her what kinds of chutneys she makes at home for dosa and idli and she mentioned the coriander chutney. I asked her the method and from her description I could make out this is the same one I must have had at the restaurant. Got her to make it today morning and it was simply yum! I loved her style of cooking. She roasted the whole garlic cloves without chopping them. She has no hesitation about the quantity of ingredients. Unlike me, she was lavish about the quantity of oil and the amount of garlic. In the below recipe, I have reduced the amount of oil significantly. Unlike Navaratna chutney which is sap green in color has a raw taste, the color of this chutney is yellow green resembling pickled olives and has a cooked taste.

Ingredients:
For roasting and grinding
Coriander leaves – 2 cups (tightly packed)
Urad dal – 2 tbsp
Chana dal – 2 tbsp
Dry red chilies – 7-8 (adjust to taste)
Tomato – 2 medium
Garlic – 1 pod (8-10 cloves)
Coconut – 1-1/2 cups
Tamarind – lemon sized ball
Oil – 1 tsp

For Garnishing
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Dry red chilies – 2
Oil – 1 + 1 tsp

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Makes 2 cups

Method:
Wash, drain, and chop coriander leaves. You may use the tender stems as well. They add to the flavor.
Heat oil in a pan and add chana dal. When they start sizzling and changing color, add the urad dal and saute until they start turning red.
Add garlic cloves (whole will do – no need to chop them), chopped tomato, dry red chillies and saute in medium flame for 5 minutes.
Add the coriander leaves and let them wilt a bit and turn dark green in color. Do not overdo this. Just let the leaves wilt and turn off the fire. If you overcook the coriander, the flavor will be lost.
Add tamarind and grated coconut and let this get lightly cooked in the residual heat of the pan.
Once the ingredients cool down, use a mixer to grind along with salt. You would not need to add water as the tomatoes and coriander would have some water content. Do not overgrind. Grind until the red chilies and the roasted dals have been ground well.
Now for garnishing, heat oil in the same pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, split the dry red chilies into two, add that and the curry leaves. Roast for less than a minute and then add the chutney to this pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes or so.
Turn off and transfer to a serving bowl.
Chutney is ready to be served with dosa, idli, roti, or even rice.

Notes: If you want to avoid garlic, you can substitute it with a half an inch piece of ginger.
You could skip the tomatoes and add a little more tamarind but using tomato and tamarind in the given proportion is recommended to balance the tart.

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Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Navaratna Chutney

Dosa served with Navaratna chutney and podiBreakfast options for most South Indian households are usually standard – dosa or idli. A chutney or a gravy accompaniment can turn the standard breakfast into an exotic one. Here is Navaratna chutney that is made from raw ingredients. This chutney is a great way of including the goodness of raw greens in your diet.

Ingredients:
Coconut – 1 cup
Shallots – 6-7
Coriander – 2 cups (tightly packed)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Green chilies – 2 big or 3 medium sized
Ginger – 1/2 inch size
Garlic – 2-3 cloves
Tamarind – marble sized
Salt as needed

Method:
All you need to do is to blend the ingredients together to get a smooth but slightly coarse paste.

After you spread your dosa and drizzle oil, sprinkle some chutney podi on the surface and spread it using the spatula. Flip the dosa and cook. Serve this podi dosa along with chutney. Tastes awesome to all those who crave for that extra punch!

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Notes: 1. You can add mint leaves also if you like the taste and flavor.
2. You may add the tender stems of the coriander leaves also in this chutney.
3. If you do not have tamarind at home, you can replace it with lemon juice although there will be a very subtle variation in taste. Both are tasty in their own unique way.

Recipe courtesy: Rajuchechi and Indrachechi

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Salads, Snacks, Vegan

Chickpea Salad

chickpea saladChaat or salad? You decide. A recipe that you can put together easily and pass on as a snack or as a salad before a full-course meal.

Ingredients:
Chickpeas – 2 cups
Onion – 1
Lemon – 1
Green chillies – 1
Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Salt as needed

Method:
Soak the chickpeas for about 8 hours. Sprouting the chickpeas is even better. Pressure cook the chickpeas with salt in adequate water until soft.

Chop onion finely. Split the green chilly, remove the seeds, and chop finely. You could add crushed peppercorns instead of green chilly. Chop coriander leaves.

Crush the cumin seeds. Extract lime juice. Add lime juice and crushed cumin seeds to olive oil to make a salad dressing.

Add the finely chopped onion, green chillies, and coriander leaves to the boiled chickpeas. Add the salad dressing to this and toss to mix. Adjust salt if needed.

You could add tomato and cheese to this salad.

Recipe source: {++}

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish, South Indian, Vegan

Eggplant Rice – A One-Pot Meal

Recently I have been finding one-pot meals very interesting. I never used to like them earlier, only for the reason that I was not familiar with them. At home the only one-pot meal we knew was curd rice, tomato rice, lemon rice, and tamarind rice. Apart from these, I was not used to pilaf or biriyani simply because at home we do not use garam masala. Meal to us meant rice accompanied with a gravy and a subzi. It took me several years to get out of that comfort zone.

Lunch boxKarnataka cuisine has many varieties of one-pot meals. The first meal I had at MTR had some of these including Bisibele bath. Personally not a big fan of that one. But vangi bath or eggplant/brinjal rice has been a favorite ever since the first time. Eggplant rice is a very good option to make when you are expecting guests and need to make rice and roti-subzi. This one-pot meal does not need much preparation, can be made quickly, and gives you ample time to attend to other things. It is a convenient lunch to carry to schools and work places.

Let me add the disclaimer first! This recipe requires a special powder called Vangi Bath masala powder. Like many other ready-to-mix powders that are available in the market (most famous brand being MTR), this powder is also available. I am not sure if it is widely available like a puliyodarai mix! In this recipe, I have not explained how to make the vangi bath mix because I do not know how to. I bought the masala mix from my friendly neighborhood Iyengar’s Bakery that sells masalas, snacks, and some tasty dosas and meals.

Vangi bath masala mix can be prepared at home and has good shelf life. Aayis Recipe, a veteran food blogger’s version can be checked here. This one over here is good too.

Traditional recipe only uses brinjal but I used potato and capsicum as well. I quite loved the taste!

Ingredients:
Rice (raw rice/biriyani rice preferred) – 1 glass
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Brinjal – 2 medium sized
Potato – 1 medium sized
Capsicum – 1 medium sized
Green chillies – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Vangi Bath mix – 1 tbsp
Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Lemon juice – of half a lime or as desired
Salt – as needed

Method:
VegetablesPressure cook rice and keep aside.

Wash and clean the vegetables. Peel potato, remove stalk from eggplant and capsicum. Cut in rectangular pieces (can be cut as desired). Separate the capsicum pieces from the brinjal and potato pieces. Split the green chillies. Keep aside.

Heat an iron kadai and pour oil. Add mustard seeds to the oil. After mustard seeds splutter, add cut brinjal, potato, curry leaves, and green chilies. Add turmeric powder. Stir well to coat oil on the vegetables and close with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes in slow fire stirring occasionally. At 5 minutes, add capsicum pieces. Cook for another 2 minutes or so until all vegetables are tender. Add vangi bath mix and salt. Stir for a minute and turn off fire. Add the cooked rice. If rice is very hot, it might break while mixing. So make sure that the rice has cooled down a little bit. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, and lemon juice. Mix well. Serve with papad and raita.Vangi bath, salad, and papad

I made mixed veg raita using cucumber, onion, carrot, curd, green chilies, coriander leaves, and salt. Makes a wholesome meal of carbs, cooked vegetables, fresh vegetables, curd for probiotic, and the fried papad to add a little bit of sin!

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Pickles, South Indian

Coriander Chutney Powder/Kothamalli Chutney

Coriander Chutney powderMoms never cease to surprise! Just when you think you have tasted almost everything that your mom makes, there comes a new one. How I wish culinary skills were hereditary! So, the latest one that mom surprised me with is a coriander chutney powder. This spicy chutney powder is made with lentil and fresh herbs. It is easy to make and totally irresistible.

Ingredients:
Fresh curry leaves – 1/2 cup
Fresh coriander leaves – 2 cups
Dry red chilies – 5-6
Urad dal – 1/2 cup
Tamarind – small lime size
Asafetida – 1 tsp, if powder; about one-inch piece, if using whole asafetida.
Salt to taste

Method:
Ingredients

Clean coriander leaves and curry leaves using water and wipe dry with a towel. Remove curry leaves from stalk and keep aside. Chop coriander and keep aside.

In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast urad dal until it turns light brown. If you are using asafetida powder, add it to the urad dal just before you remove the urad dal from fire and lightly roast. Remove from the pan and keep aside. Add the red chilies to the pan and dry roast until the raw smell is lost and the red chilies start turning black. Ensure that flame is in ‘low’ because chillies can get burnt easily. If you are adding whole asafetida, dry roast it until it swells and starts giving out flavor. Remove from pan and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the curry leaves. Dry roast until the curry leaves start turning crisp but retain the green color. Before you start grinding the ingredients, ensure that the mixer jar is completely dry. Add the roasted urad dal, asafetida, and dry red chilies to the mixer jar and grind until the ingredients turn into a coarse powder. At this stage, add the curry leaves and grind again. When the curry leaves are also ground, add fresh (but dry) coriander into the jar and grind again until all the green leaves are powdered well. Add salt and tamarind and grind again until all the ingredients are ground and mixed well. Remove from the jar. Adjust the salt to taste. Freshly ground chutney powder might be a little moist because of the use of fresh coriander leaves. You could even make tiny balls out of the ground powder or store it in powder form.

Transfer the ground chutney powder into clean, dry jar. Refrigerate and use. This will last up to a month. This chutney powder can come to your rescue on a lazy day when you are too lazy to make an elaborate meal. Just make rice and serve this chutney powder with warm rice, ghee, and papad. You will not miss sambhar or any other subzi! You can try this chutney powder with idli/dosa also.

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Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Tangy Poha

Tangy Poha

Here is a tangy variety of poha that almost tastes like puliyodarai. I tasted this at a friend’s house and soon after tasting the first spoon, me and my mother were after my friend and her mother-in-law to get the recipe secret out. I tried making it soon enough so that I don’t forget the ingredients. Dry roasted and powdered whole masala ingredients are used for this recipe. Store this powder in an air tight container and then making this tangy poha is just a matter of few minutes. Let’s look at how tangy poha is made.

Ingredients:
Poha (beaten rice flakes/aval) – 6 cups
Tamarind juice – from a lime-sized tamarind ball
Water (optional, only enough to lightly moisten the poha)
Jaggery powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For masala:
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek (uluva) – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Asafetida – 1/2 tsp

For seasoning:
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Chana dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Roasted Peanuts – one fistful
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

For garnish:
Coriander leaves – 4-5 stalks
Curry leaves – 2 stalks

Method:
Soak tamarind in half a glass of water and extract the juice. Choose the amount of tamarind very carefully. If you feel later that it is not sufficient, you can add lime juice to balance the taste.

Grind the poha in a mixer to make a coarse powder (slightly bigger than rawa consistency). Transfer to a large bowl and keep aside. Mix the tamarind juice along with water and salt to moisten the poha. Use water carefully because the poha should just be sufficiently moistened. The consistency should be moist powdery but neither lumpy nor dry. Add jaggery powder. Mix well. Jaggery helps balance the tanginess and enhances the taste. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Since I used matta rice variety of beaten flakes, I could not get a fine powdery version. The white rice variety helps you get a nice powdery version.

Masala for tangy pohaIf you are using whole masala ingredients, dry roast each ingredient separately and powder them. I used powders except for fenugreek and jeera. Dry roast fenugreek and jeera in an iron kadai. Powder the roasted ingredients using a mortar and pestle before it cools down. Dry roast the remaining ingredients (coriander powder, black pepper powder, chilly powder, asafetida) together in the iron kadai in low flame for about 2 minutes until the raw smell is gone. Add the powdered fenugreek and jeera to this roasted masala and mix well.

TangypohaIn an iron kadai, pour oil and crackle mustard seeds. If you prefer to add urad dal and chana dal, you can add them now. When the dals turn red, add curry leaves and peanuts. Roast for a minute. Add the masala powder along with turmeric powder and stir for half a minute. Add the powdered poha. Stir and cook for about two minutes. Add coriander leaves. Tangy poha is ready.

An extremely easy alternative is to use ready-made Puliyodarai mix for this recipe. Coarsely grind the rice flakes using a mixer. Add sufficient salt and water to this coarsely ground powder and moisten the powdered rice flakes. In a kadai, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add sufficient puliyodarai paste to this oil and mix well. Cook for a minute. Add the moistened rice flakes powder to this. Mix well and serve.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Side Dishes

Onion Tomato Subzi

When you have to make roti subzi for just one person, what subzi do you make? Here is a simple one with very few ingredients that you can prepare in 5-7 minutes.

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Ingredients:
Onion (medium) – 1
Tomato (medium) – 1
Garlic – 1 pod (optional)
Hing/asafetida – a pinch
Turmeric – a pinch
Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves – 1-2 (optional)

Method:
Peel the garlic and onion. Chop garlic, onion, and tomato into small pieces. Pour oil into an iron wok. Crackle mustard seeds. Add chopped garlic. When they turn brown, add chopped onion. Saute for 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, and hing powder. Add chopped tomato. Saute for 2 more minutes. Add salt and turn off. Add grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves if preferred. Serve with roti.

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