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.

Breakfast, Dosas, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Uthappam, The South Indian Rice Pizza

Uthappam, for most people, is thick dosa made from dosa/idli batter. But at home uthappam is made from special uthappam batter and is eaten with fiery shallot and red chilly chutney. Fenugreek seeds up the health quotient of uthappam.
Restaurant uthappams are topped with chopped onions, green chilies, tomatoes, curry leaves, and coriander leaves but plain uthappams are very tasty too. I prefer plain uthappams because I relish the flavor of fenugreek. Uthappams are an any-time-of-the-day meal and make a complete meal in itself when served with sambar.

Ingredients:
For grinding:ingredients
Parboiled rice (ukhda chawal/puzhukkal ari) – 3 cups
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds/uluva) – 1/3 cup (6 tsps)
Raw rice – 2 tablespoons
Black gram dehusked (Urad dal/uzhunnu parippu) – 2 tablespoons
Salt – as needed

For cooking:
Oil – 1 tbsp per uthappam

Method:
Wash all the ingredients together in water and soak for about 8 hours/overnight. Grind to make a coarse paste. Uthappam batter should not be finely ground. Allow the batter to ferment (by keeping in a warm place) for about 10-12 hours. Uthappam batter does not “rise” like the dosa/idli batter because it contains very little lentil.

pour the batterHeat a griddle. Pour half a tablespoon of oil. Pour a ladleful of uthappam batter on to this oil. Spread lightly to make a thick small round. Sprinkle half tablespoon oil on the spread batter.
If you prefer to add a topping to your uthappam, you can do that at this stage. Toppings can be finely chopped onions, tomatoes, curry leaves, and coriander leaves.

flip overAllow to cook in medium heat for a minute. When the sides turn golden brown and crisp, flip it over.Let it cook for a minute. Remove the uthappam from the griddle and serve with sambar, chutney, or milaga podi (dry chutney powder).

Ideal combination for uthappam is the fiery shallot chutney. Soak 4-5 dry red chilies in water for half an hour and grind these along with 10-12 peeled shallots. Add salt and a teaspoon of coconut oil. This chutney should ideally be ground using a stone grinder to get the authentic taste. The combination of the fenugreek-flavor-dominant uthappam and the fiery shallot chutney is irresistible! Guaranteed that you will not stop short of gobbling up at least 5 of these!

Everyday Simple Recipes, Pickles, Side Dishes, South Indian, Vegan

Green Tomato Pickle

Green tomatoes, fenugreek, and chilly powder?

ingredients
They combine to create something that will leave you drooling and smacking your lips!

Green Tomato pickle

My friend Anjana brought this green tomato pickle to office. Thus began the green tomato movement. Now I am a green tomato pickle propagator!

I leave it to my friend to explain how this can be made in the best possible way. Watch this space. She will be sharing her secret recipe.

Green Tomato Pickle Recipe
The green tomato pickle is a personal favorite. To call it a pickle is actually a mistake, considering that I eat it like a chutney (which is in unimaginably huge quantities).

This is a versatile pickle / chutney. It can be had with idli/dosa, chapati, parathas, upma, rice, and even bread. Two slices of bread with a slice of cheese and this pickle in between must be tried at least once.

It’s actually really simple and hardly takes any time. As a random and irregular cook, I am very bad with the proportions. But my mother, who is a non-random and measured person (pun intended), has helped with the proportions and the method here. She makes the tastiest green tomato pickle that I have ever had.

Roasted FenugreekIngredients:
Green raw tomatoes – 250 gm
Roasted fenugreek seeds powdered (uluva, venthayam, methi) – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder (spicy variety) – 3/4-1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (kayam, hing) – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – to taste
Sesame Oil (nallenna, til oil)- 1 tbsp

Method:
grind fenugreekDry roast the methi seeds in a pan and powder it. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Let it crackle. Add a little asafoetida. To this, add the chopped raw tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, and let it cook. After about five minutes, when the tomatoes cook (show signs of peeling), add the red chilly powder, roasted methi powder, and the remaining asafoetida.

After about 10 more minutes of cooking, its ready to eat. Tastes best when rested for a couple of hours because it takes some time for the flavors to blend and soak in.

Most pickles that are made during the yearly mango or gooseberry season are shelved in a cool, dry, dark place and untouched for months before they taste their best and are ready for consumption. But some pickles (especially the ones made during Malayali weddings and special occasions are made just the day before). This is one of those ready-to-eat kinds. It does not have a very long shelf life – lasts a week at the most. Hope you like it!

– Contributed by Anjana Nagabhushana

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