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

Dill Leaves Chutney

Dill chutney served with ragi dosaDill is an herb high in anti-oxidants and dietary fibers. It is rich in iron and helps reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. I have found this herb only in certain cities (Mumbai and Bangalore) where locals include it in various dishes, like akki roti, dal, dry subzi, roti, and so on.

Dill has a very distinct and strong flavor and taste, which is not liked by all. So, if your family members do not prefer dill, be careful about the quantity of dill you use for this chutney. Do not use more than a handful. I love this herb and include it in my diet at least twice in a week in the form of subzi or in akki roti. Chutney is a good way of consuming this wonder herb in the raw form and getting maximum benefit from it.

IngredientsIngredients:
Dil leaves (Sabbasige soppu) – 1 cup
Green chillies – 3-4
Grated coconut – From one half of a coconut
Tamarind – 1 marble size
Ginger – 1 small piece

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Yield:  2 cups

Method:
Grind all ingredients to a smooth paste. Serve with dosa or idli. Enjoy the flavor of dill and coconut with tanginess of tamarind.

You could add a tadka of mustard seeds in some oil for more flavor but I liked the flavor of the dill chutney as is.

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

Paniyaram

What your mother cooks for you always holds a special place in your heart. Everyone has a long list of items that they love about their mother’s cooking. I have my list of items too, right from the jeeraka vellam (jeera/cumin seeds flavored water) that she makes to unni appam, elai ada, avilu vilayichathu (sweet beaten rice), ada dosa, uluva dosa, uthappam, sambar, and the list grows. She has a very bad sweet tooth which she has passed on to me. So when making evening snacks, mostly she would stick to something sweet and she has ample support from me.

My mom’s sweet unni appam is well known among the friends and family circle. She had a salt equivalent to the sweet unniappam. This used to be made when she had exhausted options/ingredients. She would mix a little bit of churned curd to leftover idli batter, add some chopped onions, some garnish of curry leaves and coriander and fry this batter in oil. For lack of a better word, we used to call it morappam. Morappams had long been forgotten after I moved out of my parents’ home. It took me a trip to Chennai to revive the morappam memories.

The best thing about visiting a new place is getting the feel and taste of the local culture and cuisine. During my recent trip to Chennai, I gorged on fried paniyarams (the humble household morappam), Vazhappoo Vadai (Banana flower vadai), adai and avial, and other local specialities. Well, adai and avial has already been posted in Samagni. Adai and avial as a combination was new to me. When I thought about it, I realized it is a very clever combination of vegetables, dal, and carbs, a wholesome meal.

I tasted 2 varieties of paniyaram – one plain and the other spicy. I am told there are sweet paniyarams as well. Somebody please share the recipe for sweet paniyaram and vazhapoo vadai please!

Paniyarams are made in a frying pan that has pits. Batter is poured into these pits and steamed or fried. Made out of idli/dosa batter with or without extra ingredients, they taste great by themselves or when eaten with spicy chutney. They are a perfect monsoon snack and quick and easy to make.

Spongy Paniyaram

Ingredients
Idli batter – 250 gms
Onion – 1 big (finely chopped)
Green chilies – 2 (finely chopped)
Coriander – a bunch (finely chopped)
Curry leaves – 2 stalks (finely chopped)
Tomato – 1 (finely chopped) This is optional

Method
Add a teaspoon of oil in a small kadai. When the oil gets heated, add mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the finely chopped green chilies and shallots. Sauté for 2-3 mins.
Turn off the fire and let it cool a bit.
Once this seasoning cools down, add it to the idli batter along with chopped curry leaves and coriander leaves. Mix well.

Refer here for idli batter recipe.

Pour half a teaspoon oil into the paniyaram mold pits. Mix the batter well and pour small quantities of batter into the mold pits.

Cook them in a paniyaram mold

Cook in medium heat for a minute or more. When the sides turn brown, flip over using a wooden/steel stick. Ensure that both sides are cooked properly. Remove from fire. Serve hot with chutney.

This is the steamed variety hence healthier. If you would like your paniyarams deep fried, you could fill the paniyaram mold pits with oil and deep fry the batter. This is tastier and crispier.

Crunchy Paniyaram made from adai batter

I tried making paniyaram with adai batter and it turned out to be excellent. While paniyarams made with idli batter are spongy, adai batter paniyarams are crunchy and crispy. Do try them out or else make a trip to Chennai.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Salads

Raw Papaya Salad

A quick and healthy salad, simple and easy to make.

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Grated raw papaya, seed-ridden green chilies finely chopped, generous sprinkle of sesame seeds (may be some crushed flavored peanuts as well!), dash of lime and salt. Yummy salad is ready.

P.S. – Could use partially cooked papaya if raw gets to you!

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

Coconut Chutney

A simple coconut chutney to accompany dosa, sevai, or idlis.

Ingredients:
Coconut (scraped/cut) – 1/2 of a medium sized coconut
Shallots* – 2 nos
Dry red chilies* – 3
Water – 1/2 cup
Curry leaves – 1 stalk
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Oil and salt – As required

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

Alternatives:

A small piece of onion can be used if shallots are not available. You can use green chilies,a healthier option, instead of red chilies.

Preparation Time: 5min.

Cooking Time: 5min.

Method:

Grind the scraped/cut coconut along with shallots and red chilies in a mixer to a coarse mixture. Add small amounts of water to aid proper grinding. Remove to a container. Heat Oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves and turn off the fire and add this to the ground chutney. Add required amount of salt.

List of accompaniments:

Tastes great with idlis, dosas, and sevai.

Skill Level:

Low

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Salads

Cucumber & Beetroot Salad

An easy and tasty salad. Great way to start a meal.

Ingredients:
Cucumber – 1
Beetroot – 1
Peanuts (preferably flavored) or almonds – a handful
Green chilies – 1
Coriander leaves – 6-7 stalks
Lime – one-half
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 5 mins.
Cooking Time: 5 mins.

Method:

Peel the cucumber and beetroot and grate them. Crush the (flavored/plain) peanuts and add to the grated veggies. Cut the green chilies, remove the seeds, and chop them finely. Chop the coriander leaves finely and add them and green chilies to the grated veggies. Squeeze the lime juice into the veggies. Add salt and mix well. Healthy and tasty salad is ready to serve.

Health Benefits/Alerts:
Cucumber is low in calories and cools the tummy. Beetroot improves the quality of blood. It cleanses and kidneys and gall bladder. Peanuts are a great source of protein and contain significant amounts of iron, zinc, and magnesium. Overall this salad is a healthy way to begin a meal.

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