Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Uncategorized

Vengaya Chutney (Ulli Vathakki Chammanthi)

A fiery tangy chutney ideal accompaniment for dosa and idli.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIngredients:
Shallots – 10-12
Garlic (optional) – 1 clove
Dry red chilies – 5
Cooking oil – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – a small marble size
Salt as needed
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 2-3 tbsp

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes – 1 cup

Method:
Peel shallots and keep aside. If the shallots are bigger in size, cut them into smaller pieces.
In a deep pan, add a teaspoon of oil and saute the shallots along with garlic and dry red chilies. Saute in medium heat for 2-3 mins. When shallots turn translucent, add tamarind and salt. Switch off the flame.
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Let this cool and then grind into a smooth paste in the mixer along with 2-3 tbsp of water.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
Heat half a tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves, switch off the flame and add this tempering to the chutney.

Notes:
1. You can skip tamarind if you do not like tangy taste.
2. You can use red onions to make this chutney but the taste will not be the same. Onions are sweeter and shallots are spicy.

Bachelor-friendly, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Keerai Mashiyal – Mashed Greens with Lentils

It is recommended that we use greens daily in our diet. Indians have various recipes to use locally available greens. One of the local recipe around the regions in Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala mainly dominated by the Tamil community is a preparation called mashiyal, which literally means mashed. Keerai mashiyal is nothing but mashed greens. You may puree the greens or decide to just cook them, add lentils along with them mashed greens, and choose your own favorite kind of seasoning for the mashed greens. The mashiyals that traditional Tamil Iyer community makes does not use shallots/onions. You may use your discretion to add or skip shallots. Lentils is a good way to add volume as well as protein in your mashiyal but this is optional too.

Ingredients:
Spinach/amaranth leaves/cheera/keerai/palak – 3 tightly packed cups
Tur dal/split yellow mung dal – 1/2 cup
Water – 2 cups
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Green chilies – 1 or 2
Pearl onions/Shallots – 7-8
Dried red chilies – 2
Urad Dal – 1 tsp (optional)

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins (20 mins pressure cooking time)
Makes 4 cups

Method:
If you are adding lentils, rinse the dal thoroughly, add a cup of water, and cook it well. Mash and keep aside.

Wash, clean, and chop the spinach. Keep aside.
Peel the pearl onions/shallots and chop them finely. Chop green chilies finely. Keep aside.

In a wok, add oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal. Roast the dal until they turn red and add the dry red chilies.
Add the finely chopped shallots and green chilies. Saute until shallots turn pink.
Add the finely chopped spinach, along with quarter cup of water, and a pinch of turmeric powder. Cover and let this cook until the greens get cooked, stirring occasionally. Add the required amount of salt.
When the greens are cooked well, add the mashed dal. Taste and adjust the salt.
Turn off the fire.
Serve with rice or roti.

Notes: If you do not have shallots, you may use red onions but the taste does vary slightly. Red onions are slightly sweet whereas shallots are spicy.
You may avoid onions/shallots and choose to add just a seasoning of oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, and dry red chilies.

Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Tiffin, Vegan

Ada Dosa with Drumstick Leaves

Ada dosaAda dosa is a popular traditional morning breakfast or evening tiffin in Kerala Iyer households. It is a thick dosa made of coarsely ground parboiled rice and lentils. It is a balanced food consisting both carbs and protein and after having a couple of adais, your stomach feels very full for at least 3 hours. Adai is a family favorite and we make two variations. One is with rice and multiple dals and the other one with rice and chana dal and drumstick leaves/methi leaves mixed in the batter. This is a very good way of including greens in your diet. Earlier I had shared a soft and instant dosa with drumstick leaves made of raw rice. Check it out here.

Moringa leavesIngredients:
Parboiled rice/idly rice – 2 cups
Chana dal – 1/4 cup
Shallots/asafetida(hing) – a handful of shallots or 1/2 tsp hing
Dry red chilies – 6-8
Water – just enough to grind to medium consistency
Salt to taste

Drumstick leaves – 1 cup tightly packed
OR
Methi leaves – 1 cup washed and chopped

For Dosa:
Sesame oil/groundnut oil – 1 tsp per adai

Preparation time:
Soaking: 3-4 hours
Grinding: 10 mins
Cooking time: 3 mins/dosa

Method:
Wash and soak the rice, chana dal, and dry red chillies together for 3-4 hours. Grind the soaked ingredients along with handful of shallots (or 1/2 tsp asafetida) coarsely. Since only coarse grinding is necessary, you may use a mixer to grind in batches. Add necessary amounts of water to grind the batter to a medium consistency. Do not make it too loose. Add salt and drumstick leaves/chopped methi leaves to the batter. Mix well.

Batter consistency should be thicker than the dosa batter. Ada dosai batter does not require fermentation.

Heat an iron griddle. Use a cotton cloth to grease the griddle with sesame oil.

Ada dosaWhen the griddle is hot, spread a ladleful of batter and spread around to make a thick dosa. My grandmother never used to a ladle to spread adai. She would use her hand to spread the batter around.

Drizzle oil around the adai batter and in the middle. Do not economize on oil. Since this is a thick dosa, a good amount of oil is needed so that the batter gets cooked properly. Cook in medium heat.

When the sides start getting brown, turn over and cook the other side. Cook until both sides turn crisp.

Remove from tava and serve hot. Since this is a spicy dosa, it does not need chutney. It is traditionally served with unsalted white butter or jaggery.

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan

Kerala Style Roasted Coconut Chammanthi/Chutney

Roasted Coconut Chutney Ingredients

A chammanthi/chutney (not to be confused with chutneys served with dosa) that can add punch to the most mundane item like a rice gruel (kanji) meal. Mouth-watering, lip-smacking, flavorful, tangy; all these adjectives cannot do justice to this chutney. Make this once, and you will be addicted forever. Traditionally this chutney is made by roasting whole coconut and dry red chilies over burning charcoal. I can only imagine how exotic and flavorful this version must be!

Ingredients:
Grated Coconut – 1/2 of a medium sized coconut
Dry Red Chilies – 4
Tamarind – 1/2 lime size
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Pearl Onion/Shallot – 2
Garlic pod – 2
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

Roasted coconut and dry red chilliesMethod:
Heat an iron pan and dry roast the grated coconut and red chilies in medium heat. Turn off when the coconut turns to golden color. Transfer to a plate and let the coconut and chilies cool down a bit. Peel shallots and garlic. Clean the tamarind by removing seeds and stringy membranes, if any. Grind all the ingredients in a mixer. I used a traditional stone grinder (ammikallu). Use very little water while grinding to make a coarse chutney.

Roasted Coconut Chutney

Serve with warm rice or rice gruel. This chutney can be used even for dosa or idly. I made a version without garlic and onion, and that too tasted extremely good.

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

Chakkakuru Mezhukkupuratti – Jackfruit Seed Stir Fry

We Indians dont need lessons in frugality. Every tiny thing that can be used will be utilized and will not be wasted. When a ripe jackfruit is cut at home, the fruit is deseeded and eaten. The outer covering of the fruit is given to cattle. Cows love munching on the thick outer covering leftovers. So now the only thing that remains is the jackfruit seed. In mallu land, we make chakkakuru mezhukkupuratti (jackfruit seed stir fry) which is a very easy and tasty dish. It is also added to many different subzis such as avial. Jackfruit seeds are rich in protein, antioxidants, good sources of riboflavin and thiamine, and good for the skin, complexion, and hair.

Ingredients:
Jackfruit seeds – 15-20
Onion/Shallots- 1/10 shallots
Dry red chillies/Red chilly powder – 2 Nos/1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 1 cup
Salt – To taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Method:
There are two ways to clean and prep the jackfruit seeds to make this dish.

Method 1 – Like potatoes, jackfruit seeds take some time to cook. The easiest way to cook jackfruit seeds is to pressure cook them for one whistle along with some amount of water. After pressure cooking the seeds, remove excess water and the off-white outer covering of the seed. Beneath the off-white peel is a dark brown covering. This can be retained. Dice into desired shape (long pieces or into cubes).

Method 2: This is the method I often follow. Place the seeds on a newspaper and place this on the floor. Use a pestle to pound the seeds lightly with force just enough to crush them. The peel comes off easily. Cut into desired shape. Cook them in a pan along with water until they turn soft.

 

You can either grind the onion and red chilies into a smooth paste or you can use finely chopped onion and red chilly powder.

Heat a thick bottomed frying pan and pour oil. Add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds splutter, add the onion paste/finely chopped onion and curry leaves. Fry until chopped onion is soft/onion paste loses its raw smell. Add the cut jackfruit seeds and salt. Stir fry for about 10 minutes. You might need to add more oil if you want the edges to turn crisp. Serve as a dry subzi along with rice.

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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 chillies, 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.

Heat 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.

Allow 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 chillies 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, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, South Indian, Vegan

Colocasia Stem (Thaalu) Avial

A quick post about colocasia stem avial on demand.

Ingredients:

Tender Colocasia stems – 200 gms
Long beans (payar/chowli) – 100 gms
Raw banana – 100 gms
Raw papaya – 100 gms
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as needed
Tamarind – size of lemon
Water – 1/2 glass
Coconut – 1/2
Shallot – 1-2
Jeera – 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 2 stalks

Method:

Wash and clean the vegetables. Peel the colocasia stem, raw banana, and Papaya and cut into slender 1-1/2 inch long pieces. The colocasia stems are porous and reduce after cooking. So cut them slightly more thicker than the other vegetables. Remove the edges of the long beans and cut them to 1-1/2 inch long pieces. Put the cut vegetables in a cooking pot and place it on fire. Add Turmeric and chilly powder and half a glass of water. Stir and close the pot with a lid. Stir occasionally to ensure vegetables do not stick to the bottom. Cook in medium fire.

Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in 2 tsp of water and extract the juice. Grate half a coconut and grind the coconut along with one shallot and jeera to make a fine paste. Keep aside.

When the vegetables are tender and cooked, add the tamarind extract. At times colocasia stems tend to cause itching. Adding tamarind juice removes this itch. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add the grinded coconut paste. Stir well and cook for 2 mins. Remove from fire. Add salt as needed and then sprinkle curry leaves and then add coconut oil. I cannot describe the aroma that will fill your kitchen when you add the curry leaves and coconut oil to this warm avial. You need to experience it. Anything that smells great tastes great too!

I do not have any pictures to post at the moment. I hope I get a chance to make this avial and share the pictures very soon!

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