Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Sprouted Horsegram Curry (Mulappicha Muthiracurry)

One of the best ways to include fiber in our diet is to eat whole grains and legumes. Sprouted legume immensely increases the nutritive value of the food. Horse gram is a legume that is high in iron and a good source of protein. It is a fairly good source of calcium as well. Horse gram aids weight loss.

For many years I stuck to the familiar diet that is made at home; sambar, rasam, avial, moloshyam (dal curry), and so on. Recently I have been trying to experiment and include new ingredients in my diet. This is good for a variety of reasons. Most hereditary diseases are passed on due to dietary and lifestyle habits in a family. I personally believe that when you include new items in your diet, it reduces your chances of developing certain hereditary conditions/diseases.

Here is an experiment with horse gram that I am very satisfied with. A simple sprouted horse gram curry.

Ingredients:
Horse gram – 1 cup
Water – as needed
Tamarind – 1/2 lime sized
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste

For grinding:
Coconut – 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds/Jeera/Jeerakam – 1/2 tsp
Shallot – 1
Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies – 4-5

For tempering:
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Method:
Soak the horse gram in water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water and clean the horse gram. Remove all the non-viable ones. Keep the drained, wet horse gram covered in the same vessel for the next 8-12 hours. The sprouting time varies depending on the weather in your region. Wash the sprouted horse gram with clean water.

Pressure-cook the horse gram with water just enough to soak the sprouted horse gram. Horse gram is a tough legume and takes time to cook and needs cooking time of 2-3 whistles. After opening the pressure cooker lid, you can use a masher to mash some of the horse gram. This helps give a good gravy consistency to the curry. Add turmeric powder and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Soak tamarind in warm water, extract tamarind juice, and add to the cooked horse gram.

Meanwhile, pour a drop of oil in a pan and add urad dal. Roast until golden. Break the dry red chillies into 2-3 pieces and add it to the roasted urad dal. Roast for less than a minute and turn off. Grind this along with the shallot, jeera, and coconut. Add this to the cooked horse gram. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. When the curry starts boiling and bubbling, turn off the fire. In a pan, splutter mustard seeds in coconut oil. Add curry leaves to the spluttered mustard seeds, turn off the fire, and add to cooked horse gram curry. Serve with hot rice or roti.

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

Coriander Chutney Powder/Kothamalli Chutney

Moms 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 chillies – 5-6
Urad dal – 1/2 cup
Tamarind – small lime size
Asafoetida – 1 tsp, if powder; about one-inch piece, if using whole asafoetida.
Salt to taste

Method:
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 asafoetida 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 chillies to the pan and dry roast until the raw smell is lost and the red chillies start turning black. Ensure that flame is in ‘low’ because chillies can get burnt easily. If you are adding whole asafoetida, 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 colour. Before you start grinding the ingredients, ensure that the mixer jar is completely dry. Add the roasted urad dal, asafoetida, and dry red chillies 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 pappad. 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

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.

If 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.

In 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 readymade 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, 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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Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Salads

Carrot Salad

Stuffed after a big meal? Swearing that you will never hog that much ever again? Most of us do that post indulging! Just yesterday after the grand Vishu feast, I told myself, tomorrow I am gonna eat light. So today was a soup and salad lunch for me. Spicy rasam for soup and crunchy carrot salad. My colleague at work shared this quick fix, yummy carrot salad recipe. Great tasting and easy to make. Hence had to share it with all of you.

Ingredients:
Carrot – 1 medium sized
Lime juice – 1/4-1/2 of a small lime
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Jeera – 1/4 tsp
Honey/Jaggery/Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Almonds/rasins/peanuts – as required
Curry leaves – Leaves from a twig
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp
Salt – As needed

Method:
Wash, peel, and grate the carrot. Pour honey (If you are using sugar/jaggery, mix those with the grated carrot) and add lime juice. Add salt and mix well. In a small pan, heat the oil and put mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start crackling, add jeera. Add curry leaves to the oil. Add this seasoning to the salad and mix well. You could add almonds, peanuts, cashews, rasins, any of these as per your taste. Personally I prefer adding almonds that are soaked in water, peeled, and cut. Set aside for 5-10 mins to let the flavors blend. Crunchy munchy carrot salad is ready.

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Side Dishes, South Indian

Radish Subzi

Now is the season to buy radish and red carrots (carrots available through other seasons are orange). I love anything made of white radish. Mooli (radish) paratha is one of my favorites. I try to make radish subzi at least twice or thrice a month because of the immense health benefits it has. Here I will share two types of radish dry subzis that I prepare.

Method 1 Ingredients:
Radish – 250 gms
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder/haldi – 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera – 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1/4 tsp
Green chillies – 2
Grated coconut – One small cup
Curry leaves – One stalk
Salt to taste

Method:
Clean, peel, and cut the radishes into small pieces. If the radishes are fresh and come along with the stem and leaves, you can pluck the leaves and chop them and use it for the subzi. I like to retain the crunchy texture of the radish and hence cut them instead of grating them. However, if you prefer it grated, you could do so. Split the green chillies. Pour oil in a thick bottomed iron wok and turn on the heat. Add mustard seeds to the oil. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add jeera and urad dal. If you add these along with the mustard seeds, they will get burnt. When dal turns pink in color, add curry leaves and split green chillies, and then add radish pieces. Stir and mix well. Add turmeric powder, close with a lid, and cook in medium flame for 5 mins. Stir occasionally. When the radishes become tender, turn off the fire and then add salt. Add grated coconut and mix well.

Method 2 Ingredients:
Radish – 250 gms
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder/haldi – 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Onion – 1 medium sized
Green chillies – 2
Grated coconut – One small cup
Curry leaves – One stalk
Salt to taste

Method:
Clean, peel, and grate the radishes. Clean, peel, and chop the onion finely. Split the green chillies. Pour oil in a thick bottomed iron wok and turn on the heat. Add mustard seeds to the oil. When they splutter, add curry leaves, green chillies, and finely chopped onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion turns pink in color. Add grated radish. Mix well. Close with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. When the radish becomes tender, turn off the fire, add salt, grated coconut and mix well. Serve along with rice or roti.

Breakfast, Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Pickles, South Indian, Tiffin

Milaga Podi (Dry Chutney Powder)

There are two items that you will definitely find in every South Indian household – curd and milaga podi (dry chutney powder or gun powder as non-Southies call it). Podi is potent gun powder that can make any food item tasty! It is a must-have in every household as it has a good shelf life and can accompany most food items such as dosa, idli, and even rice. Lazy to grate coconut and grind a chutney? All you need to do is take few spoons of podi, mix some oil in it and serve along with the dosa or idli. You wont even miss the juicy coconut chutney! Podi is also a safe bet when you are packing food for long bus/train journeys.

Every household has their own secret recipe for podi and it tastes different in every house. When in school, I used to taste podi from my friends’ lunch boxes and each of them would taste different. Podi would differ in texture, taste, and visual appeal. Grainy, powdery, spicy, orange, greenish black, they come in all varieties. Recently, I tried MTR chutney powder (they market podi by that name) and I quite liked the taste of it. Unlike authentic Tamil Nadu style podi, this one is tangy. I believe tamarind is an ingredient in that recipe. Though I liked the MTR taste, being the conservative types when it comes to food, I prefer the authentic spicy taste without any tanginess.
This recipe is a mix of 2-3 different types of podis that I have had.

Ingredients:
Black gram/urad dal/uzhunnu parippu (white or black) – 1 cup
Bengal gram/chana dal/kadala parippu (optional) – 1/4 cup
Raw rice (optional) – 1/4 cup
Dried red chilly – 10
Black pepper (optional) – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 6-7 stalks
Asafoetida – size of a marble/2 tsp
Sesame seeds/Til/ellu (white or black) – 2 tbsp
Salt – as required

Method:
In a heavy bottomed pan (preferably iron), dry roast the grains one after the other until the grains turn red. First roast black gram. Then roast chana dal, followed by rice. Okay, I cheated! I roasted chana dal, kept it aside and then roasted the raw rice and black gram together. That works. When the black gram and rice are half done, add red chillies, black pepper, asafoetida, and curry leaves. If you are using asafoetida powder, you can add it towards the end of the roasting exercise. Turn off the fire and then add the sesame seeds and salt. Keep aside and let it cool down a bit.

While the roasted grains are still warm, dry grind them in a mixer. You can choose to make it powdery or grainy as per your preference. Store in a dry air tight jar. Will stay good for 3-4 months.

Choice of oil to be mixed with podi is a personal preference. Podi is served along with sesame seed oil (til oil/ellenna/nallenna) in most parts of Tamil Nadu. No points for guessing the oil that Keralites prefer!

Idlis and dosas soaked in spicy podi are a rage in restaurants these days. Whether you have a chutney and sambhar to go along with it or not, a well-made podi can up the taste quotient of even a poorly made idli/dosa.