Friday, February 27, 2009

Aromatic Podis(powders) from my grandma's kitchen!

Y'day I had a great time with my paternal grandma..I was with her whole day watching her cook various things in a spree..I was adoring her elegant style of preparing the dishes with love and care..After lunch ,she made some podis that can be taken with rice and some ghee drizzled on top of it..During free time she makes these podis and store them which will last upto a month ..These podis can be a great quick fix during lazy days .We made five different podis and I love all of them..Next time she promised to make some other types of podis..
Here comes the recipe for the podis ..

Idli Milagai podi/Ullutham parrupu(Urad Dal) milagai Podi :

You will need :

1 cup Urad dal
8 dried red chillies
A pinch of Asafotedia
1 tsp oil

Heat oil in a kadai and roast the urad dal until it turns to golden color..

Roasted Urad Dal

In the same kadai,roast the red chillies..

Roasted Red chillies

Grind together the roasted urad dal,red chillies,salt,asafotedia to powder.Cool and store in a air tight container.

Idli milagai podi is generally served as a accompainment for dosa or idlis.Mix them with gingely oil or ghee and use it as chutney..

Kothamalli(Coriander) Podi :

You will need:

1 cup coriander seeds,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil
6 dried red chillies,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil

Roasted Coriander seeds

Grind the coriander seeds,chillies and salt together to fine powder.Cool and store in a air tigt container.

Mix a  tablespoon of this aromatic podi with some ghee/oil in hot cup of rice ..Its tastes divine :)

Karivepillai(Curry leaves) Podi :

You will need:

3 cups of curry leaves,washed and dried in a towel
1 cup of urad dal,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil
1 lemon sized ball of tamarind pulp
15 red chillies,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil

Tamarind ball and Curry leaves..

Grind urad dal ,chillies and salt together.Then add the tamarind and curry leaves and grind together to a fine powder.Cool and store a air tight container.

Some will roast the curry leaves before grinding but my grandma insisted not to do that ..She feels the real flavor and goodness of the curryleaves will be lost by roasting.Eat this podi everyday like a tablespoon along with rice , dosa/idli..or you can add this while making any curry /sambar..Its so good for hair and you will see the difference when taken regularly :)

Parrupu(Dal) Podi:

You will need:

1 cup tuar dal,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil
10 red chillies,slightly roastesd in a tsp of oil
10 cloves of garlic,sking peeled

Grind together the dal,chillies ,garlic and salt to a powder.Cool and store in a air tight contianer.

Parrupu Podi is ready!

Onion Vadagam Podi :

You will need:

1 cup Onion vadagam (This is used for seasoning and its also known as talimpu/thallipu                                                        vadagam available in Indian super markets)
10 red chillies,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil

Onion Vadagam broken..

Break the onion vadams in small pieces and roast them in 2-3 tsps of oil .

Grind the roasted vadam,chillies and salt together to a powder.Cool and store in a air tight container.

When you roast these vadagams ,the whole home smells good.It can be served as a chutney for dosa/idli or can be mixed with rice and served..

Thengai (Coconut) Podi :

You will need :

1 cup grated coconut
8 red chillies,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil
1/2 cup urad dal,slightly roasted in a tsp of oil

Roasted Coconut ..

Roasted the coconut in a pan without oil until it becomes dry and slightly golden..

Grind together roasted coconut,salt,red chillies and urad dal to powder.Cool and store in a air tight container..

My favourite Podi!

Sending these aromatic podis to Smitha's Colors of Taste - Powders:Podi's as an accompainment

Sending the first picture to Gayathri's Magnificient Click contest..

Im so happy to say my friend Archy of Archy's recipe book has given me these two lovely awards for me..Its so sweet of her to think of me as her friend :)

This is the first award I'm receiving.Thanks a lot Archy..Im so happy to be in the 'Circle of Friends' and I must say 'You are Sweet' too..
There are so many sweet people who give there encouraging comments each time I post..
I'm passing it to all of you buddies..
plz pick it up...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Puli Sundal

Puli Sundal is a very famous dish in the regions comprising Chidambaram,Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam.Some people call it 'Puli upma' but in our side its popularly known as 'Puli Sundal'.Though some argue that Puli Sundal is different from Puli Upma .They believe that Puli upma is made with broken rice.It is also known as the 'Quick Puliogare'.The best side dish for this Puli Sundal is nothing but raw 'Pearl Onions'.People swear that nothing beats this combo..
Other recommended side dishes are 'Sutta Appalam' (Pappad which is roasted over direct fire) or homemade fried arisi vadams(rice fryams) or any citrus pickle..
Im sharing with you the authentic recipe for Puli Sundal..My grandma taught me this..Actually ,its soo simple and there is nothing to teach much :)
Usually we prepare this for dinner and often me and my sis end up fighting for the last serving of Puli Sundal.yeah,a layer of puli sundal gets sticked to the bottom of the pan which is browned  a bit and they taste awesome..
Traditionally,its not in practice to add a bit of jaggery to the puli sundal..But we love to add about 1/2 tsp of jaggery to any dish that is made with  tamarind as base..So if you like that you can add a small amount of jaggery while adding salt.

You will need :

1 cup of rice (dry roasted for about 3-4  mins)
1 golf sized tamarind ball,soaked in 3 cups of water for 5 mins
4 red chillies,(break each one of them into small pieces)
1 tbsp of Bengal gram
1/4 cup of Peanuts
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
A pinch of turmeric
A small piece of Asafotedia or 1/4 tsp (if in powder form)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 tsp of jaggery(optional)
2 tbsp of oil

In a large pan,heat oil.Add asafotedia,let it fry completely..throw the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.Pluck the curry leaves off the stem and throw them in.Add bengal gram,broken chillies and peanuts.Fry for a couple of mins in medium heat.

Extract the juice of tamarind which will be about 3 cups.Pour them in the pan..Add salt and jaggery and let it come to boil.

Add the rice and keep the flame in low.Cook covered until done.

Peel some 'Pearl onions' chop them and sprinkle them over the 'Puli Sundal'.
Or just keep them aside and have a bite on it each time you dig in..

This simple and traditional recipe goes to 'Recipes for rest of us-DINNER' event hosted by Siri which is initiated by 'Ramki' of One page Cookbooks..

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cauliflower Kurma/Korma and a poem...


The humid, summer evening sapped my vigor
impelling my kitchen wares to be geared
There I ingressed the larder to cook my repast
and my hunger from now would hardly last..

Spices, oil, vegetables and sauces
kitchen wares of steel, ceramic and glasses
Friends and neighbours gathered in mass
to heedfully look at my cooking process..

Onion, tomato, garlic and pepper
adumbrating an unrivaled soup as an appetizer
Croutons of bread, cheese and butter
aggravating its sapidity into a wonder..

Flour, milk, salt and yeast
auspicating a mouth watery pizza as feast
Aroma of tomatoes, cheese and onion topping
made my kitchen an resistless stopping..

At last, time to go for the terminating touch
deeply seeks my mind a surmounting match
Finally I cottoned on to a cup of romantic hot chocolate 
not to elide the empyrean cresting of marshmallows..

                                                                                       --- Shravan

Yesterday, when I opened my inbox there was a lovely gift from my very good friend and classmate Shravan Kumar.Yeah,the above poem which you have read is written by him and sent to me as a gift.I became speechless.His poetic talent is something incredible…During our college days,he used to write b'ful poems and novels and take part in many competitions .I must not forget to say that he is soo much interested in cooking as well  and will never hesitate to try any new recipes.He tries out many of the recipes which I post here and gives me feedback immediately.Its my fortune to get such a sweet and kind  friend.He told me that the above poem was written with the inspiration he derived from my cooking.Thats a big honor for me.

A week before he shared with me a wonderful recipe of Cauliflower Kurma. I made that kurma and it’s a great hit in our home.Usually,my grandma doesn’t like kurmas/briyani kinda dishes as they have the garam masala flavor.But to my surprise ,she enjoyed this cauliflower kurma as its perfectly spiced and the flavor is mild. I had it as a main dish ..I loved it and I swear that this is what I m gonna make when I buy cauliflower next time.Thank you very much ,Shravan for the b’ful poem and the wonderful recipe J

Here goes his recipe…

 You will need :

1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large onion, cut into cubes
3 medium tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 tsp. red chili powder
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cardamom
3 whole cloves
3 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste
10 curry leaves
1 fistful coriander leaves
3 tsp. poppy seeds or khus khus seeds

Powder together cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, poppy seeds and keep aside.

Mix onion and tomato pieces and grind to a smooth paste.

To the paste add the ground powder, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, yogurt and run the mixer once  to get them all mixed..

Pour the paste over the cauliflower florets and mix well making sure that the paste is coated well..Keep aside for 5-10 mins .. 

In a deep non-stick skillet, heat oil, add curry leaves and coriander leaves. Immediately add the above cauliflower mixture and fry for five minutes on high heat.

Now reduce the heat to just below medium and add one cup of water, stir and cover. Cook until the sauce thickens.

 Serve hot with any kind of rice, paratha, dosa and puri.

Sending the first pic to Gayatri's Magnificient Click event at Just Urs!!

This is my entry for JFI :Cauliflower event intiated by Indira of Mahanandi  and hosted by Paajaka recipes..

I also send this as my entry to FIC-ORANGE hosted by Aparna which is originally initiated by Sunshinemom

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gothumai Rava Payasam (Cracked wheat pudding) -A small contribution for BloggerAid's Cookbook

Some of you might have come across this BloggerAid's fund raising program.I came to know about this from Sanghi and Lubna's blog.Thanks to them for letting me know.
Though,I'm not fit enough to submit a recipe for an International cookbook..I just did it for the satisfaction of contributing one simple recipe from my  behalf for a good cause..

When I see people waste food,I think about the people who suffer from hunger .We are all fortunate that we have choices of food but there are people out there who struggle solving the basic issue of filling up their stomach.
BloggerAid has come up with a great idea in helping the Children's meals.
'Food is our medium and alleviating world famine is our mission' is their motto.A plan to publish a cookbook with the recipes submitted by the bloggers all around the world.100% of the profit from the sales of the cookbook will be directed to the School meals, a program of The World Food Programme (WP),the United Nations frontline Agency.
You don't have to be a BloggerAid member to submit a recipe.It gives immense satisfaction to be a part of this inspiring project.For more details,check out here.
I thank the founders of this program Val,of More than burnt Toast, Ivy,of Kopiaste of Greek Hospitality and Giz,of Equal Opportunity Kitchen for coming up with such a heart warming project.

After much thinking,I settled down in making Cracked Wheat pudding for this cookbook.Long before ,my aunt was telling me to post this recipe.I just forgot then and today I remembered this wonderful sweet dish.A healthy one which tastes brilliant.This can be prepared so easily like you make any other payasam.
As per the rules,I shouldn't reveal the ingredients and recipe of this dish now.The whole recipe will be posted once the book is published.
I'm displaying few of the pictures of the pudding.

'Children are the future..Invest in Children'..So come and be a part of this ambitious project!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

French Onion Soup

It had been in my mind for a long time to make this soup.Finally,I did this today and loved it to its last drop.For past few days,I was suffering from cold and this soup is so much relieving.I tried this with white onions and didn't used any liquor.Traditionally,liquor(like sherry or wine) is used to prepare the soup..Here in restaurants,they don't top it with cheese bread(Croutons) while serving the french onion soup.This further pushed me to try it at home..yeah,I wanna try that cheese bread topping with this soup.And I did,but with cheddar not with the Gruyere cheese..The soup was lip-smackingly delicious...
The real beauty in making french onion soup is in frying the thinly sliced onion to dark brown..I'm so impatient and just didn't browned it much..Even then ,it was good..after all they are onions has to be good :)..I have to be more specific in maintaining the patience next time ..
Note:Some add Worcestershire sauce to the soup..this gives the dark color and extra flavour and tartness to the soup.I just skipped this sauce and prepared..I adapted the recipe from Mrs.Malikka Badrinath's Soup and juice recipes.

You will need:

4 white onions
1 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 cup of stock (vegetable/chicken)
salt and pepper

For Croutons :
1 small Baguette bread-sliced into 1 inch thick slices
1 cup of cheese 
some butter

Remove the skin off the onions an put them in boiling water for 5 mins.Then transfer them in cool water for 5 mins.Slice them very thinly..

In a crock pot,melt butter and add the crushed clove of garlic

Add the thinly sliced onion and fry till brown..

Add stock and cook covered for few mins until the onions are soft..

Add required water like 2-3 cups and add salt and pepper as per taste..

Bring to boil and turn off the heat..

Preparing the croutons...

Apply some butter on each baguette slice and top it with some shredded cheese.Line them in a baking tray and bake in 250 C preheated oven for 10 mins or until the cheese melts and gets a golden crust..

Serve the soup hot with few croutons..(Generally,the soup is ladled in a small french ramekins and it is covered with a fitting slicing of baguette and cheese ..which is baked and served )

My croutons got soaked and started sinking while taking pictures..sigh!!
Weight watchers can skip the cheese..

Sending this as my second entry to Dk's A.W.E.D France...

And also to Neha's SWC Soups..