Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tiffin Sambar

This tiffin sambar version is with Tur dal. Normally tiffin sambar used to be made with moong dal.
I have tasted this sambar at my friend's house and got the recipe from my friend's mom. It was so simple to make with less ingredients. Aunt suggested me to add carrot, beans, potato kind of veg. Here I have used my choice of veggies.



 Ingredients;

Tur dal - 1/2 cup (pressure cook with turmeric, hing, and keep ready)
Onion / shallot - 1/2 cup cubed
tomato - 2
Veg of your choice - 1 to 1.5 cups (carrot, beans, potato, drumstick, egg plants etc) cut them into an inch sized pieces
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 -3 tsp
Coriander leaves - a fistful ( finely chopped)
salt - to taste

to roast and grind:

channa dal - 2 tbsp
coriander seeds -  1.5 tbsp
red chilies - 3-4 (adjust according to your taste)

To temper :

Oil - 2-3 tsp
green chili - 1
mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
urad dal - 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds  -1/4 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig


Preparation:

1. In a pan, dry roast channa dal, corinader seeds, red chilies one by one , let them cool down , powder and keep aside.
2. In a pan, Heat oil and saute onion / shallots , cubed tomatoes by adding one by one.
3.when onion and tomatoes are merged / cooked, add the vegetables, turmeric, salt and saute well. (if egg plants are used, then add them once other vegetables are 50% cooked).
4. Add 2 -3 cups of water and let it boil and roll out well. Now add the ground sambar masala and mix.
5. Once the veggies are cooked, add the boiled and smashed dal (little by little)and mix well. check for salt and adjust.
6. add chopped coriander and switch off the flame
7. temper using the items listed and add to sambar.

Notes:
1. add your choice of veggie
2. No need to add tamarind, if tomatoes are not tangy, add a small amount of tamarind concentrate or extract, say about 1/8 tsp.
3. Either your can temper with ghee or add a tsp of ghee on top of it. It will add extra flavor and taste while serving with tiffins
4. sambar should not be too tick, add half of the boiled dal and chk the consistency, and add the remaining accordingly.

Bitter Gourd Tamarind Curry (பாகற்காய் புளிக்குழம்பு )

Bitter gourd, might not be a favorite vegetable for many at the same time it is the most favorite for some people like me :). In my native used to get the small bitter gourds, that used to taste awesome. Still remember the fry and kulambu which amma makes when I visit home during holidays.


Here i dont get the small ones, so tried kulambu with the regular long bitter gourds. One small tip before moving to the recipe. Before cooking, soak the cut bitter gourd in salt water, and while cooking, saute well until the veggie turns soft, then add tamarind water. If water is added before sauteing the veg well, it will become more bitter and kids wont eat then. Another important thing to be noticed while choosing this veggie is, "the veg should be pale green, not dark green". Dark green ones will be much bitter in taste.


For this Puli kuzhambu, either you can use coconut milk or ground fresh coconut of your choice. I have used coconut gratings this time.

Ingredients

1. Bitter gourd - 2 medium sized
2. Onion - 1 medium
3. Tomato - 1 big
4. Sambar powder / Vathakuzhambu powder - 1 or 2 tbsp
5 Tamarind - 1 goose berry sized (soak in 3/4 cup of warm water)
6. Salt - as per taste
7. grated coconut / coconut milk - 1/4 cup
8. chopped coriander - a few

To temper:
oil - 1 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
urad dal - 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
hing - a pinch
curry leaves - a sprig

Preparation:

1. Cut bitter gourds into small rounds (remove hard seeds) and soak in salt water.
2. In a kadai / pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil and add finely chopped  onions, and saute until they turn transparent.
4. Then add finely chopped tomato and saute well.
5. Now Drain water completely from the soaked veg and add it n pan and saute well.
6. Saute until the green veg turns into soft and cooked.

7. Add the sambar / vathakulambu masala powder to it and mix well
8. Now add the tamarind extract, salt and let it cook well
9. at last add the smooth paste of ground coconut and give a quick boil and switch off the flame
10. Temper using the mentioned ingredients and add to the curry.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and Serve with hot steamed rice.





Friday, September 26, 2014

Thukkada (துக்கடா)

Hey folks, You must be busy with Navarathri Golu and pooja. We do not have a custom of having golu at home, so we used to visit temples or our friends house where golu is arranged. It is so exciting experience for kids. Last year I shown my daughter for the first time how golu looks, here in temple. She was so excited to know that again it is golu time :))) We used to just make some pooja on saraswathi poojai and vijayadasami days.




So I thought of moving to Deepavali recipies. Here is my first Deepavali snack Thukkada.
Yes, you are reading it right, it is thukkada. One of my childhood favorite it is. We used to get it from one of the bakery in my native. It used to taste awesome. We easily get addicted to its taste. Making this snack is also quiet simple with just a few ingredients. Also it doesn't need much of preparation ahead. Perfect for after school snack or festive snack.

Ingredients:

Maida - 1 cup
salt- as per taste
Chili powder  - 1 tsp (adjust according to your taste)
Water - about 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 tsp
Oil   to deep fry

Preparation:

1. Mix maida, salt, chili powder, by adding water little by little like chapati dough.
2. At last add a tsp of oil and kneed well.
3. Make small balls out of it and roll them into thin chapathi.
4. Cut the rolled chapathi as diamonds and fry them in hot oil until they are puffed, crispy and golden color.

Store them in a air tight container and use.

Notes:

1. Make sure to roll them into thin chapathis. Thick ones will not be crispy and puffy
.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spinach Bread Toast

It is one of the healthiest as well as easiest breakfast to make. I used to make spinach omelettes in a similar process. This time i made bread toast which also came out well.

I used to prepare spinach masala and store it in refrigerator. So whenever needed i used to add eggs and make omelettes or bread toasts.



Preparation:

for spinach masala:

Spinach - 1 bunch
onion - 1 medium (finely chopped)
tomato - 1 small (remove the seeds and chop finely)
Green chilies - 2 (finely chopped) or red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
Pepper powder - a pinch
salt - as per taste
Oil - 2-3 tsp

for toast
Bread slices - 4 - 6
Eggs - 2
Milk- 1 tbsp
Ghee / cooking oil - 2 tsp

Preparation:

1. Clean spinach leaves and drain water completely.
2. In a pan heat oil and saute green chili and onion until it turns transparent.
3. Then add tomato and saute until they turn soft.
4. Add turmeric, coriander powder, salt, chili powder(avoid/adjust the quantity if green chilies are used) and saute until the raw smell leaves,
5. Now add the chopped spinach and cook until the masala mix together and excess water is observed.



Pepper powder can be added at last or while making omelettes.

To prepare toast:

1. Keep the bread slices ready to use.
2. In a bowl beat eggs, add required amount of spinach masala and mix well.
(for 2 eggs i prefer to add 3-4 tbsp of masala, but add as per your preference )
3. Heat  pan, and drizzle few drops of oil or ghee
4. Gently dip the bread slice in the beaten egg bowl on both sides and toast it in pan.
5. Make sure to flip both sides and cook well.


Notes:
1. Using this spinach masala, you can prepare omelettes, just by adding eggs to it.
2. It can be added with dosa batter and you can prepare yummy and healthy spinach dosa.
3. Not sure about idlies, will test and update ;)
4. This masala mix can be prepared and stored in refrigerator for few days, to make the breakfast, quick as well as healthy.