Phalli Chutney / Groundnut chutney - Vegan

Chutneys are a quint essential accompaniment for the breakfast in every Indian Household.  The chutney or dips are made using various ingredients and each one is flavorful and unique in it's own way .
Today I have tried to make a Chutney using groundnuts also called as Phalli Pachadi in telugu.

This month in our FB group shhhhh cooking secretly challenge  we are travelling across the state of Telangana and I was given Ginger and Red Chilli powder as secret ingredients by my partner  Sasmita who blogs at First Timer Cook  .

Those of you who know me , will definitely know my love for peanuts and this chutney had to find its place in my blog soon and this was the best opportunity to prepare ,devour and blog.

I am also linking this to the MLLA #132 event being hosted by my cousin Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds .

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 3 to 4
Complexity  : Simple


Ingredients
1 cup peanuts
2 -3 medium sized tomatoes
2 green chilies
Small piece of ginger
Few curry leaves
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
Asafoetida/hing as needed
2 tsp  oil
Salt as required
Fresh corriander

Method
Dry roast the peanuts or m/w for 1 min and allow it cool .  Rub and deskin the roasted peanuts . Alternatively you can also roast pre deskinned groundnut too .



In a pan , heat a tsp of oil and fry the green chillies , ginger and curry leaves.



Saute the tomatoes with some salt , fresh coriander, haldi and asafoetida and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy . Allow it to cool.


In a blender , add the roasted peanuts , sauteed tomatoes, red chilli powder, some salt of needed and blend it into a fine paste like chutney .


Prepare a tempering of mustard seeds and pour it over the chutney. Enjoy with any  breakfast item like idli, dosa , oothappam , chapati etc or can also be mixed with hot rice and ghee .




Linking to MLLA #132  hosted by Sizzling Tastebuds 



Chataka Chole -Vegan

Chataka Chole- isn't this name very fascinating?  I too was intrigued by this  name on the menu when we dined out last  weekend at a restaurant.  We immediately ordered it and wow..it was an explosion of flavors in our mouth . The chole was served with piping hot butter slathered Amritsari Kulcha and needless to say it was a match made in heaven.  I have tried to replicate it and was successful to a very great extent. Do try out this recipe dear friends and I am sure it is going to be a super hit with your family and circle of friends too .
I paired it with hot fulkas and simple vegetable pulao for dinner last night .

Preparation time - 5 mins
Soaking time - 8-10 hrs
Cooking time- 45 mins
Serves - 3 to 4 people



Ingredients
200 gms Kabuli channa /chickpeas/garbanzo beans
2 green chillies
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 tea bags or 2 tsp tea leaves tied in a muslin cloth
2-3 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 cardamom
Salt as needed
2 tablespoon oil
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp haldi
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp Chole masala
1/2 tsp anchor powder or chat masala

Method
Soak the chick peas in sufficient water for over 8 to 10 hrs. 

Drain the water and rinse once again and pressure cook the Chole with the tea bag , cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and some salt until it is cooked soft and slightly mushy .let the pressure release ,open the lid and slightly mash it with a masher or a spoon.


Heat oil in a pan and fry the green chillies , ginger , turn off the stove and add all the spice powders (haldi , chilli powder , garam masala and Chole masala ) to the hot oil .


Pour this hot oil mixture over the cooked Chole, add 1 cup water, salt if needed and the amchur powder . Mix it well and pressure cook for another 1 whistle on medium flame .

Let it rest until pressure releases . Lastly ganeish with fresh coriander and serve hot .


Linking this post to Kalyani's blog who is hosting  MLLA event 132 . Do visit her blog Sizzling Tastebuds for some exciting and tasty recipes.



South Indian Mixture / Madrasi Chiwda

Mixture is a yummy snack and is loved  in almost all house holds . During Diwali most of the households prepare various varieties of mixture which are their own regional speciality .

You can check the famous Cornflakes Chiwda and Poha Chiwda already posted in my blog which are equally famous and easy preparations during Diwali .

Today we shall see the traditional South Indian special mixture . Slightly tedious and time consuming because of the many steps involved but end of the day it is worth all the time and effort.

I have separate posts with detailed recipe for each of the item  to be added in the mixture.

You can prepare the individual items like Omapudi , Khara Sev/ghatiya , Boondi in a span of 2 or 3 days and then finally assemble the mixture.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Frying Time  : 40-60 mins
Complexity  - Difficult



Ingredients
500 gms Besan/gram flour
100 gms Rice flour
150 gms thick poha / aval
100 gms ground nut
50 gms fried gram./chutney dhall/ pottukadalai
Handful of curry leaves
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 tsp haldi
Salt as needed
Generous amount of asafoetida/hing

Method

  • Prepare the Omapudi ,  Khara boondhi and Khara sev . Keep them ready.  (Click on the recipe names for detailed recipe) 
  • Fry the thick poha in hot oil and drain it in the colander for oil to drain. 
  • Fry the curry leaves, peanuts and fried gram until crisp .
  • You can also fry cashwenuts or badam and add it too . 




Assembling the Mixture 

  • Crush the Omapudi and Ghatiya into small pieces in a wide mixing bowl or a big container. 
  • Mix the boondi, fried poha , groundnuts , curry leaves and fried gram and toss it well with the crushed omapudi and ghatiya .
  • Add some salt , red chilli powder , asafoetida and toss it well such that all the items get mixed well .
  • Donot use a sharp ladle or spoon to mix, instead shake /toss the container so that everything gets mixed well .
  • Keep the container away from moisture and use only dry spoon for taking it out . 




Ellu Saadham | Ellu Ogre | Sesame flavored Rice

Ellu means Sesame in Tamil and Kannada while it is called as Nuvvulu in Telugu and Til in Hindi /Marathi/Gujarati.

Sesame seeds have a very distinct and nutty flavor and adds a lot of flavor to any dish that makes use of these seeds .

Tamil Nadu cuisines extensively use Gingelly oil or Til oil in the day today cooking while Karnataka , Andhra cuisines use them in their spice powders as flavoring agent. Gujarati cuisine uses Til as tempering and garnish for various delicacies. 

Today we shall see a very traditional recipe ; Ellu Saadham / Ellu Ogre  made in most Tamil and Kannadiga homes mainly as an offering to Lord Balaji .

Saadham means Rice in Tamil so Ellu Saadham literally means Sesame Rice .
Ogre in kannada is flavored rice, so again literally translated,Ellu Ogre also means the same as mentioned above .
A very flavorful spice powder is freshly roasted and ground  and is mixed with pre cooked rice along with a tempering of mustard seeds , curry leaves and fried peanuts.

Without further delay let me get on to the recipe.

Preparation Time - 30 mins
Cooking Time - 45 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity: Medium


Ingredients
150 gms rice
2 tablespoon udad dhall
2 tablespoon channa dhall
1 tablespoon  white sesame seeds/til /ellu
3-4 dry red chillies
1 tsp pepper
Pinch of asafoetida
Gingelly oil as needed
Salt to taste
Handful of groundnuts
Few curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds



Method

  • Wash the rice well and pressure cook it with enough water such that the rice is separate and fluffy after cooking. 
  • Spread the hot rice on a big plate and pour about 2 tsp gingelly oil over the rice and let is cool .
  • In a dry pan , first dry roast the sesame seeds until it starts popping and gives out a fragrant aroma . Remove it from the kadai and keep aside on a plate for cooling. 
  • Now heat about 1 tsp oil and fry the udad + channa dhall until crisp and golden brown , followed by red chillies and pepper corn.  Add some asafoetida/hing. Let the roasted ingredients cool down .
  • First blend the roasted  lentils and chilli in a mixie jar until it is turned into a fine powder. 
  • Add the roasted sesame and give a quick pulse.Do not run the mixie for a long time as the sesame seeds will give out oil and the entire spice powder will become pasty .
  • In another pan , heat some gingelly oil and fry the peanuts followed by the mustard seeds and curry leaves. 
  • Pour this tempering over the hot rice and spread the freshly ground spice powder and salt on the rice and mix it well with a spoon .
  • Donot use your hands to mix as it will get spoilt in case you plan to use it sometime later in the day or packing for lunch or some picnic.
  • Adjust salt if needed and also add some more spice powder if you need a little more spice .
  • Enjoy it with some chilled curd and some papads or fryums .



Thiruvaadhirai Kootu | 7 kari Kootu - Vegan

Thiruvadhirai Kootu or 7 kari (vegetables) kootu is made on the Auspicious day called "Arudra Darshanam" in the holy month of "Margazhi" or "Dhanur" as per Tamil Calendar .
This  recipe was on my mind for a very long time to blog but somehow wouldn't come together. This month we are traveling through recipes from the state of Tamil Nadu in  our FB group called Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge and I was given the secret ingredients by Renu who blogs on "Cook With Renu".
Thanks to you Renu , that I could finally put this recipe together which was otherwise pending for a long time .

Significance of Arudra Darshanam

This auspicious day will fall anytime between Dec 15 to Jan 15 on the day coinciding with the star/Nakshatram "Thiruvadhirai" or "Arudra" and Full moon day (Pournami) .
Astronomical speaking , this happens to be one of the Longest nights .
Mythologically speaking , it is believed that Lord Shiva is in his Cosmic Dance form on this day and blesses all his devotees in the form of Nataraja - his cosmic avatar .
The holy temple of Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu celebrates this festival with all pomp and glory . Devotees flock in large numbers to have the Darshan of Lord Nataraja on this day.
A special prasadam called Thiruvadhirai Kali and Kootu are prepared and offered to the Lord .
Kali is a sweet made using broken rice, jaggery and cardamom while kootu is a savory made using 7 vegetables basically tubers and a few native vegetables like yam(chenai/suran), raw banana, potato, Arbi(Seppan) , Ash gourd(poosanikkai) , Red Pumpkin(Parangikkai) , Field beans  or Peas , Sweet potatoes , Brinjal .

Today we shall see the recipe for the Kootu while I shall blog the recipe for Kali sometime soon .
This kootu is also known as Thalagam in many households especially those from the Thirunelveli Region of TN .
Each house will have their own signature recipe with minor variations as passed down to them from their ancestors or elders over generations.

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 to 40 mins
Serves : 4-5
Complexity: Medium


 Ingredients
1 medium raw banana
1 medium sized potato
150 gms yam/ Suran
100 gms ash gourd (white pumpkin/elavan/poosnikaai)
100 gms red pumpkin (Parangikkai/ Matthan)
Handful of boiled field beans(mochai)
Or
Handful of fresh or frozen peas (I used peas today)
1 medium sized carrot
1 cup tamarind extract
1/2 cup thoor dal pressure cooked (50gms approx)
2 tsp powdered jaggery

To roast and Grind
1 tablespoon thoor dhall
1/2 tablespoon udad dhall
2 tablespoon dhaniya seeds
1 tsp methi seeds
2 tsp raw rice
5-6 dry red chillies
1 cup fresh grated coconut

To temper
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
Asafoetida

Method
Roast all the ingredients except Coconut under the Roast & Grind till they turn brown and crisp. Let it cool for a few mins and then add the coconut and grind to a fine paste. Keep aside .


Chop all the vegetables like how we do for sambar and then boil them until 1/2 done in 1 cup water with a little salt and turmeric.  Once the veggies are 1/2 cooked ,add the tamarind extract and cook until the raw flavor of tamarind is lost.
To this add the ground coconut paste , boiled dhal , mix well and add some water . The consistency should be slightly thick . Allow it to come to a rolling boil . Stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom and cook on medium flame.

Add some jaggery and adjust salt if needed.
Lastly temper with mustard ,curry leaves and asafoetida and pour it over the kootu.
Serve hot with rice or the traditional Kali .


The kootu will tend to thicken over time due to the presence of coconut mixture and dhall . If you find it too thick while eating, add a little warm water to dilute.

 Notes

  • Generally 7 types of vegetables are used , but you can do with fewer also , but try to use atleast 5 . 
  • The addition of pressure cooked thoor dhall is optional . You can skip it too.
  • THALAGAM recipe made in Thirunelveli side doesnt use mashed thoor dhall while the rest of the steps are same .



Omapudi - South Indian Sev

Omapudi is a very tasty fried snack made in most south Indian homes during Diwali either to be included in the South Indian mixture/chivda or to be eaten as is .
It can be made very quickly and easily in no time . The frying time is also less  as chickpea flour / besan gets fried very easily in hot oil.
This recipe is close to my heart as it reminds me of my paati (grandma) who used to make amazing Omapudi ..till date the taste and feel lingers on my tastebuds . Presenting her recipe with you all

Preparation Time - 30 mins
Frying Time - 10-15 mins
Complexity- difficult



Ingredients

3 tsp ajwain /omam/thyme seeds
2 cups of chick pea flour/besan/kadalamaav
1/2 cup rice flour
Salt as needed
1 tsp red chilli powder
Asafoetida a pinch
2 tablespoon butter
Oil to deep fry

Cooking Apparatus

Sev/Murukku  press and sev plate .



Method

  • First soak the ajwain seeds in hot water for 15-20 mins and then grind it in a blender and strain the extract to get only the ajwain water .There should be no particles as it will block the holes in the sev plate. Strain it multiple times if you feel the presence of any fine particles.
  • In a wide mixing bowl, add the flours, salt, asafoetida, red chilli powder and mix it well 
  • Now add the butter and rub it well into the flour to form a crumbly mixture .
  • Use the ajwain water to knead the dough by adding water slowly . In case you feel the dough needs more water , you can use regular water to complete kneading.
  • The dough has to be soft and pliable . Too hard a dough will make it difficult to press from the sev maker mould. 
  • Heat oil in a kadai and same time grease the sev press and plate well with oil.
  • Take a small portion of the dough and put into the mould and carefully press it over the hot oil .
  • Flip it over after 2 mins and fry for just 1 more min. Take it off the oil as soon as the hissing sound of the oil stops. Drain it on an absorbent paper or in a colander . 
  • Prepare sev from all the dough and lastly fry some curry leaves and add it to the sev.
  • Crush the sev/omapudi with your hands and store in an airtight container. 
  • If you want you can sprinkle some more red chilli powder on the sev/omapudi and mix it well .
  • Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or coffee!! 


Vellarikaai Kootu (South Indian Cucumber Dhall) - Vegan

Yet another signature recipe of my Paati (grandmother) . This Cucumber kootu for me is synonymous to my paati's kitchen and her cooking .The aroma of cucumber mixed with moong dhall still lingers around my nose and the taste active on my taste buds even after so many years. I was so much in love with this Kootu that I would fondly call it as "Paati Kootu" .
A very very simple recipe but has so  many flavors and goes well with Hot steamed rice or even as a side dish to sambar rice or rasam rice .

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity: Medium


Ingredients
2 medium sized cucumbers
1.5 cups moong dhall (split yellow peas)
Handful of channa dhall (gram dhall)
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1tsp channa dhall + udad dhall
Pinch of turmeric
Asafoetida
Salt as needed
3 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
3-4 dry red chillies (adjust as required)
Few curry leaves
1 tsp jeera

Method

  • Grind the coconut,jeera, dry red chillies and curry leaves with water into a fine paste .
  • Peel and chop the cucumber into 1 inch pieces .
  • Wash and pressure cook the moong dhall, channa dhall along with haldi and the chopped cucumber pieces until soft and mushy. 
  • (The flavor of mashed cucumber with the dhall is what enhances the taste of the kootu )
  • Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and mash the dhall well. 
  • Add the ground paste , salt and a little water and give it a quick boil . Dont let it boil too much else it will stick to the bottom of the pan and get charred .
  • Transfer to another serving bowl and pour a tempering made using mustard  ,udad +channa dhall along with asafoetida over the kootu .
  • Serve hot and enjoy your meal.
Note
  • The consistency of the kootu will be slightly thick and not diluted as sambar .
  • If you feel it is very thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding a little warm water .

If you would like to try some authentic kootu recipes on my blog 



Chou Chou Kootu 
(Chayote based Lentil gravy)



Avarekaalu / Mochhai Kootu 
(Field Beans based lentil gravy)





Coconut Dryfruit Payasam (Kheer) - Vegan

If you have a sudden craving for some warm dessert but donot have much patience to stand and cook one for yourself, this kheer/payasam is sure to come to your rescue and will also satisfy your cravings.
This paysam is made using Jaggery ,hence you dont have to bother about the side effects of consuming white sugar.  No usage of ghee , milk or milkmaid,so your waistline won't increase :-) .
All you need is some fresh or frozen coconut and handful of almonds and cashews and you are ready to go .

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 8-10mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity  : Simple


Ingredients
1/2 shell coconut grated or 2 cups grated coconut
8-10 badam /almonds
8-10 cashews
2-3 cardamom pods
1.5 cups grated jaggery (add more depending on the sweetness of jaggery)

** refer notes section on how to use canned coconut milk instead of fresh coconut 
Method


  • Soak the grated coconut, badam, cashews and cardamom in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 mins.
  • Grind into a very fine paste and add water if needed. The paste shouldn't be too runny .
  • Melt the jaggery in 1/2 cup water and filter it if you see any impurities floating . 
  • Add another 1/2 cup water to the jaggery and then bring it to a rolling boil . No need for any string consistency. 
  • Reduce the flame to the lowest, add the ground coconut paste to this jaggery syrup and stir it quickly such that it doesn't stick to the bottom .
  • Continue cooking on low flame with occasional stirring and switch it off once you see the entire mixture appear frothy .
  • Donot over boil as there is a tendency for the coconut milk to split and the texture will become too grainy .
  • Let it cool down and you can serve it warm or chilled. 
Notes 
  1. If you dont have fresh coconut you can use canned coconut milk . 
  2. In that case add the coconut milk while adding the cardamom powder.  Don't boil too mucb after adding coconut milk , it will tend to curdle


Check out the various other Vegan kheer varieties in my blog

Aval (Poha) Kheer

Gass Gasse (Poppy Seeds) Payasam

Thengai Paal Payasam (Aadi Paal) - Video recipe

Akki Kadlebele Payasa (rice & channa dhall kheer)

Vendakkai Thalarkaramudhu | தளர் கறியமுது ரெசிபி(ladies finger in tamarind sauce) - Vegan

KariAmudhu is a typical Tamil brahmin jargon used by the Iyengars . Amudhu means Nectar and Kari /Curry means the vegetable . So literally translated KariAmudhu or CurryAmundhu means Vegetable's Nectar .

Vendakkai means Ladies Finger .Today's recipe is neither a stir fry nor a sambar like gravy . It is a semi thick gravy having burst of flavors from the chillies ,tamarind pulp and sambar powder with an exquisite aroma of spices sauteed in Gingelly oil / Nallaennai/Til Oil .

A regular follower of my blog/YouTube channel had requested me this recipe multiple times.  As I was not aware of this recipe, I learnt from my aunt ;Kumudha Athai and here it is for all of you to try .
Instead of ladies finger you can also use finely chopped tender Brinjal too.

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 30-40 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity: Medium


Ingredients
250 gms tender ladies finger /vendakai
2 tsp thoor dhall /thovaram paruppu
1 tsp channa dhall /kadalai paruppu
3/4 tsp methi seeds/vendhayam
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
2 -3 green chillies slit
2-3 dry red chillies
1 tsp sambar powder
Asafoetida generous pinch
Pinch of turmeric
Salt as needed
Lemon sized Tamarind
1 tablespoon gingelly oil /till oil

Method



  • Wash and pat dry the ladies finger and chop into small round pieces . 
  • Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the pulp . Filter it if needed.
  • Heat the till oil in a thick bottomed pan and splutter the mustard seeds, followed by methi , thoor dhall, channa dhall, red and green chillies and saute until the dhalls turn golden brown.  Add the curry leaves and asafoetida. 
  • Add the chopped ladies finger and saute it well until the slimness is lost . Do it on medium flame.
  • Pour the tamarind extract with turmeric, salt and sambar powder and mix it well.
  • Add about 1/2 cup water and keep boiling it till the raw flavor of the tamarind is lost .
  • Once the raw flavor is lost , the gravy will appear semi solid and you can feel a nice aroma wafting through the kitchen. Turn off the stove and transfer to a serving bowl. 
  • Serve hot with steamed rice or pongal or even upma .

Note: incase you feel the gravy is watery, make a paste out of 1tsp rice flour and add it to the boiling gravy .

Masala Idli

Idlis as such  need no special introduction.  All of us know and are aware that these soft and spongy steamed cakes are a South Indian's favorite breakfast item .
Though there are umpteen variations of this humble idli like Rava Idli , Kanjeevaram idli etc the traditional ones are the most loved with piping hot sambar and coconut chutney .
The name Masala Idli intrigued me to check on the dish when I saw it at a restaurant's menu as I was wondering, how would some spice and masala loaded taste like ? One bite of the idli dunked in sambar , I was floored and wanted to desperately try it at home. 
It was nothing fancy at all, just a mild tempering of mustard , asafoetida and subtle flavors of ginger ,chilli and pepper gave it a very different taste . I am sure all of you would like to try it at home soon.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins  for 15 idlis
Complexity: Simple


Ingredients
Well fermented Idli Batter as needed
(Method to grind idli batter given in Notes section below)

To temper 
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp channa dhall + udad dhall
Few broken cashews
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
Handful of chopped corriander
Handful of chopped curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida
Oil to temper.

Method
Bring the batter to room temperature and adjust the consistency if it is too thick.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the cashews until golden brown.Keep aside

Preparing a tempering of mustard seeds , channa + udad dhall . Fry the green chillies and curry leaves along with the asafoetida and pour it over the idli batter .

Add the chopped coriander, ginger, fried cashews to the batter and mix it well.  Adjust salt if needed .

Heat the idli pot or steamer with water and keep ready .

Grease the idli moulds, pour the batter into the idli plate and steam the idli for 12-15 mins .

Let it cool down a bit and then demould the idlis to be served hot with chutney and sambar .


Notes

To grind idli  batter in a mixie follow the recipe link below. 

https://sweetspicytasty.blogspot.com/2018/02/supersoft-idli-and-crispy-dosas-how-to.html


Refer to the video recipe on how to grind idli  batter in a wet grinder .



Other variations of Idli on my  blog

Idli Fry

Kancheepuram Idli 

Rava Idli 

Pachai Arisi (Raw rice) Idli 

Raw Rice Idli | Pachai Arisi Idli

For idlis , we generally use parboiled rice/puzhungal Arisi (ukkda chawal) or Idli rice or Idli Sooji/Rava  along with Udad dhall and fenugreek seeds .
On festive occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi, Varalakshmi Vratham or Avani Avittam (Upakarma) , generally boiled rice is avoided for making idlis as we make it as an offering to the Lord .
As the name suggests , parboiled rice means the rice is semi boiled before and anything that has been cooked before is not offered to the lord as prasad. Prasad or offerings have to be made fresh is what the general norm is.
The process of making idli is the same , just that the soaking time for rice is a little longer as it is raw and needs more time to soften before you can grind it.
Wet grinder will be the best option to grind the batter for the idlis to turn out soft, if no other option, blender or mixie can also be used.

Preparation Time : 4 hrs
Fermentation Time : 8-12 hrs
Cooking Time :  15-20 mins for 12-16 idlis
Complexity  : Medium


Recipe Courtesy  : Mrs Bageerathy Ramakrishnan - a dear friend of mine .

Ingredients
2 cups raw rice (sona masuri or any other except Basmati)
1 cup whole udad dhall
1 tsp methi seeds /fenugreek

Method

  • Wash the rice 3-4 times and then soak it in enough water for 4 hrs .
  • 1hr after soaking the rice, wash the udad dhall multiple times until you get a clear water and soak it with methi seeds for 3 hrs. 
  • Rice and dhall have to be soaked separately. 
  • Drain the water from the udad dhall and the  start grinding it in a wet grinder by sprinkling water little by little .
  • The batter will double up and appear fluffy after about 20 - 25 mins. 
  • At this stage , take out the batter and keep it in a large vessel .
  • Now , drain the water from the rice and start grinding it by adding a cup of water for 20 mins or till it appears smooth . It should not be very coarse or rough. 
  • Remove the rice batter from the grinder and mix it well with the udad dhall batter and keep it for fermenting in a warm place. 
  • Fermentation can take place anywhere between 8 to 12 hrs depending on the weather conditions. 
  • Once, fermented, mix the batter well , add salt and you are  now ready to make idlis .
  • Grease the idli plates and ready the idli pot or steamer with 2 glasses of water. 
  • Pour the batter in the idli plate , place it in the steamer and steam it for 12-15 mins.
  • Unmould it and offer to the lord as prasad .


Refer to the video link below for a detailed demonstration of how to grind regular idli batter .

The  same method is used for Raw rice idli except for the change in ingredients. Instead of parboiled or idli rice we use only Raw rice. 


Black Channa Sundal | Kondakadalai Sundal

Sundal is variety of South Indian stir fry made out of  legumes like chick peas ,groundnut , dried peas , lobia/karamani etc.
Sundal is made as an offering to the Lord on auspicious occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi,Navratri ,Satyanarayan Pooja etc.

Today's sundal recipe is a favorite of Lord Ganesha and it is always offered to him as Prasad on Ganesh Chaturthi and SankataHara Chaturthi which occurs once a month - 4th day after the Full Moon Day.

Black Channa or Konda kadalai as it is called in Tamil is very rich in protein and dietary fiber.

Preparation Time : 8-10 hrs
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves: 4-5
Complexity: simple


Ingredients
150 gms black channa / karuppu kondakadalai
3-4 tablespoons fresh grated coconut
2 green chillies
Few curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
Salt as needed

Method

  • Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight or for 8-10 hrs .
  • Discard the soaked water , rinse it once and pressure cook with a little salt until it is soft and well cooked .( 5 whistles on medium flame ) 
  • If you find it uncooked you can pressure cook for another 2 or 3 whistles. 
  • Strain the water and keep the chickpeas aside.  The strained water can be used in dhall, sambar or rasam etc.
  • In a small blender, take the coconut, green chillies, curry leaves and give it a quick whip . No need to add water . 
  • In a kadai, heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds along with asafoetida. 
  • Add in the coconut masala and give it a quick stir and add a little salt. 
  • Mix the boiled chick peas with the coconut mixture , sprinkle a little water and keep covered for 2-3 mins .
  • This step ensures that the flavor of coconut masala mixes well with the chickpeas. 
  • Turn off the stove and garnish with corriander leaves if you like. 
  • Offer to the lord as prasad and then distribute among family and friends. 


The other sundal varieties on my blog

Karamani Sundal (Lobia) 
Channa dhall sundal
Verkadalai Sundal (Peanut)

Butter Murukku | Benne Murukku

Butter (Benne) Murukku is the
south indian version of the chakli made by Gujaratis or Maharashtrians . It is very simple and easy to make with the ingredients  available in our pantry. There can be various proportions to the ingredients used in making this murukku , my recipe uses rice flour, besan(gramflour/kadalai maav) and unsalted butter.
The slightly extra quantity of butter is what gives the soft crunch to these murukku.
You will need a chakli maker or a murukku press to prepare these crunchy bites .

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Frying Time : 20 mins
Complexity  : medium


Ingredients
1 cup rice flour (100 gms)
2 tablespoon besan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
Salt as needed
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp white sesame /til/ellu (optional)
Water to knead
Oil to fry

Method
In a wide mixing bowl , add the rice flour , gram flour ,salt , cumin and mix it well .


Now add the butter and rub it well into the dry ingredients to form a crumbly mixture.




Slowly add water little by little and form a nice soft and pliable dough.


Grease the murukku press from the inside and fill it with a handful of this dough .


Heat the oil , drop a small piece of dough and it should sizzle up immediately.  This indicates that the oil is perfectly heated up .

Now , press the murukku maker over the oil carefully and fry the murukku /chakli.
Stir the murukku in the oil carefully and take it out once the hissing sound stops .

Note:
Keep  the oil temperature constant by  adjusting the flame of the gas . Too much heat will make the murukku dark from outside while less heat will keep it uncooked from within.

A little red chilli powder can also be added to the dough if you want the murukku to be a little spicy


Yam / Suran / Sennaikizhangu Roast Curry

Yam / Suran / Sennaikizhangu is probably one of the ugly looking root  vegetables but it is packed with a lot of nutritional value .Yam has a good source of dietary fiber, vit C , vit B6 along with manganese and potassium .  The vegetable is a little difficult to handle as it has a thick skin layer which appears like a  bark of a tree and is generally coated with mud . You need a sharp knife to chop that off and then the vegetable can be cut into slices or diced as per recipe.
Today's recipe is my maternal grandma's signature recipe which was passed on to my mom and then now I have taken to it . Unfortunately I have not tasted the version  made by my grandma , but have eaten the preparation by mom N number of times .  The final product has  a burst of flavors in your mouth due to the spicy and tangy marination used to coat the yam cubes .

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Complexity  : simple


Ingredients
250 gms yam / suran/ sennai
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp rasam powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tablespoon thick tamarind extract
1 tsp jaggery powder
Salt as needed
Asafoetida / hing as needed
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves .

Method

  • Chop the hard skin off the yam and wash it thoroughly. 
  • Grease your palms and cut the yam into small cubes and wash them well . ( greasing with coconut oil prevents itching )
  • Drain the water and in a mixing bowl , add salt , turmeric, rasam powder, chilli powder and the tamarind extract and toss the yam cubes well until these spices coat each cube well . Let it rest for 10 mins. 

  • In a frying pan (preferably nonstick) , heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds along with curry leaves and asafoetida.  
  • Add this marinated yam cubes in the oil and toss it well . 
  • Sprinkle some water and keep covered for about 8-10 mins . Open the lid occasionally and stir it.  

  • Once it is 3/4th done , add the jaggery powder and toss it again with a spoon of oil and cook until they turn crisp and crunchy. 
  • Turn off the stove and serve hot with rice and sambar or rice and kootu . 

Oats Coconut Ladoo - Vegan Dessert under 3 mins (Microwave recipe)

Another quick ,but healthy Vegan dessert / sweet using oats , coconut and jaggery . A healthy after school sweet for kids to satisfy their sudden sweet tooth . Jaggery is rich in iron and helps fight anaemia and oats being rich in fibre helps in digestion and keeping the digestive track healthy .
The natural oil from the coconut helps in binding the ladoo and we need not add any extra ghee like we do for the normal ladoos.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 3-4 mins
Makes : 10-12 ladoos
Complexity : Simple


Ingredients
1 cup fresh grated coconut
3/4 cup roasted rolled oats
3/4 cup jaggery powdered . (I have used organic jaggery powder)
1 tsp cardamom powder
roughly chopped badam & cashews
1/4 tsp coconut oil

Method


  • In a microwave safe container , mix the jaggery powder , coocnut , roasted oats and m/w it for 2 mins.
  • Take it out from the oven, mix it with a spoon, add the chopped nuts , cardamom powder ; mix and microwave for 1 min again.
  • Take it out and let it cool for 2-3 mins.
  • Mix it again with a spoon, grease your palms with coconut oil and make ladoos or balls.
  • Enjoy it immediately or you can refrigerate and enjoy it chilled as well,

Note
You can roll the ladooos over dessicated coconut if you like. I personally don't like to mix the flavor of fresh coconut and dessicated coconut ,hence avoided it.

Coconut Burfi / Thenga Burfi - Vegan Sweet

I am actually surprised as to how I have not blogged this very simple,yet a very tasty sweet in my blog :-(

Coconut Burfi or Thengai Burfi is very easy to make and almost a no fail sweet

This was the first sweet I learnt to make all by myself a few years ago and it has been a breeze from then .

Generally, there is always some hesitation especially for beginners to work with sugar syrup and making burfis.  That is because if you dont get the consistency of the sugar syrup right , the entire process can turn into a big time flop show.

Traditionally if we go to make we need to check for 1 string consistency and then add the coconut gratings to prepare, but this a quick but no fail recipe and will not let you down.

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Complexity  : medium 



Ingredients 
1 medium sized coconut 
Sugar as needed 
2 tsp fresh cardamom powder 
1 tsp coconut oil for greasing 
(Ghee can be used if not Vegan)



Method 
  • Break the coconut into 2 halves and grate them such that you get only the white portion of the coconut. 
  • Dont grate it very deep else the brown portion also will get mixed giving the burfis slightly brown color . 
  • You can scrape them left over part of the coconut later to use it for cooking.In that way the coconut won't be wasted.
  • Transfer the grated coconut to a container and take sugar in equal measure or 3/4th .
  • (I.e if the grated coconut measures 2 cups take 1 .75 cups of sugar )
  • In a thick bottomed pan , add the sugar, coconut  and cardamom powder and on medium flame ,let the sugar melt and blend with the coconut. 
  • Keep stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking to the pan.
  • After about 10 mins or so the mixture will appear frothy from the sides and will bubble in center. 
  • Now , keep stirring and scraping the mixture from the sides and continue cooking until it forms a nice mass and leaves the sides of the pan .
  • Turn off at the stage and immediately transfer to a greased plate and level it quickly .
  • Cut squares or diamonds using a knife when the mixture is warm and allow it to set for a while.  Making the mark when warm is important. Otherwise the burfi will crumble when you try to cut after it is cooled .
  • Once cooled , remove the pieces carefully from the plate and then transfer to an airtight box and store it .



Siyalam - Guest Post By Meera Rajan

Continuing with my guest posts, today's recipe is shared by Meera Rajan , who is an awesome photographer , yoga expert and an avid bird lover in addition to being a lovely mom. We are yet to meet her personally as we got introduced via social media ,but we share a bond that makes us feel we are friends for ages and we seldom realise that we haven't met in person.

Meera has shared with us a traditional recipe from TamilNadu, South India called "Siyalam" which is similar to the famous Gujurati snack Dhokla . This snack has a special place in her recipe list and she has happily shared it with all of us .

Presenting her recipe to all of you in her own words.


Ingredients

1 cup Moongdal 
1/4 cup raw rice( I used brown rice )
1 table spoon Channa dal 

Mel Podi or Masala Powder
1 tea spoon channa dal 
1/4 cup peanut 
3 table spoon coconut 
2 table spoon Coriander seeds 
3 dry red chillies
Small piece hing 

Fry all this one after another in oil, & powder it coarsely .

Tadka /Tempering
1 teaspoon mustard 
1 teaspoon uradh dal
1 teaspoon channa dal 
1 green chilli 
Oil 
Curry leaves 

Method 

  • Soak rice and dhall for an hour, grind like idli batter with 1 green chilli, ,piece of ginger , & salt , ferment for 5 hours minimum. Steam it like idly for 10 to 12 minutes .After it cools down cut it in to pieces.
  • In a kadai add oil /ghee add the tadka items one by one , add thick tamarind water ( 1 small lemon size ) salt , let it boil till the raw smell goes , add the  cut dal pieces , mix nicely.
  • Cover & let it absorb the imli water , open mix nicely without breaking the pieces.
  • Add the Mel Podi or powdered masala . Garnish with fresh coriander .


Note
 Imli water is optional, if you don’t want , then skip that step and add lemon juice .

Moongacha Ambat - Guest Post by Priyadarshini Shah

I have a lot of friends who are amazing home cooks and dish out amazing,super yummy and healthy recipes.  I hit upon an idea to share their recipes also with all of you so that we can have a wider variety .
Today, I will present the 1st recipe in the Guest Post Series by my dear friend Priyadarshini Shah.

We became friends through a food group on social media and have been getting along well with our friendship ever since . Priya is a very warm and affectionate person and a lovely company to be with.  An amazing singer who also draws beautiful rangolis with intricate designs and eye catching color combinations. 
Let us now proceed to her recipe which I am producing here in her own words and style .
Priya owns the blog Priya's kitchen where you can find some amazing recipes .




When my dear friend Priya Vijaykrishnan asked to me to share a guest recipe for her blog I was in two minds if I should share a blogged recipe or do something special for her. Decided to venture into her speciality zone..which is no onion no garlic recipes. There is a recipe my MIL makes which very delicious and is without O&G. Felt this would be a perfect recipe to share on Priyas blog and a perfect reason for me to learn from my MIL. 

Ambat is a coconut based gravy along with moong. The major preparation needed is a bit laboursome which is the reason I have  not tried this recipe before myself though I have enjoyed being my MILs assistant. For this the green moong has to be sprouted and the skin (green cover) needs to be removed from it. This takes about 2 days time as we have to first soak the moong , drain and leave it to sprout , then again put water, leaving for sometime and then remove the skin. What is left is white sprouted moong. 

Now for the recipe.

Ingredients

De skinned sprouted moong -2 cups
Potato - 1 medium (chopped in cubes)
Ghee 1 tbsp for flavour (optional)

For tadka / tempering
Oil 1 tsp
Rai (mustard seeds) - 1 tsp
Methi seeds(fenugreek) -1/4 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) - 1/2tsp
Kadipatta (curry leaves ) - 2 sprigs

For making paste (vatan)
Coconut grated -1 cup
Dalchini -1 " piece (cinnamon)
Lavang -2 to 3 prices(cloves)
Elaichi -2 pieces (cardamom)
Dhane - 1 tbsp (coriander seeds)
Rai - 1/2 tsp ( mustard seeds)
Methi - 1/2 tsp (fenugreek seeds)
Red chillies - 6/7 ( can add more if u like it spicy) or use red chilli powder as per taste
Haldi (tumeric powder ) - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method
1. In a pan add oil and do the tempering with ingredients mentioned above. 
2. Add the moong and potato and fry for a minute. Then add water and tumeric powder. Let it cook till half done.
3. Add the vatan or ground paste , adjust water, salt and let this cook till moong is completely done. 
4. Add the ghee and give a good stir. This add good flavour.
5. Serve hot along with rice bhakri, chapati or rice garnished with coriander leaves.



Pumpkin Koddel | Puli Bajji

Koddel is a traditional Mangalorean recipe which has a mix of sweet , tangy and spicy flavor infused in the curry . The soft and juicy pumpkin absorbs all these flavors and it is a treat to the tastebuds as we savor it .
This recipe is a favorite of mine ever since my aunt prepared this and served me as a child . The flavor is still so fresh and vivid . Recently while speaking to my cousin I asked about this recipe and she happily shared the steps with me and viola it is ready for my Lunch today . I dont know why she called it Puli Bajji..but that name is what I am familiar with .

Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves: 3-4
Complexity: simple


Ingredients 
100 gms red pumpkin /parangikkai / laal bhopla 
1 cup fresh grated coconut 
2 tsp jeera /cumin 
3 green chillies
Few curry leaves
2 tsp mustard seeds 
1 cup tamarind extract 
1 tablespoon jaggery powder 
Salt as needed
1 tsp oil 
Asafoetida a pinch 
1/2 tsp turmeric /haldi

Method 
  • In a blender , grind the coconut,1tsp jeera , 1tsp mustard, curry leaves and chillies to a fine paste. 
  • Chop the pumpkin into medium sized cubes and boil until it is 1/2 cooked in water with salt and little salt. 
  • Add the tamarind extract and jaggery powder and let it boil till the raw flavor of the tamarind is lost. 
  • Mix the ground coconut paste and stir it well.Adjust salt and water as needed.
  • Bring to a nice rolling boil and then switch off once the gravy appears little thick. 
  • Prepare tempering using mustard and jeera with asafoetida and pour it over the curry.
  • Serve it hot with steamed rice.