Vazhakkai-Raw Plantain Seppankezhangu-Taro root kootu

I always have a liking to try out traditional recipes that comes through generations. This recipe was given to my mom by her mother in law and now to me by my mom. I keep pestering my mother to write down all the recipes that she has learnt over a period of…I guess almost 45years of cooking! But so humbly she would say….”Naan enna perusa panitten ellarum pannathatha….” But look at me! I would make such a simple thing and I would immediately call her up and boast about it! Yuck………………..And still she would give me all due credits and applause and I think that’s what keeps me going each day!

Now to the recipe.

1 medium sized vazhaikkai (Raw plantain) (Peel and cut into small cubes)
3-4 seppankezhangu (Taro root)
2 teaspoon freshly made sambar powder
1 small gooseberry sized tamarind, soaked and squeezed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds, urad dal, pinch of hing, spring of curry leaves, 1 teaspoon oil for tempering
1 cup soaked, boiled karamani (Or any kind of bean)
2 cups water

To grind:
2 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
3 tablespoon grated coconut

Method:
1. Boil seppankezhangu with salt. Cool, peel, cut into small chunks and keep aside.
2. Now add 1 tsp oil to a kadai and when hot temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, hing and cury leaves.
3. Vazhaikkai, little turmeric and saute a little. Then add salt, water, tamarind extract, sambar powder and cook on medium flame until vazhaikkai is cooked to 3/4th.
4. Then add boiled karamani, boiled and cubed seppankezhangu and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the cumin-coconut paste, cook until raw smell of jeera fades. Serve hot with paruppu/dal rice.

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December 21, 2010 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

Chocolate chip cookie II

My recent finding… http://www.joyofbaking.com . Here is where I managed to find another version of the age old chocolate chip cookie. This one turned out nicely crisp at the edges and wonderfully chewy inside. I was little skeptic about the recipe because I used whole wheat flour (chapathi flour) instead of all purpose flour and so halved the recipe. But this tasted much better than my previous attempts. This is the exact recipe from joy of baking except whole wheat flour.

1 stick (1/4 cup) butter (room temp)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg (room temp)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chip

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F.
1. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) and keep aside.
2. Cream butter first until smooth. Then add sugar and beat for another 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat for another 1 minute.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and half way through add the choc chips. Do not over beat. Just enough to blend well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes if the dough is too soft.
4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I used my tablespoon scoop to drop the cookies. Space them 2″ inches apart as they spread really well. Bake for 14 minutes, cool in sheet for 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight container. This makes about 20 cookies.

December 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm 1 comment

Potato Cauliflower Curry

A simple and quick spicy curry for those really boring cooking days. I made keerai with karamani for roti and wanted something crispy and spicy to go along with my rice and keerai. Potato and Cauliflower always comes to my rescue.

1 potato diced into 1/2″ cubes
Cauliflower florets of bite size
2 teaspoon sambar powder
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds and urad dal
Pinch of hing
3 tablespoon oil

Method:
1. Add 1 teaspoon oil to the pan and when hot add mustard seeds, urad dal and hing. Add the washed cauliflower and potato chunks.
2. Add a pinch of turmeric and saute them on low-medium heat and cover the pan for about 3 minutes.
3. Then add salt and mix well. Cook covered again for another 5 minutes. Then add sambar powder and saute. Add remaining 2 tablespoon oil and cook on medium flame uncovered until veggies crisps evenly.

December 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

Sambar Rice / Spicy vegetables cooked with Lentils and Rice

Sambar sadam……There are lotsa places in chennai famous only for its sambar sadam! Saravana Bhavana, Komalas. I’ve tried making them with the homemade/ready made sambar powder, but it never tasted as good as it looked. But this time, my mom asked me to make a fresh powder and use it immediately for this. Ah!! Divine! It took me so many days to master this simple dish.

For the Powder:
4 tablespoon chana dal
1 teaspoon urad dal
4 tablespoon dhania
10-12 red chillies
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
Pinch of hing powder/ katti perungayam
1 teaspoon oil
3 tablespoon dry/freshly grated coconut

1. Fry the above ingredients except coconut (chana dal first, followed by urad dal, fenugreek, dhania, red chillies, hing) in oil.
2. Let it cool completely. Add coconut and grind to a fine powder (do not add water) and keep aside.

2 cups mixed vegetables (Carrot, green beans, radish, peas, murungakkai)
1/2 cup toor dal
Pinch of turmeric

Pressure cook vegetables with toor dal and turmeric. Separate the cooked vegetables and mash dal well. Keep aside.

1/2 cup thick tamarind paste
1 medium tomato
4-5 pearl onions/chinna vengayam
2 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon each mustard seeds, urad dal
pinch of hing
2 red chillies
1 spring curry leaves
2 cups water
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon ghee
4 cups well cooked rice

1. Add oil to the deep pan or use a cooker. When hot temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, hing, red chillie and curry leaves.
2. Add onion and saute for a minute. Add tomato and saute.
3. Add tamarind paste, water, salt, 4 tablespoon freshly made sambar powder and cook on medium heat until onions are cooked partially.
4. Now add the separated vegetables and bring it to a boil. Then add the toor dal and bring it to a boil and simmer for few minutes. Check for water/salt/sambar powder. Add more if required.
5. Finally add cooked rice and mix well. Add dollop of ghee and serve hot.

December 13, 2010 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

Indian Style Pasta

These days…for some reason I just don’t like the taste of authentic Italian tomato basil pasta sauce. None of them…no Alfredo….no basil….no pesto…..So Yesterday I decided to make it my mom’s way. It turned out nice and spicy loaded with veggies.

2 cup macaroni shells or elbow pasta
2 medium sized tomato, finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 cup mixed veggies (I added beans, carrot and peas)
1″ ginger finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
Pinch of turmeric
1 green chilly finely chopped
2 tablespoon Heinz or any tomato ketchup
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon oil

Method:
1. Cook the pasta as per pack instruction with little salt. Do not add oil while cooking, this will actually resist sauce from coating the pasta later. Retain 1/2 cup pasta water, drain the rest and keep aside.
2. Boil the vegetables with salt, drain and keep aside.
3. Add oil to a heavy bottom pan, when hot add ginger, garlic, chilly and saute for a minute. Then add the onions and cook until translucent.
4. Add tomato, pinch of salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and cook while mashing the tomatoes. Add ketchup and stir well.
5. Then add the vegetables to coat well with sauce. Add the leftover pasta water and cook for about 5 minutes. Check for salt seasoning.
6. Finally add the pasta and mix well. Cook covered for 5 minutes and switch off the heat. Serve hot. This does not require any cheese too. Delicious eaten as such.

November 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm 1 comment

Sweet Potato and Jaggery Relish

I just love sweet potatoes in any form! The best is………….smoked sweet potatoes. When we were kids, it was my grandfather/grandmother’s duty to boil hot water for bath daily. It was done in the backyard with all those wood/stick/coal. We used to throw in these huge sweet potatoes inside and they would come out wonderfully baked with a nice smokey smell! And man….that taste you can never get it by baking them in an oven! And there are more versions… sweet potato curry, vatha kuzhambu, sambar, poli and this quick and easy jaggery relish that I got to make it yesterday. Just for me! 🙂

1 medium sweet potato, cubed into bite size
3/4 cup jaggery
1-1/2 cup water
Just a pinch of salt
A pinch of elaichi

Method:
1. Wash and boil the sweet potatoes with skin on and a pinch of salt. Do not pressure cook them as it will turn mushy. We still need chunks and not mashed ones. Drain and keep aside.
2. Boil jaggery with water. Once it dissolves completely, strain them to remove any dirt. Boil this clean jaggery water to a “paagu” consistency. On a low flame, first it will boil over the pan and keep stirring. After sometime, you will see nice thick bubbles forming inside the pan and it will start turning sticky and thick. Switch off the flame, add the potato chunks, pinch of elaichi and stir well to coat and cook covered for few minutes until potato absorbs the liquid.
3. Its best when eaten just like that. Or mash them well to add as a topping to your favorite dessert.

November 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

Vegetable Kurma – II

This version is my mom’s. I like it the most when she adds beetroot to it. It gives a nice colour and little sweetness to the dish. But now, considering my hubby, I opted to omit it. You could always add them if you like.

2 cups chopped mixed veggies (Beans, carrot, peas, lima beans, potato)
1 medium onion (Cut them into half. Chop one half for the curry. Other half we will use for the masala)
1 small tomato finely chopped
4-5 green chilly (Slit one of those and use while saute)
3 garlic pods (Slit one of those and use while saute)
2-3 cloves
1 bay leaf
tiny cinnamon stick
Salt to taste
About 1.5 cups water

For the masala:
1/2 cup coconut
4 green chilly
2 garlic pods
1″ ginger
1/4 onion
Another 1/4 onion sauted with just a little oil

Grind the above into a nice paste and keep aside.

Method:
1. Add oil to the pan and when hot add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and fry. Then add slit chilly, garlic, chopped onions and fry until translucent.
2. Add tomato, little salt and cook for a minute.
3. Then add all the vegetables, water, salt and cook until veggies are done.
4. Add the masala paste, check for water and salt consistency and let it simmer until raw smell leaves. Serve with roti or rice.

November 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

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