Mathan Erissery

erissery

More than half of 2013 is over and none of my new year resolutions are half full. My weight loss plan is at a total loss and my regular blogging resolution is also quite questionable now. 

I wish I could turn a blind eye and pretend that everything is fine. Just the way I am doing with my weight plan :D. Unfortunately, for the blogging part, I am not able to do it. So here I am…trying to get back in track.

And it’s so tough! Because there is nobody else, you just have to push yourself to do it. Blogging doesn’t earn me an income, it takes away a lot of my time and worse, it makes me fat! Spending endless hours looking at others recipes make me hungry. So I have the cookie jar in one side and the laptop on the other. (I know its my problem, but I still blame irresistibly styled pretty pictures of food!)

But then again, I do this for myself. Because I love food. And I love talking. And I love clicking food.

And I love it that someone is reading it in some remote corner of the world. And that’s why I am here.

erissery

 

My back to track recipe is a traditional dish prepared in a slightly nontraditional way. My son likes this consistency, not mashed but most of the times the pumpkin will just disintegrate when cooking it. We don’t use onions and garlic for this dish traditionally, but it’s used in some other parts of Kerala. Again, since my son likes this taste, I have added it.

I am sending this recipe to Susan’s My Legume Love Affair now taken over by Lisa and hosted this month by Aparna Balasubramanian.

Serves :  3-4

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (Poosanikkai/Mathan)   :     2 cups, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Black eyed peas                                     :     3/4 cup
  • Coconut                                                    :      1 cup, scrapped
  • Jeera                                                          :      1/2 tsp
  • Green Chillies (or red)                       :      1 -2, per taste
  • Red Chillies                                            :      1
  • Mustard seeds                                       :      1 tsp
  • Curry leaves                                           :      one sprig
  • Garlic                                                        :       2 cloves (optional)
  • Onion                                                        :      1, chopped fine (optional)
  • Oil                                                               :      2 tsp (for tempering)
  • Salt

Method:

  1. First thing to make sure is that you have all the ingredients. Soak the peas first for 30 minutes. I cooked them along with rice for about 5 – 6 whistles. It turned out to be soft, but still retaining its shape. This can even be done a day before to save time. You need to drain and cool the cooked peas and refrigerate it.
  2. Clean, seed, peel and dice the pumpkin. In a pressure cooker, cook this for one whistle. Sometimes I pressure cook the peas and pumpkin together for 2-3 whistles. This might lead to the pumpkin being overcooked, but that fine. That’s how it usually is!
  3. Grind the coconut, jeera, garlic (if using) and green chilies without adding any water. Keep aside 1/4th of this mixture. We will use this for seasoning. Add two tbsp water to the rest of the coconut mix and grind till smooth.
  4. In a kadai, heat oil and saute the onions brown. If you are not using onions, skip the oil and just add the cooked pumpkin pieces and the peas to the kadai. When it comes to a boil, add the ground coconut and salt. Let it boil for about 4-5 minutes. You can add some water if you want to at this stage, but I didn’t want mine to be a gravy. Do a taste test and adjust salt or add a pinch of chili powder if required. Take off the heat and keep aside.
  5. In a small kadai, add 2 tsp oil. Add the mustard seeds, one red chili and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle, add the reserved 1/4th portion of the coconut mix. Saute till its brown and releases a nice aroma. Switch off the gas and top the prepared erisseri with this. Serve as a side dish to rice with sambar and papaddam.

Note: As this is made of sweet yellow pumpkin, the taste is slightly sweet. You need to add more chilies according to your taste.

You can try adding the red variety of beans (van payar).  You can use raw bananas, yam or a combination of both for vegetables as well.

I was short on the coconut, so I had to skip it while tempering mustard seeds. But the roasted coconut is the best part of the dish, so please don’t skip it!

erissery

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Qabooli Pulao

I have no idea where to start this post. The mind is still in a frozen state, not sure whether to be happy about our apartment or just go on worrying about it. The thing is, we received the raw end of the deal – a deal which should have been exciting and fantastic for us.

I think its time to actually leave all the thoughts – positive, negative and neutral, behind and just move on with the flow. The flow of life, that takes decisions for us, when we are unable to do so. That makes life easy for us. That brings back the smile to our face, even when things look really forlorn.

That teaches us to be grateful for what we have, and not to forget about those people, whose struggle in life is a hundred times harder than ours.

Yes, I am grateful. For everything about my life.

Time for Blogging Marathon again and this time I have chosen the theme – Cook by Alphabets. Instead of choosing an easy series from ‘A to G’, I have chosen to start with a dish with ‘Q’ and end with ‘W’, the sole reason behind this weird choice is that I had a recipe draft which started with ‘W’!

I came across this Qabooli Pulao in a recipe book by Sanjeev Kapoor. I saw this at a friend’s place and just noted the measurements and the method.

Ingredients:

  • Rice                                  :   1 1/2 cups
  • Bengal gram                  :   1/2 cup
  • Salt
  • Green Cardamoms     :   4-5
  • Cinnamon sticks         :  two 1″pieces
  • cloves                              :  4-5
  • Turmeric Powder      : 1/2 tsp
  • Oil                                     : 1 tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste    : 1/2 tbsp
  • Green chilies                : 2-3, chopped
  • Onions                            : 4 -5
  • Coriander                      : 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Yogurt                            : 1 cup
  • Mint                                 : about 10 leaves
  • Lemon Juice                 : 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Soak rice for half an hour. Boil in 3 cups of water with salt and 2 green cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, and cloves, until done. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Soak Bengal gram for half an hour and cook in one cup of water with salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. The dal shouldn’t be over cooked.
  3. Slice the onions. Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and saute till brown. Remove half the amount and then add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, green chilies and ginger garlic paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked dal, turmeric powder, coriander leaves and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat, add yogurt and mix.
  5. To assemble: Layer the serving dish with half of the dal mix. Layer half of the rice on top of it and top it with sauteed onions, mint, saffron and lemon juice.
  6. Top this again with the dal mix, followed by another layer of rice, onions and other toppings. As you can see, I started with the rice layer and so ended up with a dal layer!
  7. Cover and cook for 20 minutes and serve hot.

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Dali Thoy (or dali toi) – A Simple Dal, the Konkani way

The one thing that is famous about Chennai, is the hot climate here. Its hot here! No, let me rephrase it – its HOT here. It is only half way through in March and I am finding the heat now itself as unbearable. God knows what I am going to do when the ‘real’ summer starts two months from now. That’s when the burning heat starts.

Oh the head explodes, even at the very thought of summer. Cooling down has never been more important and no better time than now, to crave for comfort food. And thank god, dali thoy is one.

For Blog Hop Wednesdays, I have been paired with Sumedha of Sumee’s Culinary. I tried her delicious Kadhi recipe first, but it got over before I could even get the camera out. Then I made this simple Daali Thoy, a Konkani dish that I have been planning to make for a long time. Thanks Sumedha, for sharing these.

Ingredients:

  • Toor Dal                                          :           1 cup
  • Green Chillies                                :           2-3, per taste
  • Ginger                                               :           1″ piece, grated or chopped fine
  • Turmeric Powder                        :           1/4 tsp

Tempering

  • Ghee                                                  :            1-2  tsp
  • Mustard Seeds                              :            1 tsp
  • Red Chillies                                    :            1-2
  • Curry leaves                                  :            a sprig
  • Asafoetida                                      :            a pinch

Method:

  1. Wash toor dal and add the slit green chillies, grated ginger, turmeric powder to it. Pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles or till the dal is cooked.
  2. Once the pressure drops, take the dal out and mash it thoroughly (I took the chillies out and then gave a round in the mixie).
  3. Heat ghee in a kadai, add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Once the mustard splutters, add the red chillies and curry leaves.
  4. Add the dal to it. If the dal is too thick, you can adjust the constituency by adding water.
  5. Add the required amount of salt and let it boil for 4-5 minutes. Take off the heat. Serve with white rice, a spicy side dish of your choice and a pickle.

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Parippu Pradhaman/ Pasi parippu payasam

Being brought up in an area surrounded by temples has had a huge impact in my childhood. If you are thinking about spiritual or religious kind, then think again!  I am talking about food – in the form of Prasadam!

We had a lot of friends staying near by and none of us go to the temples on a regular basis. But on the day of Pradosham, we rush out to the temple, the minute the bell for the Prasadam rings. That sound of the bell was almost like the Pied Piper’s music – it used to bring out all the children in the area to the temple!

We would wait in the temple for the pooja procedures to get over, counting the minutes till we get that yummy payasam in our hands. The little hush-hush conversations to fill the time, suppressed giggles when elders stare at us for talking when the pooja is going on, standing in the queue for getting the payasam and the heavenly payasam itself, given out in a small piece of banana leaf – are all part of my childhood. 

At times I would even request for a second scoop because the first helping was really small. I have never had any luck with that though! The run towards home licking off the payasam from the leaf, forms the most memorable (and the most important) part. If we don’t finish it before we reach home, my father would ‘deduct taxes’ from our share! The near by Ganapathy temple distributes Appam as prasadam, which is my son’s favorite.

I sometimes think the current generation neither gets the opportunity nor is interested in savoring these simple experiences in life. Theirs is more of a virtual escape (TV and Internet). But when I saw my son literally bringing the front gate down (shouting Appam! Appam! at the top of his voice), because the bell for prasadam was ringing and the gate was locked, my belief in life has returned!

For this week’s Blog Hop Wednesday, I am paired with Sangeetha of Typical Indian Cooking. After pondering over the huge list of recipes there, I decided to try out the jaggery based Pasi parippu Payasam. It kind of reminded me of my ‘childhood payasam days’.

The payasam was great, I really loved it. I have halved the given recipe in Sangee’s blog as my husband is a ‘sweet – hater’ (Yeah, I can’t believe it too!).

Ingredients:

  • Moong Dal                                       :             1/2 cup
  • Jaggery                                             :             1/2 cup
  • Milk                                                    :             3/4 cup
  • Cardamom Powder                      :             1/2 tsp
  • Cashews/Almonds/ Raisins/Bite sized Coconut slices  : handful
  • Ghee                                                  :              2 tbsp

Method:  

  1. Wash and cook moong dal with 1.5 cups water in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.
  2. Powder the jaggery.
  3. In a thick bottomed vessel, add the cooked dal and jaggery together. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring continuously till the jaggery is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Add the cardamom powder, 1 tbsp ghee. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes.
  4. Switch off the heat. Add milk and mix. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add some more milk.
  5. In a small pan, heat one tbsp ghee. Add the mix of cashews, sliced almonds, raisins and sliced coconuts. Fry till they turn slightly brown and you get a nice aroma. Add to the payasam.
  6. The payasam can be served hot or cold. Its delicious either way.

Note:

Check out the original recipe here.

You can add coconut milk instead of milk in this recipe. You need to cook it a bit after adding the coconut milk though.

Radhika’s post about Akkaravadisal for the last Blog Hop Wednesdays was the trigger for this post!

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