Brinjal Theeyal

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

At my parents house, every single day, the lunch consists of a coconut based sambar and a vegetable side dish. A bean based (Chana, rajma, moong beans, even peanut) chundal is also made on most days. There are two reasons for the coconut sambars. One – my father doesn’t like dal based sambars, he claims it gives him gas. Two- we have a lot of coconut trees in our backyard and so coconuts are available to us throughout the year free of cost.

I have already shared my mother’s most used recipe here, it just involves grinding shredded coconut with sambar powder. Today’s post is a little more elaborate than that. This was not a frequent recipe at home, but my brother used to prepare it every now and then with great results. He prefers pearl onions or bitter gourd for theeyal. You can use any vegetable of your choice, I have used brinjal here today.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For roasting and grinding

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3-4 dried red chilies (or more per taste)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

For the gravy

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch of hing
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the coriander seeds and dried red chilies, sauté for a couple of minutes until the coriander seeds change color. Take off the heat and transfer to a blender jar.
  2. Now add shredded coconut to the same pan and sauté until it turns golden brown, this might take about 6-8 minutes or so. Keep stirring all the time and keep the heat medium-low to avoid burning. Transfer it to the blender jar and once it’s cooled, grind into a paste adding a little water as needed. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds and hing.
  4. Add the sliced onions and brinjal pieces. Cook, stirring in between, until it’s almost cooked.
  5. Add the prepared coconut paste. Add one cup of water to the blender jar to dislodge the any remaining paste stuck to the jar and add this water also to the pot. Add another cup of water along with the tamarind paste. You can add more water if you want it a little thinner consistency.
  6. Bring it to a boil and cook covered in low heat for about 10-15 minutes until it turns thick and oil floats on top. Turn off heat and serve with rice and a side dish of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

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Chana masala

BM# 101: Week 3, Day 3
Theme : 
Creamy gravies

Last month, my old neighbors had come over home. With the kids at school, there was enough time to relax and catch up with each other. We had a mini pot luck and had a great lunch. I had made three gravies that day, two of which I am posting for this theme. I hadn’t picked this theme when I was preparing the meal, it was just good luck that I took pictures of the thali. My friends had brought in vegetable biriyani and bisibela bath. It was served along with the Chana masala, Chettinad mushroom curry and a mixed vegetable curry. Do check out the carrot halwa recipe too, it is a simple and easy way to make this great dessert.

Coming to the Chana masala recipe, this is again from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. After trying the mushroom curry recipe from the book, I made this first when we had some friends coming over. I didn’t have enough time to soak Chana, so I cooked it for one hour in Instant Pot before making this gravy. If you have time, you can soak the Chana overnight and cook it before making this curry. I already have a recipe for Chana masala in the blog, but this recipe has enough differences to make a separate post.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Vegan Richa’s Indian kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 6 medium tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 2″ long piece of ginger
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon oil or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • A good pinch of hing
  • 2 teaspoons Chana masala or Garam masala
  • Salt as needed
  • About 2 cups of water*
  • Coriander leaves and lemon juice for garnishing and serving

*You can use the water Chana was cooked in.

Method:

  1. Drain and Pressure cook the soaked Chana with enough water until it’s done. Let the pressure release naturally. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, combine tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilies and 1/2 cup cooked (and cooled) chickpeas. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add the chopped onions and cook till it turns pink. Add all the masala powders – cumin, turmeric, chili, garam (or Chana) masala, hing and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add the puréed tomato paste. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring in between to prevent tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add a little water in case that happens. Reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes until the mixture is dry and starts to leave the side of the pan.
  5. Add cooked chickpeas and about 2 to 2.5 cups of water. You can use the water in which Chana was cooked. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, taste testing in between to adjust the seasoning. Take off the heat and serve garnished with coriander leaves, minced onion and lemon juice. This pairs very well with rotis and plain basmati rice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

Methi Kadhi

BM# 101: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Cooking with Chickpea flour

Back home, it’s a common practice to boil milk every morning before consuming and at the end of the day, the leftover milk is converted to yogurt. So with freshly prepared yogurt almost every single day, there is frequent appearance of yogurt based recipes at our dining table. In our house, Mor kuzhambu was our comfort food. That’s yogurt with ground coconut paste. Amma used to make it in an earthen pot and that used to make it even more delicious.

In Northern parts of India, instead of coconut, besan or chickpea flour is used to make Kadhi. This yogurt based curry can be thin or thick, depending on the area it’s from. Gujarati Kadhi is more watery than the Punjabi Kadhi. Just like its Southern counterpart, this gravy can be prepared with or without vegetables. Seasonal greens are sometimes added and what we have here is Methi (fenugreek leaves) Kadhi. Here I have served it with mixed vegetable khichdi.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves : 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour/besan
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1″ ginger piece
  • 3 green chilies
  • 2 cups Methi leaves, washed and cleaned
  • 5-6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt as needed

For tadka:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • a pinch of Asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies

Method:

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger and green chilies together. Else chop it finely.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the besan and yogurt. Using a whisk, mix well until it’s lump free.
  3. Heat ghee in a big heavy bottom pan. Add all the items under tadka.
  4. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the crushed ginger and green chilies. Sauté until its fragrant. Add the methi leaves. Sauté for a couple of minutes until it’s wilted a bit.
  5. Add the besan yogurt slurry. Mix well and add 5 cups of water. Add chili powder and keep mixing often to avoid any flour lump from forming. Add salt as needed ( Kadhi needs a fair amount of salt).
  6. Reduce heat to low and let it cook for about half an hour. The more it cooks, the tastier it gets. You might have to add more water (and salt too) if it gets too thick. Keep stirring in between.
  7. At the end of half an hour, taste test and take of the heat. Serve with plain rice or chapati.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

Sweet Potato chapati

1sweet_potato_roti

BM# 97: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Vegan recipes

I have been making a whole lot of Vegan recipes for this theme but unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to take pictures. The weather is now bad and before I know it, it’s dark outside and there is no light to take pictures. If I take pictures indoors, the colors don’t come out right. So that’s something I have given up doing a long time back.

Initially i was planning to post the recipe of a vegan cake I had made sometime back. Unfortunately the frosting had butter in it. Coming to think of it, its easy to make a vegan cake, but vegan frosting can be much harder.

Anyway I decided on this sweet potato chapatis for today. It’s been in my drafts folder for a while. My cousin has made this for us when we were in our Velacheri house. I still remember how soft and delicious it was. Mine didn’t turn out to be as good as hers but still it was pretty good. I forgot her recipe so this recipe is from the internet. These chapatis turn out to be very soft. The spice level can be adjusted to your preference. I like it flavored only with chili powder, but you can try adding whatever spices you like.

Read on for the recipe.

2sweet_potato_roti

Recipe adapted from: Archana’s kitchen

Sweet potato roti:

  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon red chili powder, or per taste
  • Salt as needed

Method:

    Pressure cook sweet potatoes. Once completely cooked and cooled down, peel and mash them. For every cup of wheat flour, add one cup of mashed sweet potatoes.
    In a big mixing bowl, add the mashed sweet potatoes, flour, chili powder and salt. You can add a teaspoon each of cumin seeds and ajwain(carom seeds) too, if preferred. Mix everything and make a smooth and soft dough, sprinkling water as needed to bring the dough together. Don’t add too much water in one shot, add a little at a time, mix in and add more if needed.
    Once the dough comes together and is soft and not lumpy anymore, cover the bowl and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes.
    Make chapatis. I suggest watching a video in YouTube if you are not familiar with the making chapatis.Serve with pickle or a curry of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97