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.

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Gutti Vankaya Kura (Stuffed eggplants)

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As February was ending, our Blogging Marathon creator (and the main reason why my blog is still alive) Valli’s birthday was coming up and we bloggers decided to throw her an online food party. We all chose recipes from her blog and surprised her with wishes and food from all corners of the world. I went straight to the root and took the first recipe that she published. Gutti Vankaya Kura.

I paired it for a meal with her coconut rice.

Ever since making it for her birthday, its kind of become my regular dish. May be I will take better pictures the next time I make it. Right now I am clearing my drafts and thought its a good time to post this recipe.

This curry is a flavor burst and so I thought it better to pair it with simpler recipes. May be I will pair it with biryani and see how it turns out to be! Read on for the recipe and step wise pictures.

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Recipe source: Cooking for all seasons

Dry roast 1/3 cup peanuts, 3-4 dry red chillies in a pan. When the peanuts are brownish, add 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, 1″ stick of cinnamon, 3-4 cloves and fry for a minute. Add 1/4 cup dry or fresh coconut and saute until the coconut changes color and releases a sweet aroma. Remove from heat.

When the dry mix is cooled down, blend it along with a small diced onion (or 4 pearl onions), 2 cloves of garlic and 1″ piece of ginger. Grind without adding any water.

Cut a ‘plus’ in the brinjal, cutting it through till the stalk. Keep the stalk intact so that its not cut into four pieces. Carefully fill the brinjal with the prepared peanut mix. I was able to fill 7 small brinjals with this amount.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add one teaspoon mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add one chopped big onion and saute till pink. Follow it up with a finely chopped large tomato.

Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, salt as needed and cook until its mushy. Add the stuffed brinjals carefully and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Slowly turn it over (stalks help ;-)!). If you have any left over ground mix, blend it with some water and add to the curry.

Add enough water to help with the cooking and to have a bit of gravy. Lower the heat and cover and cook for about 25 minutes, carefully turning the brinjals once or twice in between. Turn off the heat with the veggies are completely cooked and oil floats on top. Serve with rice or roti. Pairs well with coconut rice.

Ingredients:

To grind:

  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1″ stick of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1/4 cup dry or fresh coconut
  • 1 small onion (or 4 pearl onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1″ ginger piece

For the gravy:

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • 1 big tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt as needed
  • 4-6 brinjals*

*the size of the brinjal vary vastly, so its difficult to give a finite number here..

Method:

Prepare the ground masala first: 

  1. Dry roast 1/3 cup peanuts, 3-4 dry red chillies in a pan. When the peanuts are brownish, add 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, 1″ stick of cinnamon, 3-4 cloves and fry for a minute. Add 1/4 cup dry or fresh coconut and saute until the coconut changes color and releases a sweet aroma. Remove from heat.
  2. When the dry mix is cooled down, blend it along with a small diced onion (or 4 pearl onions), 2 cloves of garlic and 1″ piece of ginger. Grind without adding any water.

Prepare the curry:

  1. Cut a ‘plus’ in the brinjal, cutting it through till the stalk. Keep the stalk intact so that its not cut into four pieces. Carefully fill the brinjal with the prepared peanut mix. I was able to fill 7 small brinjals with this amount.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add one teaspoon mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add one chopped big onion and saute till pink. Follow it up with a finely chopped large tomato. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, salt as needed and cook until its mushy.
  3. Add the stuffed brinjals carefully and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly turn it over (stalks help ;-)!). If you have any left over ground mix, blend it with some water and add to the curry.
  4. Add enough water to help with the cooking and to have a bit of gravy. Lower the heat and cover and cook for about 25 minutes, carefully turning the brinjals once or twice in between.
  5. Turn off the heat with the veggies are completely cooked. Serve with rice or roti. Pairs well with coconut rice.

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Chena puzhukku – Green gram dal with elephant yam

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For the third day of serving root vegetables for the blog, I am here with elephant yam cooked with green gram dal along with ground coconut. This puzhukku was a new find for me, though we have had a fair share of kappa puzhukku (tapioca cooked and mashed a bit).

Elephant yam was a staple in my father’s childhood days it seems. Most of the veggies came from the backyard those days and these grew pretty easily. He tells us that the first time ever he saw cauliflower or cabbage was when he came to Chennai for his job, at the age of 19. Keep in mind that we are taking about late 1950s.

Today I see cauliflower a lot more than yam in the supermarkets. The ones here are picked from the frozen section. Even back home, I prefer to stay away from the vegetable as its a pain to clean it up. Root vegetables in general need a little more extra attention while cleaning up.Now if someone (like my dad, of course), takes care of the cleaning part, I like cooking and eating it :D.

Read on for the pictorial and the recipe.

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Pictorial:

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Pressure cook 1/2 cup green gram dal with 2 cups of diced elephant yam for 3-4 whistles. Let the pressure drop naturally.

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Grind together 3/4 cup coconut, 2-3 garlic pods, 2 green chillies (or per taste), 1 teaspoon jeer seeds using a little water to a paste.

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In a big pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil. Add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1 dry red chilli.

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Once the seeds splutter, add the cooked green gram and yam mix. Add salt as needed and 1/2 teaspon turmeric powder. Pour some water if the mix is too dry – about 1/2 cup or so.

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Add the ground coconut paste and mix it in. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Taste test and adjust. Take off the heat. Ideally this is served with kanji/congee, but my husband is not a big fan of that – so this was paired with rice and rasam.

Recipe source: Chena puzhukku

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green gram dal (pacha payaru)
  • 2 cups elephant yam, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt

For grinding:

  • 3/4 cup coconut grated
  • 2-3 garlic pods
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)

For tadka:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chili

Method:

  1. Pressure cook 1/2 cup green gram dal with 2 cups of diced elephant yam for 3-4 whistles. Let the pressure drop naturally.
  2. Grind together 3/4 cup coconut, 2-3 garlic pods, 2 green chillies (or per taste), 1 teaspoon jeer seeds using a little water to a paste.
  3. In a big pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil. Add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1 dry red chilli.
  4. Once the seeds splutter, add the cooked green gram and yam mix. Add salt as needed and 1/2 teaspon turmeric powder. Pour some water if the mix is too dry – about 1/2 cup or so.
  5. Add the ground coconut paste and mix it in. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Taste test and adjust. Take off the heat. Ideally this is served with kanji/congee, but my husband is not a big fan of it so this was paired with rice and rasam.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for recipes from other participants.

Radish Sambar

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Life keeps happening and sometimes I am a little late to catch up with the events.

Last October, I had a mail from a magazine editor from middle east to feature one of my pictures as their cover page. I was humbled, I was honored and of course, I agreed. The only drawback was that I didn’t have a high-resolution copy of the picture she wanted. It was taken in Chennai and so my hard disk back up was also there. I couldn’t get it done despite my two friends and my husband helping me with the resolution. Finally, I just gave it up and asked her to see if she can get it fixed. And I left it at that.

On a fine day a couple of months later, I sent a mail to know whether they really published the picture or not. They said they did and sent me a soft copy of the same. Another friend have picked up a copy of that issue for me now. It was a problem since I was looking for an edition 2-3 months after it was published.

Anyway long story short, I learned my lessons.

  1. Click high quality pictures
  2. Take online back ups regularly for each and every picture.

And another thing I did was to invest in some props. I had very few props with me. True, I am not earning an income from this space, but my pictures are getting published and there is a lot to be proud about that!

Coming to the pictures here, this was the first click I did with all my new set of wooden painted backgrounds and some new props. I know it doesn’t look fantastic or even meaningful (sambar and flowers?!?! Really!!??), but I am looking at it as practice sessions. And the more I use the props, the less guilty I feel. All these boards, even the bright red one below have been given more makeovers, so it doesn’t look all that bad.

Enjoy this serving of root vegetables in warm new set up and brand new props :-).

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BM #61; Week 4; Theme : Root vegetables

Pictorial:

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Makes about four servings. Slice 6-7 small radishes into thin rounds and pressure cook with 1/2 cup toor or moong dal.

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Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2-3 green chillies, radish greens if you have them and enough water to cover it. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles until the dal is cooked completely.

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Once the dal is cooked and taken out of the cooker, add 3 cups of water to a pan. Add 4-5 curry leaves, 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste and two teaspoons of sambar powder.

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Mix well and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 6-8 minutes for the tamarind to cook completely.

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Add salt to taste, cooked dal and radish.

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Bring to a rolling boil, add a handful of coriander leaves as well.

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Prepare a tadka with a spoon of mustard seeds, few curry leaves,a good pinch of hing and 1 dry red chilli. Once the seeds splutter, add it to the prepared sambar. Mix well and serve with rice and a vegetable on the side.

Makes about four servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 small radishes
  • 1/2 cup toor dal or moong dal
  • 2-3 green chillies (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons sambar powder
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 4-5 curry leaves, optional
  • handful of coriander leaves, optional
  • salt

For tadka:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • good pinch hing
  • 1 dry red chili

Method:

  1. Slice 6-7 small radishes into thin rounds and pressure cook with 1/2 cup toor or moong dal. Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2-3 green chillies, radish greens if you have them and enough water to cover it. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles until the dal is cooked completely.
  2. Once the dal is cooked and taken out of the cooker, add 3 cups of water to a pan. Add 4-5 curry leaves, 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste and two teaspoons of sambar powder.
  3. Mix well and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 6-8 minutes for the tamarind to cook completely.
  4. Add salt to taste, cooked dal and radish.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil, add a handful of coriander leaves as well.
  6. Prepare a tadka with a spoon of mustard seeds, few curry leaves,a good pinch of hing and 1 dry red chilli. Once the seeds splutter, add it to the prepared sambar. Mix well and serve with rice and a vegetable on the side.

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