Friday, February 27, 2009

Colors of Taste - Powders: Podi's for Rasams and Sambhars - RoundUp

So here we are at the end of the First month of the Event Colors of Taste, started with hesitation, wondering if I am going to get even one entry. But, here I am proudly presently the entries all of you sent lending your support and boosting my morale. And over the month I realized how generous you guys are with my sometimes seemingly over the top requests ... It is my pleasure to present your entries here that I am sure are already much sort after.
This Month's Theme was "Podi's for Rasams and Sambhars" and while the theme just points out two of the most common soupy dishes churned out of most south Indian kitchens, let me tell you the entries I got were anything but mundane or common. Each one had a very unique taste... I actually tried most of the entries submitted this month, and boy was I glad to have started the event!!! So here goes....

Colors of Taste - Powders: Podi's for Rasams and Sambhars - RoundUp


Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes : Homemade Rasam Powder

Cooking with swapna : Rasam Powder

Colors of Taste - Powders: Podi's as an Accompaniment

Kariveppilai podi, parippu podi, idli podi, dosa podi, Chammanthi Podi, Kobbari Kaaram list goes on and on. These myriad spice blends can change a simple dosa, idli, a bowl of rice into something totally out of this world. An integral part of South Indian cuisine and homes, it would be remiss to say that it is only enjoyed by the south Indians. These powdered goodness are made from roasted fresh/ dry ingredients or from freshly ground spice / ingredients. These versatile podis have a very good shelf life making it a must have at not only at bachelor Pads but also in our our busy homes. These podi are generally had along with Ghee, Sesame seed oil.
With so many types of Podi that are made at our homes it is not surprise that this month's theme is

Podi's as an Accompaniment

It could be for rice, Idli, Dosa or any other way you have these podi's. You get the idea - any podi that you would make that can be directly consumed qualifies for this event.

This theme for the event runs from Feb 26th to Mar 26th.

The rules are simple :
This is a once a month event. So you get almost a month to submit your entry from the date of announcement of the theme of the month, which would be in last week of the month. Please feel free to use the Event Logo in your post for the event.
1. Post about it on your blog with picture during the relevant deadline. Past entries are gladly accepted, please make sure you edit the entry to mention the event and link back to the event.
2.You must provide a link to this post and the COT-Powders page in your entry post.
3. Your creation must be prepared for the Colors Of Taste - Powders event and cannot be submitted to any other blog event.
4. All entries must be vegetarian...sorry about that.
5. Please do not Repost.
6. No need to add picture, I will pull it out from your post.

Once you have posted your dish, send an email with "Colors Of Taste - Powders: Podi's as an Accompaniment" in the subject line and send to kadumangacolors(at) gmail (dot) com within the deadline.

Include the following details in your mail:
Name of the dish:
Name of the Blog:
Link to the dish entered in the event:
Your Name:

If you do not have a blog, just email the recipe and a picture.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pooshinikkai / Ash Gourd Kootu

This is an extremely simple and delicious Kootu. There are many types of Kootu, made with different kinds of pulses and vegetables. For this Kootu I sometimes use Tuar Dal or Mung Dal, both are equally delicious. Either one tastes very good with Dosai or rice or roti. Today I have made it with Mung Dal. When you make it with Mung Dal the Kootu is a bit thicker compared to when you use Tuar Dal.

Mung Dal - 1/2 cup
Pooshinikkai/Kumbalanga/Ash Gourd - 3 cups of 1" cubes
Onion - 1 medium sized chopped
Tomato - 1 1/2 medium sized chopped
Green Chili - 2 sliced lengthwise
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

I have made the Kootu in a cooker so you might need to adjust the cooking time accordingly when using a pan for the Mung Dal or Tuar Dal to be cooked enough to mash.

In a cooker heat oil and then add the onions & green chili. Then add the tomatoes and Pooshinikkai cubes, followed by the Dal, turmeric powder and chili powder. Add 2 to 3 cups of water, just enough to cover all everything in the cooker, and salt to taste . This mix will become more watery as the Pooshinikkai will also release water as it cooks. cook for up to 3 whistles on low to medium heat. If using Tuar Dal cook for up to 4 whistles.
Remove from fire let it cool until all the steam is released.Move to serving dish. In a small saute pan heat oil and then splutter the mustard seeds, Urad Dal and curry leaves pour over the Kootu.

Ash Gourd is not only integral part of the Sadya, but is regularly used in homes to make down to earth kootan/ pachadi for lunch.
It is also used in some parts of the country to ward of evil !! You will see huge ash gourds tied up to new building /homes almost from the beginning of the construction.
Ash gourd is also know to have medicinal values.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Mesopotamian Rice Salad with Green Lentils, Dates and Raisins

This recipe is adapted from Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij. There are lot of dishes I have tried and loved from this book, but the most frequently made recipe at my home from this book is the Mesopotamian Rice Salad with Green Lentils, Dates and Raisins. This dish is actually a very healthy and has a tangy taste. I have taken liberties with the ingredients, the measurements used as well as method of cooking as usual depending on what I desired to eat today and speed up the cooking.

Basmati Rice - 3/4 cup
Dried Brown Lentils - 1/4 cup
Red Onion - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Peas - 1/2 cup
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Dates - 3 to four sliced.
Water - 2 1/4 cup
Coriander Leaves/ Cilantro - a fistful
Salt to Taste

Bell Pepper - 1/2 cup
Shredded Green - 2 cups
Flat Leaf Parsley - 1/2 cup

Salad Dressing:
Garlic - 2 Cloves Finely Chopped
Lemon Juice - 3 tbsp
Salt - 2 pinches
Ground Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp (You can use regular chili Powder)
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp

In a medium sized pan, heat 1 tsp of oil (you can use olive oil here too or ghee), and add the lentils and rice and fry for 2 minutes. Then add water and salt and let it boil on medium heat. Once the water is boiling add the peas, stir once and then cover and cook for another 20 minutes until the water evaporated on low to medium heat. Remove from heat and let it cool. The lentil should be soft and break on pressure, but not mushy You can cook the rice and lentil separately or use a rice cooker or any other method you use to cook rice.
Once the rice is cool, add the dates, raisins, onion (bell pepper if using) and mix well.
To make the salad dressing combine all the salad dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, garnish with cilantro. You can use parsley instead of cilantro and serve it optionally on a bed of greens.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lemon Rasam

One of the most simple Rasams to make, I can have rice with just this rasam and chips. This rasam suprisingly goes very well with beetroot poriyal.

Tomato - 1 to 2 medium size, Sliced
Green chili - 2 Sliced
Asafoetida powder a pinch
Turmeric Powder - 2 Pinches
Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves - a small handful
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Salt to Taste
Oil - 1 tsp

Tuar Dal (cooked) - 3 tbsp
Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp

In a deep pan heat 1 tsp of oil. Splutter cumin seeds once the oil is hot, then add green chili and the tomato. Cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to become soft. Then add the Asafoetida powder, Turmeric Powder and Cumin Powder and saute for a minute. If you want to add chili powder, add now.

Add water, salt and let it boil, continue to boil for 5 to 6 minutes. If you are adding the cooked tuar dal like I did, add it at this point.Turn off the heat. Wait for 30 to 60 seconds and then add the lemon juice, stir and garnish. Coriander Leaves. You can increase the or decrease the lemon juice slightly according to the level of tangyness you prefer.

I like to add tuar dal to add a little bit thickness to the rasam, I normally cook the dal in advance and freeze it and and use it when a recipe calls for only 1 or 2 tbsps of dal.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Aloo Parathas

Be it breakfast or dinner, or any other time of the day, I can always eat the aloo paratha. Very easy to make, these parathas are very filling as they are delicious.

This recipe is also going to RCI:Haryana hosted by EC.Thanks Asha!!

Atta / Whole wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup
Potatoes - 2 large or 5 to 6 small or 3 medium sized
Cumin Seed - 1/2 tsp
Green Chili - 3 chopped
Turmeric powder - a Pinch
Coriander Leaves / Cilantro - A small fistful chopped
Salt to Taste

Boil the potatoes with the skin on. Pierce holes to allow the steam to be released. If possible steam the potatoes rather than boiling it in water. I did it in a pressure cooker for up to 2 whistles on medium heat by placing the potatoes in a bowl and the pouring water around the bowl. The reason for this is you want the potatoes to be cooked and be nice and soft but retain very little water.
You can also use the microwave to achieve the same result, by having one bowl of water and placing another bowl inside it with potatoes. Cover the big bowl with a wrap and pierce the wrap to allow the steam to be released. Cook according to the size of the potatoes from 6 minutes to 10 minutes. Let it cool.

While the potatoes are being cooked, in a mixing bowl add the Atta, a pinch of salt, a drop of oil and add about 3/4 cup of water, and knead the mixture into a dough. You want the dough to be soft to touch , but not wet and sticky, this amount of water should be just right, in case you find that the dough is still hard ...wet you fingers in water and knead. Spread 1/2 tsp of oil all around the dough and let the dough sit for 15 minutes.

By this time the potatoes would be cool enough to handle, so remove the skin and mash the potatoes in another mixing bowl. Add the Green Chili, Cumin Seeds, Turmeric Powder, Cilantro, a pinch more than 1/4 tsp of salt. Combine the ingredients well and then divide the mixture and make balls the size of golf balls.

Now divide the dough into equal number of balls. Dust each with a little flour, and roll out into small disc about 3 to 3 1/2 inches, enough for you to place one potato stuffing and cover it with the dough like a dumpling by crimping and sealing the top to form a ball again. Pat the ball gently into a disc again and dust with flour and keep aside. Finish stuffing and dusting all the dough in this fashion before rolling out the parathas. Now gently roll out the parathas as thin as you can without breaking the parathas, you most probably won't need to dust again.Now cook on a tava, allow one side to cook for a minute, when the color changes into light golden color.Turn, drizzle a drop of oil, turn again, drizzle oil again, and then using a spatula, spread the oil, wait for a minute and turn again for other side, remove after a minute. If your paratha is thin enough and is not broken, you will even see it puff up too. Serve hot with yogurt and punjabi achar.