Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Drumstick & Brinjal Sambar !


Sambhar / sambar is one of the indispensable recipes of Tamil nadu. Most people think sambar is same across the whole south india which is very untrue. Sambar preparation varies from state to state in south india. You wont get the same taste of sambar from Tamil nadu in Karnataka. (I knw it personally :)) And sambar in a brahmin household in Tamilnadu itself is prepared differently called Arachivitta Sambar. Vj is not a big ban of sambar as he is used to the Pappu recipes  of A.P. 
One of the classic combo of vegetables is Brinjal, drumstick and Raw mango. Each of them adds a distinct flavor to the sambar making it absoultely delicious with hot rice and ghee.
I couldn't get raw mango here so made with other two veggies.


INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Drumsticks (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 5 Brinjals (cut lengthwise)
  • 1/3 cup toor dal
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Sambar powder (I use MTR)
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • salt as needed
  • tamarind (amla size or 1 tsp tamarind paste)

For Tadka
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • a pinch of asafoedita
  • 2 dry red chillis
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • few coriander leaves

STEPS
  • Pressure cook toor dal for 3 whistles and mash it well  / whisk it to make it to a smooth puree/paste.
  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and extract the juice.


  • Heat little oil in a pan, add onions and saute them.
  • Then add the vegetables and saute them for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes.


  • Add 2 cups of water, salt, sambar powder and red chilli powder and mix well.
  • Now add in the mashed toor dal and the tamarind extract and give a stir.


  • Transfer everything to a cooker and pressure cook for one whistle.
  • Wait for the pressure to release and then open the cooker.


  • In a small tadka pan, heat oil and mustard seeds.
  • Once they crackle add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves , asafoedita and broken red chilis.
  • Pour this tadka to the cooked sambar and give a mix.
  • Add coriander leaves at last.

NOTES

  • There are so many methods and ways to make sambar.Traditionally the toor dal is cooked and mashed in a earthern pot , and the veggies are boiled in water with spice powders separately. Once the veggies are almost cooked, mashed toor dal and tamarind extract are added. But nowadays pressure cooker makes the job easier.
  • Instead of pressure cooking the sambar for one whistle you can also cook them in a vessel/kadai on stove top, but it takes time. In that case, add salt and tamarind only after the veggies are almost cooked.
  • You can skip the tadka given at last and instead add the tadka ingredients in the beginning itself before sauting onions. But adding tadka at last gives a nice flavor.
  • The basic procedure is given and you can add choice of your veggies.


With Love,

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Quick Chicken Curry !


This is one of the quick chicken curries I make that doesnt need any exotic ingredients and can be made with our everyday basic stuff. Its really quick and you need not spend any time in kitchen during cooking. The chicken is also cooked so well like the flesh will be falling off the bone easily. 
This curry though its quick has the perfect blend of spiciness and tanginess and great with rotis and rice.


INGREDIENTS
  • 350 gms chicken (with bone or boneless)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 2 green chillis
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
  • 4 cloves
  • salt as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 1/2 tbs Red chilli Powder (I used mild kashmiri red chilli powder)
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala (optional)
  • Coriander to Garnish

STEPS
  • Wash chicken well,  wash and peel potatoes and cube them.
  • Blend the tomatoes, chillis, ginger and garlic to a fine puree.


  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil, and add fennel seeds and cloves.
  • Then after few seconds add finely chopped onions and saute them till they are slightly brown.


  • Then add the chicken and potatoes and saute them till they turn white from pink.
  • Add in the tomato puree to the chicken.


  • Add salt and all the spice powders and mix well. 
  • Pour a cup of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
  • Let the steam release on own and then open the cooker.
  • If its too watery then allow it to sit on stove top for 4 - 5 minutes until it reaches the consistency you like.

NOTES

  • The chicken and potato pieces can be big as we are pressure cooking them, anyway they will cook perfect and soft.
  • If you have ginger garlic paste, then add then before onions and saute them. Else grind ginger ang garlic along with tomatoes like I did,
  • Chicken leaves water when cooking, so add water accordingly when cooking.
  • Fennel seeds gives a nice aroma, but if you dont like, you can very well replace them with Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
  • The potatoes absorb all the chicken flavors and would taste really great in this curry. You can skip potatoes too and make only with chicken.



With Love,






Monday, 14 September 2015

Hariyali Murgh Masala ! (Green Chicken)


Hariyali Murgh (Green Chicken) is a completely different chicken recipe and the gravy is made from fresh green leaves like Mint, Coriander and sometimes Palak along with few aromatic spices. THere is absoultely no tomatoes involved in this. Mostly green onion is added but it can also be replaced with normal white or pink onions.
With right amount of greens and spices and a slow cooking of the chicken results in a  delicious gravy that goes well with rice and rotis.


INGREDIENTS

650 gms chicken (with bone or boneless)
1 cup fresh mint (tightly packed)
1 cup coriander (tightly packed)
1 cup Spinach (tightly packed)
3 Garlic cloves
2 Green Chillis
1 inch Ginger Piece
3 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
3 Cloves
1 onion (made to paste)
Salt as needed
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
3/4 tbsp Red Chilli Powder (or less)
1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 cup thick yogurt / curd
1 tsp Kasuri Methi
2 - 3 tbsp Fresh Cream (optional) (I didnt use)

STEPS
  • Wash the chicken well 2 - 3 times.
  • Grind the greens with chilli, garlic and ginger adding some water to a fine puree.


  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil and add cumin seeds and cloves.
  • Once they change color, add the ground onion paste and saute well till it is lightly browned.


  • Add the chicken pieces in saute for 4 - 5 minutes till the color changes from pink to white and becomes opaque.
  • Lower the flame to med - low and add the ground puree to the chicken.


  • Add the salt and spice powders (except garam masala and kasuri methi) and mix well. 
  • Adjust water (if puree very thick) and Allow to cook for 15 - 20 minutes in med - low flame.
  • After 15 - 20 minutes the chicken should be almost cooked, now beat the curd / yogurt and add to the gravy.


  • Cook for another 5 minutes in med - low flame and then add garam masala and kasuri methi.
  • Mix well and cook for 2 - 3 minutes and turn off flame.
  • If adding cream then add as a last step , cook for less than 2 mins in low flame and then turn off.


NOTES

  • Cream is optional but when added it gives a smooth and creamy texture and enhances the taste as well/
  • Adjust green chillis and spice powders as per taste.
  • You can also add some curry leaves to the green puree.
  • Garnish with ginger juliennes and Squeeze lime juice just before serving and serve with hot rice and rotis.
  • If you have ginger garlic paste then just add them when sauting the onions and skip ginger and garlic in the puree.


With Love,

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Palak Paratha !


Palak Paratha is the healthiest paratha compared to other parata varieties. Lot of fresh spinach goes in which gives a nice flavour as well as the goodness of iron. It is very simple to make as there is no tension of stuffing and rolling.
Other paratha varieties you may find useful and interesting in the blog are
Methi Paratha
Aloo Paratha
Mooli Paratha
Carrot Thepla

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup Wheat Flour
  • salt as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Amchur Powder
  • 1 tsp Jeera / Ajwain

To grind to a puree

  • 1 cup Spinach (tightly packed) (blanched)
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • few coriander sprigs

STEPS

  • In a vessel boil a cup of water. Put the washed spinach in the boiling water and blanch for a couple of minutes.
  • When it starts to shrink turn off stove, drain the water and cool the spinach.
  • Reserve the water for later use.



  • Once the blanched spinach is cooled, blend it well with some fresh coriander , ginger and garlic and some water (use the water in which it was blanched) to a fine puree.
  • In a wide bowl, take atta and add all the spice powders and salt.



  • Add the puree to the flour and mix well with a spoon. The puree may not be enough to knead the dough, so add the water we reserved earlier and knead to a soft dough.
  • Rest the dough for 15 minutes atleast.


  • After 15 - 30 minutes, make small balls, roll them out into circles.
  • Place them on a hot tawa and cook on one side.
  • Flip and brush some ghee / oil / butter and repeat the same other side.
  • Flip and cook till brown spots appear here n there.


NOTES

  • Adjust spice powders and chillis as per taste.
  • You can add more ghee if you wish.
  • If making for travel use oil instead of ghee.
  • Use fresh spinach for best results than frozen.
  • Do not overcook the spinach else it will change color. Just blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes so that the fresh green color is retained.


With Love,
Pavithira Vijay

Thursday, 3 September 2015

No Grind Gongura Pachadi !


Gongura Pachadi , the famous accompaniment from the state of A.P is a lip smacking dish that is prepared in many different ways. I have already posted a recipe for it where Gongura( Red sorrel leaves) are ground with some lentil and other spices. But this  no grind pachadi is very quick to make and doesn't need many ingredients. It tastes delicious with plain rice or can be paired with curd rice too.
The other Gongura pachadi recipe can be found HERE


INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups tightly packed Sorrel leaves (Gongura)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Jeera
  • 1/4  tsp Asafoedita
  • 2 - 3 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (finley chopped)
  • 1 Green Chilli (finely chopped)
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • marble size tamarind
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Powder

STEPS
  • Wash and chop the sorrel leaves roughly into tiny bits.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.


  • Then add cumin seeds and asafoedita followed by chopped garlic and then onion.


  • When onion turns translucent add the chopped gongura leaves and saute well with the onion. It soon starts shrinking and soft.
  • Add the spice powders and salt and give a mix.
  • Meanwhile add 1/4 cup water to the tamarind and extract its juice.

  • Smash the leaves with the ladle well and add the tamarind extract to it.
  • Allow to cook for 5 - 6 minutes and then add the fenugreek powder.


  • Keep mashing and stirring till the water is absorbed and forms a nice pachadi / thokku kind of consistency and leaves oil. Turn off stove and serve with rice.



With Love,