Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Karthigai Pori/Nel Pori Urundai



This year Karthigai falls on 5th of December. Karthigai is celebrated by sisters for the welfare of their brothers. Nei Appam, Nel Pori, Aval Pori and Adai are usually prepared and offered as neivedhyam in the evening during Sandhya time. Deepam/Vilakku/Diya are lit and placed all around and inside the house. 

In our house we usually don't make urundais/balls of the pori, the pori is just added to the jaggery syrup and mixed well. But I made them into balls so that it is easy to handle for my kids and is less messier. Try to use Paagu vellam or dark colored vellam. I could'nt find it here and so had to make do with the white jaggery that is available. 



What you’ll need
  1. Nel Pori – 4 heaped cups
  2. Powdered Jaggery – ¾ cup
  3. Water – ¼ cup
  4. Coconut – ¼ cup, cut into small pieces
  5. Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
  6. Dry ginger powder/Chukku Podi – ¼ tsp
  7. Ghee – to grease hand

Method
  1. Place the jaggery in a heavy bottomed kadai. Add ¼ cup of water and heat the jaggery on medium flame until the jaggery is dissolved completely.
  2. Strain the jaggery syrup for impurities.
  3. Wash the kadai and put it back on heat. Pour the jaggery syrup back into the kadai and heat it on medium flame.
  4. When the syrup starts boiling and frothing, add the coconut pieces and keep stirring.
  5. Keep a small bowl with water, once the syrup starts becoming thick, pour 2 to 3 drops of syrup in the water, you should be able to form a ball and when you put that ball on a plate, it should give a sound. This is “kal pagam”.
  6. Once the syrup reaches the kal pagam, turn off the flame and add the cardamom powder and ginger powder and then add pori to it and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a plate, grease hands with ghee and take a handful of the pori and press tightly in between the two hands and form a ball. Repeat with remaining pori, while the pori is still warm.


Note:

  1. The sweetness is just right, you can increase the jaggery to upto 1 cup if you like.
  2. Make sure the syrup reaches the kal pagam, else the pori will settle at the bottom and become soggy.







Thursday, November 27, 2014

Vazhaithandu Thayir Pachadi




My kids love anything with yogurt. They prefer yogurt to milk any day. No doubt they like raithas and thayir pachadis. And I find it easier to feed them veggies in this form as they eat it without a fuss. So here is a simple yet delicious and wholesome recipe and a great way to sneak in some vazhathandu. We usually prepare Molagootal to go with thayir pachadi, but you can have it with rice and sambar too.

What you’ll need
  1. Vazhaithandu – 1 cup, finely chopped
  2. Fresh Thick Curd/Yougurt – 1.5 cup
  3. Salt to taste

To grind
  1. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ¼ cup
  2. Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  3. Mustard Seeds – 1/8th tsp

For tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Curry Leaves – few

Method
  1. Finely chop the vazhathandu and put in a bowl of water with a spoon of buttermilk/curd until use.
  2. Drain the vazhathandu pieces from the buttermilk water, squeeze and place in a small vessel. Add salt and toss well. No need to add water.
  3. Pressure cook it for 3 whistles. I placed it in a small vessel along with the dal and rice. Else you can add little water and cook it on stove top too.
  4. Grind the coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds. You can add a little of the curds while grinding. Don’t add water.
  5. Beat the curds well add the ground mixture, cooked vazhathandu and mix well. Check for salt and add accordingly.
  6. Heat a small frying pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  7. Pour over the pachadi.




Vazhathandu pachadi is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with steamed rice and Molagootal.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Murungai Keerai Verum Arisi Adai/Drumstick Leaves Adai



Murungai Keerai/elai or drumstick leaves have a numerous health benefits. You can use it to prepare dishes like Molagootal, thoran or this adai. Cleaning the murungai Keerai definitely is time consuming. Each of the leaves have to be separated from the stem.

Verum Arisi adai can be prepared with many variations. You could add fenugreek seeds, or you could prepare by adding coconut gratings. If you live in parts of the world where you can’t find drumstick leaves easily then you could easily replace it with chopped spinach or methi/fenugreek leaves. Adai with fenugreek leaves is also very flavourful and tastes delicious.

What you’ll need
  1. Idly Rice/Puzhungal Arisi – 2 cups
  2. Murungai Elai/Drumstick Leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Oil for making the adai

Method
  1. Soak the idly rice in water for 4 to 5 hours. Drain and grind to a thick smooth paste.
  2. Add salt to taste and allow it to ferment for 8 to 12 hours.
  3. Before preparing the adai, add the washed drumstick leaves mix well. Add little water and dilute it. The batter should be of regular adai consistency, not very watery.
  4. Heat a tava, pour a ladle full of batter and spread into a slightly thick dosa. Make a hole in the middle and drizzle oil along the sides of the adai.
  5. Cook on medium flame, flip and cook the other side drizzle a spoon of oil. Cook until brown spots appear.




Serve hot with chutney/sambar/molagapodi or even with sugar.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Payaru Mezhukkupuratti



Mezhukkupuratti and moru kootan or rasam is one of my favourite combinations. My kids also like this preparation as it is not spicy. It is very easy to prepare with just a few basic ingredients. But the star of this dish is definitely the aroma of the coconut oil. I have seen some recipes where they use chopped shallots and garlic, but we make it this way, very simple yet flavorful.



What you’ll need
  1. Karamani/Payaru/Yard Long Beans – 4 cups, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  2. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  3. Black Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp

Method
  1. Heat a Kadai with coconut oil, add the chopped payaru.
  2. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Sprinkle little water, cover and cook on medium heat till the vegetables are done. Stir once in a while.
  3. Remove cover add the black pepper powder and mix well.
  4. Cook uncovered for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Payaru Mezhukkupuratti is ready.

Serve with Mor kootan or rasam and steamed rice.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Karuveppilai Podi / Curry Leaves Powder



It is almost a month since I last posted and I feel happy to be back to blogging. It was an unexpected break.
Today I am sharing a very simple post – Karuveppillai podi or Curry Leaves powder. These kind of powders are a staple in my kitchen. They come in very handy, when you don’t have stock of vegetables or are just plain bored or lazy to cook an elaborate meal. Some steamed rice, a spoon of gingely oil and some spice powder like this with some applam or vadams and satisfying meal is ready in no time.
This version I am sharing today is my MIL's version. I have tried another version with other ingredients, will post that recipe also soon.



What you’ll need
  1. Karuveppillai/ Curry Leaves – 1.5 Cup, tightly packed
  2. Urad Dal – ¼ cup
  3. Kadala Paruppu – 2 tbsp
  4. Dried Red Chillies – 4 to 5
  5. Cumin Seeds/jeera  – 1 tsp
  6. Whole Black Pepper – 1 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – a small piece
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Oil – 1 tsp

Method
  1. Wash and drain the curry leaves and then spread on a kitchen towel until the moisture is absorbed.
  2. Heat a Kadai with a tsp of oil, add the asafoetida and fry till it puffs up.
  3. Then add the Urad dal and fry until golden. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Next fry the Kadala paruppu till golden and transfer to a plate.
  5. Also fry the cumin seeds/jeera and black pepper.
  6. Switch off the heat and add the curry leaves and keep stirring till the leaves are completely dry and make a crackling sound, the leaves should break when you crush with your hands.
  7. Cool and grind everything to a fine powder with salt.
  8. Store in air tight container.

Mix this powder with steamed white rice and a spoon of sesame oil.



Note:
  1. You can fry a marble sized ball of tamarind along with the dals and grind.
  2. You can spread the curry leaves on a flat plate and microwave it for 3 to 4 minutes instead of frying in kadai. 
  3. This powder tastes better when on the spicier side, adjust the chillies and pepper accordingly.
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