Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Garlic Onion Kara Kuzhambu | Poondu Kulambu

Garlic Kara Kuzhambu, a spicy and tangy tamarind based curry without any vegetables and coconut. In our home, for almost all curries, we add coconut paste , never once Amma made any curry without coconut. Back in India,  Amma use atleast one whole coconut for our one day cooking. But now here , i'm trying to use one coconut for a week, because of limited availability of Indian coconut and our inexperience in choosing good one from the store, usually we bought two coconuts for a week and half the time, one would be spoiled and we realized that only when break the coconut and in order to avoid an another trip to Indian store, i manage to cook with the available coconut. You would have seen me using coconut & curry leaves in my kitchen, i have treat them as treasure 😜

Ok, now, back to the recipe, because of that coconut story , i have learned to make curries without coconut. Omg, it was horrible at first, because of my inexperience  to balance the spices. With my repeated attempt, i have learned to make well balanced Kara Kuzhambu / Puli kulambu without any coconut. If you're trying for the first time, even with the exact measurement and procedure, you may end with not so tasty kuzhambu. Not because the recipe is wrong, you have to learn to balance the spices. Every brand of tamarind and chili powder differs in taste, so by practice, you will achieve it. Now, let's check out the recipe  

Garlic Kara Kuzhambu | Poondu Kulambu

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Tamarind - a gooseberry size
Pearl onion - 6
Garlic - 10 pods
Tomato(small) - 1 
Curry leaves -few
Fenugreek Seed - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1& 1/2 tbsp
Mustard & urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - a small piece

Soak the tamarind in a 1/2 cup of water for 20 mins, peel the onion & garlic and chop them roughly into pieces, tomato into small pieces.  Heat the oil in a kadai, add fenugreek seed, mustard & urad dal, let the mustard splutter, then add the onion,garlic and curry leaves.Saute till the onions become translucent, keep the flame in low and then add the spices(turmeric, red chili & sambar powder),saute them in the oil for few mins.Then add the tomatoes, give a quick mix and add salt.Extract the tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind and add into kadai and add more water to your preferred consistency.Let it boil until the raw smell goes off and finally add the jaggery pieces. Cook it for few more mins and switch off the flame.Delicious Kara Kuzhambu is ready.
  • Keep the flame in low when adding the spices,otherwise it will be burnt easily.
  • Adding the spices in the oil gives enhanced flavor to the kuzhambu.
  • Sambar powder that i have used here is home made and haven't had any chilies in it. If your sambar powder has chili in it, reduce the chili powder and adjust to your taste.
  • Boil the curry till the consistency you prefer. 

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Mango Tapioca Pudding | Sago Pudding | Pudding recipe

Mango Tapioca Pudding, a easy to make pudding with just couple of ingredients, it's perfect for this summer. Mango is my favorite fruit and it's really hard for me to control myself to eat as it is and try some recipe with fresh mangoes. Recently i have bought the mango pulp can from walmart here, it was so good and i have been trying all the mango dishes that i want to try for years. More over, it's very easy to put together the dessert/ sweet when you have mango pulp in hand. 
Coming to today's recipe, this is in my todo list for years, at last i have made them last week with mango pulp that i bought from the store. All you need to do is cook the tapioca and the rest is simply put together everything, mix & refrigerate. If you're making this for party / get together, pour the mix into individual bowls/cups and refrigerator. It looks cute and definitely looks like a fancy dessert. I have used the "Riveria Yogurt bowl " here and it's look so damn cute. Now, let check out the recipe.

Mango Tapioca Pudding | Sago Pudding

Preparation Time : 4 hrs | Cooking Time : 10 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Dessert | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Tapioca - 1/4 cup
Mango Pulp - 1/2 cup
Milk - 2 tbsp(boiled and cooled)
Condensed Milk - 1 tbsp

Wash and soak sago for 30 mins. Heat water in a sauce pan, add the soaked sago.Bring into boil and then simmer the flame and cook till it's soft & then strain them. Wash it in running cold water for 2 mins and then add into a bowl.Add the mango pulp, milk & condensed milk and mix it well. Keep it in the refrigerator for few hours and it's ready to serve.Yummy Mango Tapioca Pudding is ready.
  • Depends on the size of tapioca, the cooking time varies.
  • Based on the sweetness of the mango pulp, add more or less of condensed milk.
  • Serve chilled for best taste. 
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Friday, July 26, 2019

Vazhakkai Chips | Banana Chips | Plantain Chips

Banana Chips, a delicious snack made from raw plantain. In india, we use the special variety of raw banana know as "nethram palam" to make the chips. But here in canada, i can't source them, so i went with the available plantain that i got from walmart. Few times, i have tasted the banana chips that are available in walmart/ any local grocery store here, guess they are made with this plantain, though it won't taste like Nethram chips, it's good on its own, so instead of buying the ready to eat chips, i have tried my hands on making some.

Now coming to the recipe, it's so easy to make them, all you need is raw plantain, some oil to fry , salt and some good slicer. The key to get tasty chips is how thinly you slice the banana. If you have slicer/bajji kattai, then it would be very easy to make them. Currently i don't have slicer with me, the problem of moving frequently, you often forgot to pack the key utensils or you don't have enough space in your luggage to carry with you. But i learned to cook with the kitchen utensils that i have packed in 2 suit cases that i carried with me here., this is me who have recently moved to two different countries in the past 6 months talking, check me with one year later, i will pile up kitchen utensils again 😜 Ok, enough with my stories, back to slicer, if you don't have one, use sharp knife to cut as thin as possible like i did here. Obviously you end up  with some thick slices unless you're a pro in knife skills. Once fried, thick slices tends to get soggy when sit at over counter for long time , so suggest to eat them first😊, now let's check out the recipe.

Vazhakkai Chips | Banana Chips | Plantain Chips

Preparation Time : 5 minsr | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes : 2-3 
Recipe Category: Snacks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Plantain/Raw Banana/Vazhakkai -1
Oil - for frying
Salt & pepper - to taste

First take the banana, peel and them make a thin slices.The slices should be thin to get that crispy texture. Heat the oil for frying and add the sliced banana in batch.Keep the heat on medium low and cook till "Shh" sounds and the bubble stops completely. Drain from the oil and place it on tissue paper.Then immediately transfer into the bowl and add salt & pepper. Toss them well so that the seasoning coats them well.Tada, yummy home made Plantain/Banana Chips are ready.
  • Make sure the banana slices are thin, otherwise the chips became soggy easily.
  • Add the seasoning when the chips are warm itself, so that it coats on them well.
  • Instead of pepper powder, you can use red chili powder also for more heat.
  • The flame should be medium low for even cooking, otherwise the corners get burnt easily and left the inside chewy.
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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Egg Thokku | Boiled Egg Masala | Muttai Masala

Egg Thokku, a simple and delicious accompaniment made from the boiled eggs. It can be served as side dish for all types of pulao, biryani, meals or even with chapati/roti too. It's one of our favorite way of eating eggs and it's good for lunch boxes too. If you have followed my instagram page , you might knew that how many times i have packed this egg masala for ST's lunch box. So far he never get bored of this and keep on asking for making them whenever possible. One time, i shared quick story  on how to make this on my instagram page since few had  requested and now here is the detailed post for this simple dish.
Now coming to the recipe, if you have boiled eggs in hand, within 10 mins, this muttai thokku will be ready. Take your time and saute the onions well, that will give that nice color & taste to this masala. Here in today's recipe, i have used curry masala powder since i was preparing as accompaniment for my mushroom biryani. But when i make the same as accompaniment for sambar / rasam rice, i would go for sambar powder to spice it up. So it's really up to you, what flavor you're looking for and you can use the spices accordingly. Now let's check out the recipe.

Egg Thokku | Boiled Egg Masala | Muttai Masala

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 10 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Accompaniment | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Boiled Egg - 2 
Onion - 1/2 
Tomato - 1/2 
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - few 
Coriander leaves - few
Oil -1 tsp

Boil the egg and keep it ready, check out here on how to boil eggs perfectly. Cut the onion into thin slices and tomato into small pieces. Heat the kadai with oil, add the onions and curry leaves with pinch of salt. Saute till the onion become translucent and then add the tomatoes and spices(turmeric, red chili, curry masala powder) & salt.Cut the boiled egg into halves and keep it ready. Cook till the tomatoes are mushy and the raw smell of the spices are goes off. Place the yolk side of the egg on the masala and cook it for 2 mins and then gently flip & cook the other sides too for 2 mins. Finally add the chopped coriander leaves on the top.Tasty and spicy Egg Thokku is ready.
  • Instead of curry masala powder, garam masala or sambar powder can also be used.
  • Adjust the spices as per your liking.
  • Boiled eggs shouldn't  be over done, soft boiled eggs would be great for this recipe
  • Don't cook the eggs for long time in masala, it should be rubbery.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

South Indian Lunch Ideas | Lunch Menu Series (6-10)

In the continuation of lunch menu series, here is the another 5 set of lunch platter that we often make them at home. If you haven't check out the previous post here is the link, do check out, it has some awesome lunch platter too.

Lunch Menu - 6
Mullangi sambar has unique taste and flavor compared to other sambar varieties, so in our home, we make sambar only with mullangi(raddish) often. So i have included that in my lunch series.
 Lunch Menu -7
Another favorite lunch platter, vatha kuzhambu is our family favorite, not only it's tasty, it has medicinal properties that cures mild stomach disorders too.
 Lunch Menu - 8 
Another favorite combo(Yeah, i know, keep on saying this for every menu :-)), often prepare it for lunch box too.  Such a delicious combo from my native city,Tirunelveli
 Lunch Menu -9 
This combo is our go to menu for one day trip or any temple visit when we were in India. As the spices are all roasted and powdered fresh for this sambar, it stays good for longer time without get spoiled on high temperature too, so we often prefer this for road/train journey.Another typical Tirunelveli food.
 Lunch Menu -10
Our typical ammavasai lunch menu. Appa has been observing this day ever since i have known and amma prepare this kind of lunch spread on every month without fail just like her MIL(my aachi). Usually it includes rice with puli/kara kulambu, katti paruppu, one poriyal, aviyal , one pachadi along with payasam and appalam.
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Monday, July 22, 2019

Mullangi Sambar with Coconut | Radish Sambar | Sambar recipe

Mullangi Sambar, a delicious south indian lentil stew made with radish as main ingredient. Mullangi sambar has unique flavor and taste because of the radish added into them and it's one of the favorite sambar in our home. Appa likes this sambar a lot compared to other sambar, so Amma makes this often for our lunch, but i didn't like this sambar when i was young because of its strong flavor. I had developed the taste for radish in recent times only, since lately, there is no turning back and i have often prepare this sambar on my own. 
Recipe for this mullagai sambar is more or less similar to the mix veg sambar recipe that i had shared here with very little tweak here and there. In our home, we usually add coconut masala into the sambar, but if you don't have that habit, skip the coconut masala and add more sambar powder as per your liking.  Now let's check out the recipe.

Mullangi Sambar with Coconut | Radish Sambar

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 25 minsServes : 2 to 3 
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Toor Dal- 1/4 cup
Mullangi/Radish -1/2 cup (sliced)
Drumstick - 5 (2 inch piece)
Pearl onion - 3 nos
Tomato -1(small)
Tamarind - small gooseberry size
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves- few
Asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste(about 1 1/2 tsp)
Red chili powder -1/2 tsp
Sambar Powder - 1 tsp(optional)
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Water - to need.
Oil - 1 tsp

To grind
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Peal onion - 3 nos
Garlic pods-2(small)
Cumin seed- 1/2 tsp

First cook the toor dal in pressure cooker along with asadoetida powder and keep it ready. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of water for 20 mins. Cut the radish into thin slices and tomato into cubes.Heat the kadai with oil, add mustard and urad dal, let it splutter, then add the curry leaves. Next add the pearl onion, saute it for 1 mins, then add the radish & drumstick and saute for 2 mins.Next add the tomatoes and tamarind juice extract from the soaked tamarind. Let it comes to boil.Add all the spices(turmeric, chili & sambar powder) & salt. Let the veggies cook, in the mean time, grind the ingredients listed under "To grind" into smooth paste.Once the veggies are well cooked, add the cooked toor dal and the coconut paste. Let it boil till the raw smell goes off. Finally add the coriander leaves and switch off the flame.Tasty Mullangi Sambar is ready.
  • Add more or less water as per your preferred consistency of sambar.
  • You can skip the sambar powder too and make this sambar. 
  • For extra flavor, add a tsp of ghee in the end .
  • We like drumstick in our sambar, so i have added few, but you can skip that.
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