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Saturday, January 30, 2010

PULIKKACHAL


I have already mentioned this in making puliyodharai. This is "Neyar Viruppam" from many friends. This is exclusively pulikkachal preparation.

INGREDIENTS:

Tamarind extract – 2 cups
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp.
Chenna dal – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 4
Methi seeds – ½ tsp
Groundnuts- 2 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Hing
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp.
Gingelly oil -1 cup
Salt

METHOD:

Soak tamarind in lukewarm water , extract pulp and keep aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat gingelly oil, add all the ingredients except the tamarind extract. When they turn golden brown, add the pulp and stir till it becomes like a paste . This is pulikkachal. This can be stored for 2 to 3 months in a refrigerator. Puliyodharai preparation is here.

Dry roast pepper, red chillies, coriander seeds, chenna dal and methi seeds and powder it in a mixie. This can be stored in an air-tight container.

NOTE: Pulikkachal + the powder mentioned in puliyodharai preparation makes puliyodharai distinct & unique and also enhances the flavour.

Friday, January 29, 2010

THENGAI PODI


INGREDIENTS:

Dry coconut (Kopparai) - 2
Gram dhal - 2 tablespoons
Urad dhal - 2 tablespoons
Dry red chillies - 6
Salt (as per taste)
Oil - 1 tsp.
Ghee - 1 tsp.

METHOD:

Grate dry coconut.

Roast dhal and chillies in little oil till golden brown. Keep aside.

In the same kadai, fry the grated dry coconut in a spoon of ghee till crisp and brown. Be careful not to burn the coconut.

Dry grind the roasted dhal, chillies and salt in a mixie coarsely. Now add the coconut and give it a whip.

Store in an air-tight container. This can be refrigerated and used for fifteen days to one month. Shelf life is one week. Best with hot rice and little ghee.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

PUTTU

PUTTU,HOW TO MAKE PUTTUMy mother is an expert in making puttu. This is made on Navarathri Friday. It is also made when a girl attends puberty and for the first blossom of a coconut tree. Many people regret about not having or maintained any treasure books. As I always say, I have started this blog for guiding my sons and the younger generation. Don't worry. Now, we the food-bloggers are working on a great treasure (both traditional and fusion) for our future generation. Pat on your shoulders or lift your collars. We can do it ourselves with pride. Nothing wrong in it.

INGREDIENTS:
(Courtesy: My mother)
Rice flour - 1 cup
Jaggery - 2 cups
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Salt - 1/4 tsp.
Scraped coconut - 1/2 cup
Toor dhal - 2 tsp.
Fried cashews - 15
Cardamom (powdered) - 1/2 tsp.
Kismis - 10
Groundnut ( fried) - few
Ghee - 1 tablespoon

METHOD:

Prepare rice flour as said here.

Sieve rice flour and dry roast it till it changes its colour to slight red. Allow it to cool.

Soak toor dhal in water for 1/2 an hour.

Add turmeric powder and salt to a cup of water and mix well.

When the flour is cool, sprinkle this water little by little and mix it gently. Hold this tightly in your hand. (The consistency for this: This should neither be a dough nor a powder. The powder should be wet enough to steam it). Drain the toor dhal completely and add to this.

Place this in a clean cloth and tie it to form a bag. Place this bag in a vessel and pressure cook for a whistle. When the pressure is released, take out and allow it to cool. Mix it gently using your hands without any lumps.

Fry cashews, kismis and groundnut in ghee.

Meantime, heat a heavy-bottomed pan and make a syrup with the jaggery to a soft ball consistency. To this, add the scraped coconut, cardamom powder, cooked & cooled flour, & the fried nuts. Mix well, saute for a while & take it off the stove. At this stage, this will be slightly sticky, but when cool this will get the scrambled effect. Soft and sweet puttu is ready.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MAHALI KIZHANGU PICKLE


There are two ways of pickling this kizhangu. This method is done using fresh curd. This can be preserved for more than a year. This has a strong odour and some do not like this pickle. Even I did not like it while I was young. My grandma says that when I was a child, I will eat even green chillies raw, if bought by me. Probably because of that cradle nature of mine, I started liking it, while making pickles on my own. The english name for this is Sariba. This is an appetizer and blood purifier and has great medicinal values.

INGREDIENTS: (Courtesy: My mom)

Mahali kizhangu - 1 kg.
Salt - The secret of salt in pickling is mentioned in the method.
Dry red chillies - 15 (I used the round variety)
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 2 teaspoons or virali manjal - 1 piece
Fresh curd - 1 litre

CUTTING THE KIZHANGU: Cut it through the sides OR cut into two from centre. Discard the centre stem which will be very thick.

METHOD:

Select tender mahali kizhangu. Wash well.

Take a vessel of water. Peel the kizhangu and immerse in water to prevent discolouration. Now, cut the mahali kizhangu into small cubes through the sides. Discard the centre thick stem. Wash well again and also immerse the cut kizhangu in water.

Salt secret: Generally, I make pickles in the ratio 10:1. (Grandma's tips). (i.e.) 10 measures of cut kizhangu or maavadu or lime or whatever it is and 1 measure of salt. The pickle if done in this ratio will last long. However, the measures differ according to one's taste.

Beat curds. Grind together, mustard seeds, dry red chillies & turmeric to a fine paste using little water. Mix this to the beaten curd. Mix well.

Transfer the cut kizhangu to a bottle or ceramic jaadi, add the salt and the curd mixture. Mix well.

Shake/mix well once in a day. This will be ready by 2 days if the kizhangu is tender. This can be preserved even for a year.


VARIETY - 2

Transfer the kizhangu after cutting it as above, add salt, turmeric powder, ground red chilli paste and squeeze the juice of 8 lemons into it.

TAGS AND AWARDS

Lata has tagged me with By the book of Jayashree a week before. Sorry Lata, I could not respond to it immediately due to household chores. Thank you so much for remembering me. My treasured cookbook is my grandma's handwritten note, which I carried with me after getting married. As I was married at the age of 20, she thought that it will be useful to me & wrote everything with great patience. Not only recipes, even the tradition, as when to take oil bath, wear new clothes etc. The interesting part is that she had mentioned even the WEDDING DAY as a Pandigai and has given guidance about it. As my marriage was on Aani, she has started from that and guided through various festivals and recipes. She could not write after a stage, and I completed it as told by her. Here are the samples.

The condition of the note book

Her instructions and guidances

Siddhi has passed me on these awards. Thank you Siddhi, for remembering me.


And Sailaja has passed some more awards along with the above . Thank you Sailaja.




I pass it to all my blogger friends with love and wishes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS

HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY TO ALL.

NANDAVANAM.....

This is a children’s club run by me .


As part of our events, Republic day was celebrated by hoisting the National Flag in the nearby grounds and was filled with Desabhakthi. The children were encouraged to be creative and positive in their activities. The program also provided the opportunity for parents and children to visit and learn about NANDAVANAM. The photos are below.


WHAT IS NANDAVANAM?


NANDAVANAM in Tamil, is the garden where different flowers blossom for the daily pooja of The Almighty. This NANDAVANAM unites all children in serving The Almighty and mankind. NANDAVANAM is a forum for children to discover the divinity within them. NANDAVANAM enables children to learn moral values and culture in an enjoyable manner and make good friends. The forum also develops a sense of service to mankind, and teaches our heritage. The children brought up in this way will learn good moral values and principles and will realize the spark within themselves and grow with positive thoughts and spirituality.


ACTIVITIES:-


Activities include social, spiritual, intellectual and physical development of the children.

For ex:- Stories, bhajans, slokas, quiz, games & sports, competitions etc.


SPECIAL EVENTS & COMMUNITY SERVICE:


Celebrates various festivals and teaches the meaning behind the festivals.


a) Service to the needy is the most important of all.


b) extending voluntarily service in Senior Citizen's Homes, orphanages, helpage homes, etc.,


c) Actively participating in National festivals and sowing the seed of patriotism in children.


The children put kolam yesterday night with great enthusiasm.



Stray dogs doesn't know the hard work of the children.

Children pin our National Flag to each other with fun and love.

Flag hoisting

OUR PRIDE

Singing National Anthem after variety programme.

And, I am here with my children who are the FUTURE OF INDIA.

VAZHAKKAI SAMAAN PODI KARAMUDHU

Generally this type of curry is done on festival days. But this is an excellent combination with jeera rasam (Type 1 and Type 2) mixed with hot rice and a little ghee. This is done with brinjals also. You can see the brinjal saamaan podi here.

INGREDIENTS:

Raw bananas - 2
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Red chillies - 2

Curry leaves - few
Karamudhu podi - 2 tablespoons

Grated coconut - 1 tablespoon
METHOD:

De-skin and chop bananas into slightly big cubes. Cook them in boiling water with salt and turmeric powder until 3/4th done.


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds, urad dhal & red chillies . When golden brown add curry leaves and 3/4th cooked bananas. Saute well by flipping it gently . When it is finished, add grated coconut and 
karamudhu podiSaute for 2 more minutes. Vazhakkai saamaan podi karamudhu is ready.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

PESARATTU & MY 250 th POST

Celebrating my 250th post with an Andhra breakfast recipe using whole green gram dhal.

INGREDIENTS:

Whole green gram - 1 cup
Raw rice - 1cup
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Coriander leaves - a handful
Curry leaves - a sprig
Onion - 1 (optional)
Hing
Salt - as per taste
Oil - for drizzling

METHOD:

Wash and soak green gram dhal and rice in water overnight. Drain the water completely and grind it coarsely( like adai batter) alongwith green chillies, coriander leaves, ginger and cumin seeds. Mix in the salt, chopped onions and curry leaves.

Heat a tawa, spread the batter, drizzle oil on sides, and when done flip it to the other side. Again drizzle oil on sides and cook till crispy and golden brown. Serve hot with any chutney. As I had some sambhar, I did not make any chutney.

Friday, January 22, 2010

KADAMBA SADHAM

INGREDIENTS:

Rice - 1 cup
Mixed vegetables - 3 cups (Ash gourd,
Broad beans,Pumpkin,Cluster beans, Raw banana, Ladysfinger, Tomato)
Toor dhal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - few
Scraped coconut - 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
Gingelly oil - 2 tablespoons
Salt

To powder:

Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons
Bengal gram - 1 tsp.
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 2
Hing

METHOD:

Pressure cook rice.

Pressure cook toor dhal with turmeric , mash well and keep aside.


Extract pulp from the tamarind. Cut vegetables into big pieces. Slit green chillies.

In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and add the items (given in the list" To Powder") till golden brown. When cool, add coconut and powder coarsely in a mixie. Keep aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil , add mustard seeds , slit green chillies and curry leaves. Then add all the vegetables and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add required amount of salt, pour in 1/4 cup of water and cover it with a lid. When half done add the tamarind extract and let it boil till the raw smell of the tamarind goes. Now add the mashed dhal and let it boil for 3 more minutes. Add the ground powder and bring it to a boil. Mash cooked rice, and add it to the sambhar , mix well without any lumps and serve hot with any vadaam or poricha appalam.

AMLA JEERA HEALTH DRINK

Amla is known for Vitamin C and this drink is best suited for all ages. Amla builds immunity, palm crystal is useful in throat problems and lowering cholestrol and jeera is best for digestion. Needless to say, honey is an energy booster with antioxidants. I had some amlas and tried this.

INGREDIENTS:

Amla - 4
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
Palm crystal (Panamkalkandu) - 3 tablespoons (crushed)
Honey - 2 teaspoons

METHOD:

Grate amlas. Crush palm crystals.

Heat a kadai and dry roast cumin seeds till brown. Add 4 cups of water and allow it to boil till it reduces to half. Add the grated amlas and palm crystals, boil it for a minute, switch off the stove and cover it with a lid for 10 minutes. Grind and strain it through a strainer, add honey, stir and drink.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MOONG DHAL PAYASAM

This is popularly known as payathamparuppu payasam. This is offered to LORD OPPILIAPPAN on a Sravanam (Tiruvonam) day, when we dont eat salt in any form.

INGREDIENTS:

Moong dhal (yellow) - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/2 litre
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Cashews - 10
Cardamom - 2
Raw camphor (pachaikarpooram) - a pinch


METHOD:

Pressure cook moong dhal and mash well. Boil milk till it reduces to half. Dissolve jaggery in little water, strain the dust and allow it to boil till it diffuses its raw smell. Now add in the mashed dhal and milk. Bring it to a boil. Season it with fried cashews, powdered cardamom and pachaikarpooram. Offer it to the LORD.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

LEMON PICKLE / LIME PICKLE


My interest in pickling has no bounds. This is my MIL's way of pickling elumichangai oorugai. While a fresher, my husband taught this to me.

INGREDIENTS:

Lemon - 50

Sea salt (kal uppu)- 1 1/2 cups

Turmeric powder - 4 tsp.

Red chillies (round variety) - 100 gms.
OR
(long variety) - 75 gms.

Gingelly oil - 1 litre

Hing - 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds - 2 tablespoons


METHOD:


Wash lemons and pat it dry with a clean towel. Cut 40 lemons to cubes. Squeeze juice from 10 lemons and keep aside.


In a clean dry bowl, put a layer of cut lemon and then a layer of salt and turmeric powder. Repeat this till all the lemons are finished. (If doing in small quantities, you can follow this step).

Add the juice of 10 lemons now.

Mix well. Transfer it to a sterile bottle and close the lid.

Mix well daily, using a dry spatula, for 5 days. After 5 days, the pickle will absorb all the salt and become soft.
Heat a kadai, add 1 ladle of oil and roast the chillies without burning it.

This is the important step. When cool, powder the chillies to a powder as shown below. It should be neither fine nor coarse.

Add this to the lemon

Heat the remaining oil, add mustard seeds and hing. Allow mustard seeds to splutter. Take it off the stove and when lukewarm, pour over it.

Mix well and when cool, transfer it to a sterile bottle or clean jar (jaadi). Make sure that there is oil above an inch of the pickle. This can be preserved even for a year.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ALOO BHINDI CURRY

INGREDIENTS:

Potatoes - 1/4 kg.
Ladiesfinger - 1/4 kg.
Onions - 1 (optional)
Oil - 1 ladle
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Dhania powder - 1/2 tsp.
Jeera powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp.

METHOD:

Peel and dice potatoes into big cubes. Chop ladiesfinger into 1" long pieces. Heat oil in a kadai, and fry both separately. Keep aside. In the same kadai, heat a tablespoon of oil and add cumin seeds and turmeric powder. (Add the onions at this stage and saute till translucent). Add salt, all the powders and the fried vegetables. Saute well till crispy and golden brown. Tastes heavenly with phulkas , chappatis & pooris.

Monday, January 18, 2010

PONGAL CELEBRATIONS AT HOME

The turmeric plant at our backyard in full bloom three months before



Harvest before the festival Bhogi



My daughter puts a kolam in the frontyard for the festival




Pongal paanai decorated with the harvested turmeric





Kanu festival


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