April 18, 2010

Kadgye Sukke

I'm rediscovering traditional cooking. I shied away from traditional cooking for a long time because I wanted to break away from the ordinary. After years of having broken away, it appears as though traditional food is the change I need from my routine.

And I'm also rediscovering sukke, as it turns out. I can't seem to have enough of this preparation. While I tried it with different vegetables earlier, I made it this time around with just one vegetable: raw jackfruit. I think this is the best type of sukke I have eaten and that sukke is the best way to eat raw jackfruit. I know I will make this often.

1/4 kg Raw Jackfruit, peeled
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Oil
1/4 cup Coconut
3-4 Red Chillies
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
1/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste

For the tempering:

1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves

Cut the jackfruit into pieces slightly large pieces. Pressure cook with a little salt for 1-2 whistles.

Heat the oil and fry the fenugreek seeds and the coriander seeds for a minute. Grind this along with the turmeric, tamarind, coconut and red chillies to a somewhat fine paste. Add this paste to the cooked vegetables and add salt to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Heat the teaspoon of oil for the tempering in a frying ladle. Add the mustard and the asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves. Add this tempering to the vegetable mixture. Serve hot with rice and dali-saar.

April 15, 2010

Tamarind Sevai

When we were growing up, there was no concept of "tiffin". Amma says that we were always too impatient to wait for her to make anything. We'd have a glass of milk after school and rush out to play, only to come back in time for dinner. Sometimes, the traditional "tiffin" items would be served at dinner time. Those were nights to look forward to.

Since I am still not in the habit of making an evening "tiffin", I try and make these at breakfast. They add variety to my mornings and are quite easy to prepare. Need I say more?

I tried making this rice sevai with the puliyodarai twist sometime ago. I really enjoyed the dish. It was as tasty as it was inviting.

1 cup Rice Sevai, prepared according to instructions on the pack
1 tbsp Gingelly (Til/Sesame) Oil

¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
¼ tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
½ tsp Urad Dal
½ tsp Chana Dal
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ cup Peanuts
2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
3-4 Red Chillies
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the urad dal, chana dal, mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the red chillies, curry leaves and peanuts. Fry for a couple of minutes. Add the turmeric powder and the tamarind paste. Add about ½ a cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add salt and when the mixture thickens to about half the original volume, stir in the rice sevai and take off the flame immediately.

Serve with some appalams or crisps. This recipe is good for two people as a breakfast dish or as a snack.

April 14, 2010

Carrot-Chayote Squash Kootu

As you've all noticed, I've gone traditional. I am enjoying picking Amma's brains of dishes that she used to make when we (my brother and I) were children. I'm enjoying recreating those dishes at home. I find that when I grind a masala for a dish that Amma's just finished telling me about on the phone, the aroma that hits my nose as soon as I open the mixer jar transports me right back to my childhood. When I get ready to eat, if my dish tastes just like what Amma used to make, then I'm all set for a trip down memory lane all through my meal.

This kootu featured rather regularly on Amma's weekly menu. While I didn't think much of it then, I'm sort of hooked now and I must say, this features quite regularly in my kitchen too.

1/2 cup Chayote Squash, peeled and diced
1/2 cup Carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 cup Moong Dal
2 tsp Sambar Powder
2 tbsp Coconut, scraped
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Urad Dal
1-2 Green chillies, slit
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
Salt to taste

For the Tempering:

1/2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
7-8 Curry Leaves

Pressure cook the diced carrot and chayote squash along with the moong dal and the sambar powder.

Heat the oil in a frying ladle and add the urad dal. Fry till the dal turns golden brown. Add the slit green chillies. Grind this along with the cumin seeds and the coconut. Add this paste to the chowchow-carrot-moong dal mixture along with the salt. Add the asafoetida and mix well.

For the tempering, heat the oil in the frying ladle and add the urad dal and curry leaves. Add this to the dish and serve hot with steamed rice.

A very traditional dish to celebrate a festival. Wishing all of you a very happy new year. Iniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal.

April 13, 2010

Masala Keli

I joined the Great Vega'N Vegetarian project some time ago. I noticed that Cynthia had written a post about steamed plantains for breakfast. It took me back to a time (and place, more importantly) when plantains were easily available. As a child, I don't remember having eaten steamed plantains. I ate them as an adult when someone told me they made for an ideal breakfast.

This dish, however, is one that my mother dished out whenever she could lay her hands on the nendrampazham. A very typically konkani dish that is sweet, spicy and sour, all at once. I asked a colleague to get me half a dozen of these plantains and when he did, I made this.

4 Ripe Plantains (Nendrampazham/Rajali Keli), peeled and diced
3-4 tbsp Coconut
2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp Jaggery, grated
2-3 tbsp Coriander Leaves, chopped
2 tsp Tamarind Paste
Salt to taste

For the tempering:

2 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

In a pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the asafoetida and the turmeric. Add the green chilli and the diced banana pieces and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove the cover and allow the banana pieces to caramelize a bit.

Enjoy this dish for breakfast or as a tea time snack. I can't seem to ever have enough of this. Let me know what you think.