Archive | June, 2010

Traditional Tamarind Pickle

24 Jun

chintakaya_pacchadi
Nilava Chintakaya Pachadi.

This is a traditional method of making tamarind pickle. This pickle stays fresh for couple of years. Fresh raw tamarind is ground with salt and turmeric and preserved in dark jars. A small amount of the preserved tamarind is made into pickle when necessary.
Makes: Traditional Tamarind Pickle.

Ingredients:

Raw Tamarind 3/4 kg
Tamarind 1/4 Kg
Turmeric 1 tbsp
Salt 1/4 kg

For 1 Cup Pickle:

Fenugreek Seeds a Pinch
Whole Red Chiles 4 – 6
Jaggery 3 tbsps
Asafoetida a big Pinch
Oil 2 tbsps

Method of preparation:

Wash and pat dry fresh raw tamarind.
Chop off the ends and chop the raw tamarind into 3 – 4 pieces.
Using a mortar and pestle, carefully pound the chopped tamarind into small chunks.
Make sure the seeds are not beaten hard.
Add the tamarind, turmeric powder and salt to the crushed raw tamarind.
Thoroughly pound everything together into chunky mass.
Take the ground tamarind mixture and transfer it to clean dry jar.

Cover and leave the jar in a dark place for 3 whole days.
Then, spread the ground tamarind onto a wide plate.
Pick all the tamarind seeds and tamarind veins and discard them.
Pound the remaining chunky tamarind mixture until it completely mashes up.
When the tamarind is totally crushed, transfer it to the same jar used before.
Preserve the ground tamarind mixture in a dry dark place.
This tamarind mixture stays for couple of years.

Follow the below recipe to make a cup of the tamarind pickle.

Take around 3/4 cup of preserved tamarind pickle.
Dry roast the red chili and fenugreek seeds until aromatic and grind them into fine powder.
Grind the tamarind pickle, ground powder and jaggery into smooth paste using a good grinder.

Heat oil in a pan, add asafoetida and the ground tamarind pickle.
Cook the pickle for a minute to bring all the flavors together and then remove from heat.
Store tight in a jar and serve tamarind pickle with rice or with roti or with dosa etc.
Notes: Make sure to follow the pickling precautions to increase the lifetime of the pickle.

Suggestions: Adjust the spice and sweetness according to your preference.
Variations: You can also grind the fenugreek seeds along with raw tamarind if you wish.
Other Names: Traditional Tamarind Pickle, Nilava Chintakaya Pachadi.

Besan Paratha

23 Jun

besan_paratha
Besan Paratha.

For besan paratha, besan is briefly fried in tempered oil along with onion and spices. The fried besan is made into balls and stuffed in wheat dough and rolled out into thick parathas. The besan paratha is cooked on flat pan until its golden brown in color. Serve besan paratha with plain yogurt.
Makes: around 3 Besan Paratha.

Ingredients:

Wheat Flour 1 1/2 Cups
Besan 1/2 – 3/4 Cup
Onion 1 Small
Green Chiles 1
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Red Chile Powder 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/8 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder a Pinch
Asafoetida a Pinch
Cilantro few Sprigs
Sugar a big Pinch
Salt to taste
Oil as required

Method of preparation:

Remove stems and wash the green chiles.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Wash and finely chop the cilantro.

Knead wheat flour into somewhat tight dough with few pinches of salt using enough fresh water.
Keep the dough covered with wet kitchen towel for half an hour.
Divide the dough into 3 – 4 portions.

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan on medium flame, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add asafoetida, green chiles and onion.
Once onion turns light brown around the edges, add turmeric, red chili powder sugar and salt.
Immediately add besan and lower the flame.
Fry on low flame till aromatic or till besan changes to dark golden color and stir in cilantro.
Cool the besan mixture to room temperature, stir in lemon juice and few drops of water if necessary to make the mixture into a ball.
Make 3 – 4 balls out of the besan mixture and keep aside.

Take each portion of wheat dough, press it a little to form a small disk.
Take a besan mixture ball and place it on the disk.
Now bring together the edges of the dough and press them together to form a ball.
Carefully knead each dough ball into around 7 inch diameter disc with help of a rolling pin.
Repeat the same with remaining wheat dough portions.

Heat a flat griddle on medium heat, brush quarter tsp of oil all over the griddle.
Place the rolled out paratha on hot griddle and let it turn golden brown.
Add around quarter tsp of oil on uncooked side and turn it over to let it cook.
When both sides cook with brown spots, remove besan paratha onto a plate.
Repeat the same with remaining rolled out parathas.
Serve hot besan paratha with mango pickle and plain yogurt.
Notes: Adjust the thickness of the paratha according to your preference.

Suggestions: If the paratha is not cooked properly, put it back on low heat and cook till its done. If the stuffing tends to come out while rolling the dough, apply a thin patch of wheat dough to cover. Or make sure to stuff just enough stuffing so it doesn’t come out.
Variations: Also add few drops of oil while making the besan mixture instead of water for rich taste.
Other Names: Besan Paratha, Gram Flour Parata.

Roasted Eggplant in Yogurt

22 Jun

vankaya_perugu_pachadi
Roasted Eggplant in Yogurt.

Eggplant is roasted on direct flame till its charred. Then the roasted eggplant is mashed with spices and mixed with whisked yogurt. Finally the eggplant mixture is tempered with typical south Indian spices. Roasted eggplant is generally served steamed rice.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Roasted Eggplant in Yogurt.

Ingredients:

Small Eggplants 2 Medium
Yogurt 3/4 Cup
Green Chiles 2
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Broken Red Chiles 2
Asafoetida a big Pinch
Curry Leaves 4
Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Whisk yogurt well and keep aside.
Remove stems, wash and finely chop green chiles.
Wash and pat dry eggplant.
Apply oil to the eggplant and pierce it a couple of times with a knife or fork.
Place the eggplant directly on the flame turning occasionally until the skin is completely charred on all sides.
Cool the cooked eggplant and remove the charred skin with the help of wet hands.
Remove stem and reserve the roasted eggplant.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, remove the tempering from heat.

In a bowl, add green chiles, cumin seeds and salt.
Using a pestle, crush the ingredients well and add the roasted eggplant and turmeric.
Mash the eggplant with crushed ingredients and remove onto a vessel.
Add yogurt to the eggplant and mix thoroughly.
Finally when tempering cools down a bit, add it to the yogurt bowl and stir.
Adjust any seasonings if required and serve roasted eggplant in yogurt with steamed rice.
Notes: Make sure eggplant is cooked well.

Suggestions: If eggplant is not cooked well, put it back on heat or cook covered in a pan till done.
Variations: You can also add chopped cilantro to the yogurt.
Other Names: Roasted Eggplant in Yogurt.

Paneer Paratha

21 Jun

paneer_paratha
Paneer Paratha.

For paneer paratha, grated or crumbled fresh paneer is mixed with spices and herbs. Prepared paneer is then stuffed in wheat dough and rolled out into thick parathas. The paneer paratha is cooked on flat pan until its golden brown in color.l
Makes: around 3 Paneer Paratha.

Ingredients:

Paneer (crumbled) 3/4 – 1 Cup
Wheat Flour 1 1/2 Cups
Green Chiles 2
Red Chile Powder 1/4 tsp
Ajwain / Carom Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cilantro few Sprigs
Salt to taste
Oil as required

Method of preparation:

Crumble fresh paneer and keep aside.
Remove stems and wash the green chiles.
Wash and finely chop the cilantro.

In a mixing bowl, mix together crumbled paneer, green chiles, ajwain, red chile powder, cilantro and salt.

Knead wheat flour into somewhat tight dough with few pinches of salt using enough fresh water.
Keep the dough covered with wet kitchen towel for half an hour.
Divide the dough into 3 – 4 portions.
Take each portion of wheat dough, press it a little to form a small disk.

Take around 3 tbsps of the prepared paneer mixture and place it on the disk.
Now bring together the edges of the dough and press it to form a ball.
Carefully knead each dough ball into around 7 inch diameter disc with help of a rolling pin.
Repeat the same with remaining wheat dough portions.

Heat a flat griddle on medium heat, brush quarter tsp of oil all over the griddle.
Place the paratha on hot griddle and let it turn golden brown.
Add around quarter tsp of oil on uncooked side and turn it over to let it cook.
When both sides cook with brown spots, remove paneer paratha onto a plate.
Repeat the same with remaining rolled out parathas.
Serve hot paneer paratha with mango pickle and with any raita of your choice.
Notes: Adjust the thickness of the paratha according to one’s preference

Suggestions: If the paratha is not cooked properly, put it back on low heat and cook till its done. If the stuffing tends to come out while rolling the dough, apply a thin patch of wheat dough to cover. Or make sure to stuff just enough stuffing so it doesn’t come out.
Variations: Finely chopped onion or garam masala or other herbs can also be added to the paneer while preparing the stuffing.
Other Names: Paneer Paratha, Paneer Parata.

Fruit Salad with Icecream

19 Jun

fruit_chaat_icecream
Fruit Salad with Icecream.

Here, fruit salad is made with banana, cherries, strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes. The mixed fruits are then served on a bed of vanilla ice cream or ice cream of your choice.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Fruit Salad with Icecream.

Ingredients:

Banana 1 Small
Cherries 6
Strawberries 4
Cantaloupe (chopped) 1 Cup
Green Grapes 8
Vanilla Icecream 2 – 3 Scoops

Method of preparation:

Wash all the fruits under fresh water.
Peel and chop the banana.
Remove stem and chop the cherry around its seed.
Remove stem and chop the strawberries.
Chop the grapes.
Mix all the chopped fruits.

In a serving bowl, place around a scoop of icecream.
Spread the icecream and stir in mixed fruits.
Serve fruit salad with ice cream immediately.
Notes: Make sure to adjust the quantity of each fruit to your preference.

Suggestions: Fruit Chaat is all pulpy – Choose fruits that are fresh and not overripe.
Variations: Use the fruits at hand or fruits of your preference.
Other Names: Fruit Salad with Ice Cream.