Ingredients :

Fresh Grated Coconut : 1/2 nos.

Fresh Green Chillies (Lavangi or other spicy variety) : 4-6 nos.

Fresh Chopped Ginger : 1″ piece

Roasted Cumin Seeds (Jeera) : 1 Tsp.

Tamarind Pulp : 1/2 Tsp.

Salt : To Taste

Sugar : a Pinch

Oil : 1 Tsp.

Black Mustard Seeds (Rai) : 1/2 Tsp.

Curry Leaves : 4 nos.

Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch

Method :

Make a smooth paste of coconut, chillies, cumin, ginger, tamarind, sugar and salt. Don’t use too much water as we don’t need a runny paste. Then in a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida and curry leaves and pour this tempering (tadka) over the chutney.

You can also use Chopped coriander leaves to give it a different taste. Also you can try using mint leaves instead of tamarind when adding coriander leaves. Use 1 bunch of coriander leaves and half a bunch of mint leaves.

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Ingredients:

Split  Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) : ½ Cup

Skinned and Split Black Gram (Urad Dal) : ½ Cup

Desiccated Coconut (Grated Kopra) :  ½ Cup

White Sesame Seeds :  ¼ Cup

Dried Pandi Red Chillies (Spicy) : 16 nos.

Dried Bedagi Red Chillies (Mild) : 8 nos.

Curry Leaves : 20 nos.

Tamarind Pulp : 4 Tsp.

Jaggery : 4 Tsp.

Asafoetida (Hing) : ½ Tsp.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2-3 Tbsp.

Oil : 2 Tsp.

Salt : 1-2 Tbsp.

 

Method :

Dry roast the gram dals , sesame seeds and coconut separately till they release a nutty aroma and are little browned. In a pan, sauté the red chillies and curry leaves in oil till the chillies change colour to bright red and the leaves are crispy. Mix all the ingredients together and run through a food mill to get a grainy powder. Store in an airtight container. Can be kept for a couple of months.

Ideally this is mixed with oil or melted ghee and used. This goes well with any dosas, idlis or even as an accompaniment with roti or bread. I spread some cheese spread on bread slices and sprinkle the chutney  on top to make a sandwich.

Some times when we break open a coconut, we find that it has gone bad and we don’t know what to do with it. My aunt gave me this wonderful recipe to make delicious dosas from the bad nut. All you need is raw rice, toor dal, tamarind and dried red chillies. This dosa can be eaten as breakfast item or as a substitute for the usual dal-chawal dinner.

Ingredients :

Rice : 1 cup

Toor dal (Split Yellow Lentils) : 1/2 cup

Coconut(bad) : 1/2 no.

Tamarind pulp : 2 tsp

Red chilies : 6 -8 nos.

Salt : As required

Method :

Soak the rice and dal separately for 2-3 hours. Grate the coconut. Then drain the dal and rice, add the rest of the ingredients and grind to a coarse paste. Add water if needed to make dosa batter. Season to taste.

Heat an iron griddle on medium flame and add a teaspoon of oil to it. Let it heat and sprinkle a few drops of water on the hot griddle. Let the oil sputter, which will result in the oil coating the griddle evenly.

Now add a ladle of batter to the griddle and spread this with the back of the ladle into an oval shape. Spoon a few drops of oil around the dosa and let it cook. Now turn the dosa over, add a few drops of oil around the side and let it cook.

Serve the dosa hot with a chutney of your choice or with tomato ketchup.

Sambar Masala Ingredients Photo by Alaivani @ flickr

Sambar Masala Ingredients Photo by Alaivani @ flickr

No South Indian feast is complete without the Sambar. The Sambar, according to Wikipedia, is a lentil and vegetable stew or a chowder based on a broth made from Tamarind and Toovar Dal.

The Mumbaiites are believed to have been introduced to the Udupi cuisine in the early 1930’s with the opening of Cafe Mysore in Matunga, a suburb of Mumbai.The owners are from proper Udupi, as opposed to most other ‘Udupi’ restaurants, which are run by Shettys from or around Mangalore.

The difference in the Sambar from these Shetty-run restaurants is that the sambar has been modified to suit the taste buds of their local clientele. They have created a sort of sweet vegetable dal that is suitable for their local clientele. As a result, it has lost its authentic flavor. The Sambar that you get in Udupi is a lot more pungent, aromatic and flavorful.

In my house, sambar is made in a large quantity so as to last atleast 2 days. The first day is spent eating it with idli, dosa etc. The next day the taste of the sambar develops (matures) and all the subtle flavours come to the fore and vie for you attention. This makes it the perfect accompaniment to a plate of steaming white rice.

This is going to be a two part series as first I will put up the Sambar masala and then explain how to make the sambar.

So here goes –

Sambar Masala

Ingredients :

Coriander Seeds : 250 Gm.

Dried Red Chillies (Sankeshwari + Bedgi = 50:50) : 250 Gm.

Turmeric Powder : 25 Gm.

Asafoetida (Hing) : 15 Gm.

Cumin Seeds : 75 Gm.

Black Peppercorns : 50 Gm.

Mustard Seeds : 50 Gm.

Split Black Gram / Black Lentil (Urad Dal) : 100 Gm.

Split Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) : 100 Gm.

Raw Rice : 50 Gm.

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) : 20 Gm.

Curry Leaves : one bunch

Method :

Dry roast the ingredients individually and then powder them. Keep the masala in an airtight jar and use as required.

One of the first aamchigeli recipes i.e. one from my native place Udupi, that I loved has to be Jirya Miryachi Kadhi. The combination of the cumin and black peppercorns with the added fragrance of garlic was to die for. Especially during the rains,  when one wants something really hot, spicy and fragrant, this is the dish in which I find succor. The rain  splattering incessantly on the terrace roof, the sudden thunderclap and the cold and muggy weather of  Mumbai starts to bring me down. I need comfort, warmth and that’s when I make this dish. The kadhi poured on steaming hot basmati rice is a combination that hits a spot. The ultimate comfort food! So today in my ongoing South Indian recipe series, I present –

Jirya Miryachi Kadhi

Ingredients :

Fresh Grated Coconut : 3/4 th

Dried Red Chillies : 6-8 no.

Cumin Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Black Peppercorns : 8 no.

Skinned Garlic Cloves : From one whole garlic pod + 1 extra garlic pod

Kokum (Dried Mangosteen Peals) : 4 – 6 no.

Coconut oil  : As required

Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Salt : To taste

Method :

Saute the chillies, cumin, peppercorns and skinned garlic cloves in 2 tsp. of coconut oil and then make a paste with the grated coconut.

To this paste, add about 3 1/2 cups of water and salt to taste ( 1 Tsp.) and add the kokum. Bring to a boil and remove.

Tempering (Tadka) : Take 2-3 Tsp. of coconut oil in a tadka pan and to this add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Now add the crushed garlic cloves from the other pod ( no need to skin these cloves). When the garlic cloves are brown, add this tadka to the kadhi. Mix well and serve hot with white rice.

P. S. : Do not boil the kadhi for too long as it tends to change the taste of the kadhi and also thins it.

A few days ago, I attended a wedding. I went with my mother and aunt. We were very late and missed the ceremony, but managed to be on time for lunch. 🙂

Both the bride and groom were from the Southern Indian state of Tamilnadu. So the cuisine was a typical TamBram affair. The last time I ate a south Indian wedding feast was at least few years ago. This was my first Tamil wedding, so I was looking forward to the feast.

They put a nice, big banana leaf in front of us. Then followed a slew of accompaniments. There was a chutney (gojju), a mixed raita, a raw mango pickle ( my favorite in any feast), spiced banana wafers, a wada and a fried papadum. The papadum was huge compared to the puny ones I usually eat.

There were four vegetable dishes – an avial, a mixed vegetable dish with a coconut gravy, a mildly spiced potato dish and a Foogath. The foogath was nice – shredded cabbage, carrots and beans with slit green chilies and sprinkled liberally with freshly grated coconut.

There were also four katories filled with spicy rasam, payasam, buttermilk and curd. The payasam was way too sweet for me.

On the whole, a very satisfying meal indeed with the exception of the wada and avial.

This made me think as to why I haven’t put up more south Indian recipes. I am from the southern Indian state of Karnataka ( for the nitpickers, I am from Udupi, Mangalore). So I have decided to start with recipes from my state first.

Today I will introduce you to a wonderful breakfast dish, deceptively called Buns. It in no way resembles a bun, but is more like a sweet puri. it derives its sweetness from the banana and has a nice kick added by black pepper.

The picture of Mangalore Buns is courtesy Khalnayak. You can check out his pictures on Flickr by clicking on this link here – Khalnayak

mangalore-buns

Ingredients :

Maida (Refined Flour) : 2 cups or as required

Overripe Banana : 1 no.

Jaggery : 3-4 Tbsp.

Soda Bi Carb : 1/4 Tsp.

Sour Curd : 2 Tsp.

Roasted Cumin (Jeera) : 1 Tsp.

Crushed Black Pepper : 1/4 Tsp.

Salt : to taste

Ghee : for deep frying

Method :

Mash the banana with salt and jaggery and then add the curd, cumin, black pepper, and soda bi carb. Now add the maida to form a dough. Use maida and water as required to make dough. Apply some oil or ghee to cover it and keep overnight to ferment. In the morning, devide the dough evenly into balls. Then roll the dough a little thicker then for a puri (about 1/8 inch). Then deep fry the puris in hot ghee on both sides. Drain on paper.

The puri needs no accompaniments. You just need a cup of steaming, fragrant, flavorful cup of south Indian filter coffee. Aah Heaven!!!

I looked it up and it seems a sweet potato is called a Yam in US. But the yam I am talking about is called Suran in India. It is a tuber and has a rough, dark brown skin, which is very tough. The yam needs to be cooked in a alkaline medium as it can otherwise irritate the throat. So Indians generally use tamarind, kokum or lime juice while making a dish using yam. Also according a friend who is very knowledgeable about Ayurveda, yam is supposed to be very good for people suffering from Piles. He says they should eat at least 100 gm of yam everyday.
I love cooking suran in different forms and today I will put up a couple of my favourite recipes.

(1) Yam Salad ( सुरणाची कोशिंबीर)

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg

Green Chillies : 6 – 8 no.

Onions : 2 no.

Grated Fresh Coconut : 100 gm.

Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For Frying

Salt : to taste

Method :

Remove skin and finely chop the yam. Rub with salt and keep aside. Then squeeze out the water and fry till it is brown. Remove and keep aside.
In a bowl, add finely chopped onion, chopped green chillies and mix well with the yam. To this add grated coconut and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning and Serve.

(2) Yam Chops ( सुरणाचे काप )

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg.

Tamarind Pulp : 2 Tbsp.

Whole Wheat Flour : 4-6 Tbsp.

Salt : to taste

Red Chilli Powder : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For shallow frying

Method :

Slice the yam into 2″ long, 2″ wide and 1/4″ thick slices. Coat them evenly with the tamarind pulp and keep aside for 5 minutes. Mix the red chilli powder and flour and add salt as required. Then roll the slices in this mixture to coat them with it and then shallow fry on a griddle.

P.S. : Some people prefer to use rice flour instead of wheat flour.
Another variation of this recipe is to make a paste of dried red chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind and salt to taste. Coat the yam slices with this paste and keep aside for a few minutes. Then roll in rice flour and shallow fry.