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.

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.

Ingredients :

Potato : 1 Large

Suran (Elephant foot yam – Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) : 300 Gms.

Red Pumpkin or  Bottle Gourd (Dudhi Bhopla) : 300 Gms.

Raw Banana : 1 no.

Carrot : 1 Large

French Beans : 200 Gms.

Green Peas : 100 Gms.

Drumsticks – Moringa oleifera (Soavagyaacyaa SoMagaa fruit) : 2 Nos.

Freshly Grated Coconut : 1 ½ Cups

Green Chillies : 5-6 Nos.

Cumin Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Curd : 1 Cup

Coconut Oil : 2 Tbsp.

Curry Leaves : 12 Nos.

Method :

Cut the vegetables into 1” inch cubes. Peel and cut the banana into cubes as well.

Cook the Elephant foot yam separately in salted water and when almost done,  discard the water. Cook the rest of the vegetables together in salted water with half the curry leaves. The water should just be enough to cook the vegetables. When the vegetables are 9/10th cooked add the cooked yam to them.

Make a paste of coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Then mix with the curd to make a smooth paste.

Add the paste to the vegetables and adjust the salt and the consistency of the gravy. Remove after one boil.

N.B. : There are some who prefer a tadka and some who don’t. I like to heat the oil and add the curry leaves to it and give this tadka to the avial. Some people prefer to add all the curry leaves while cooking the vegetables . When you have added the paste and removed it after one boil, they add the raw coconut oil into the avail and mix well.

Best served with boiled rice.

Brinjals

Ingredients :

Brinjals : 500 Gms.

Fresh Grated Coconut : 200 Gms.

Coriander Seeds : 60 Gms.

Dried Red Chillies : 10-12 nos.

Sliced Onions : 2 nos. large

Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.

Garlic Cloves : 8 nos.

Sesame Seeds : 4 Tbsp.

Turmeric Powder : 1 Tsp.

Tamarind Paste : 100 Gms.

Jaggery : 2 Tbsp.

Curry Leaves : 10-12 nos.

Black Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2-3 Tbsp.

Vegetable or Peanut Oil : As Required

Salt : To Taste

Method :

Cut the brinjals lengthwise almost into quarters; make sure you do not cut off the stem so as to keep the brinjal whole with a cross cut running the entire length.

In a Kadhai add enough oil to fry the brinjals till brown.

For the Bagara Masala Paste :

In 1 Tbsp. oil saute the sliced onions, coriander seeds, red chillies. Add these to the coconut and garlic. Dry roast the sesame seeds and add to the coconut mixture. Also add the turmeric powder and tamarind paste to the coconut. Make a paste of all these ingredients.

In a Tbsp. of oil add slit green chillies and add the paste and saute till the fat leaves the sides. Than add the brinjals, jaggery and salt to taste. Add water as required to get a sauce-like consistency. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. This masala tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure that you keep stirring the pot every few minutes. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and remove.

Tadka :

In a small pan add 1 Tsp. oil and when hot add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle add the curry leaves and pour this over the curry. Mix well.

This can be served with Rice or Parathas.

P. S.Vegetable Variation – You can make a tadka of mustard seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. To this add mixed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, green peas etc. Then add the bagara masala and salt to taste. Cover and cook till the vegetables are done. Then add chopped coriander on top.

I have already given the recipe for Sambar Masala Powder in an earlier post. Now it’s time to prepare the sambar.

South Indians need sambar as an accompaniment with a wide variety of dishes. Most are breakfast dishes like Idli, Dosa, Medu Wadai etc. It is also an important part of a meal. The taste of hot steaming rice with the fragrant sambar poured on top is an experience that cannot be put into words.

For some reason Sambar like Ma Ki Dal tastes better when a day old.

Ingredients :

Red Gram Dal (Tur Dal) : 1 cup

Fresh Green Chillies (slit) : 2 nos.

Tamarind : 1 Tbsp.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi) : 1/2 Tsp.

Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tsp.

Sambar Masala Powder : 2 Tbsp.

Vegetables :

Potatoes : 2 medium sized

Onions : 4 small, peeled and kept whole

Brinjals : 2 medium sized

Drumsticks : 2 nos. cut into 2″ pieces

Red or White Pumpkin : 150 gms.

Cauliflower : 100 gms.

Fresh Coriander : 2 Tbsp.

For Tadka :

Oil : As Required

Mustard Seeds : 2 tsp.

Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch

Curry Leaves : 8 – 10 nos.

Method :

Wash the dal and then add the slit green chillies to it and cook till done.

Cut the brinjals, potatoes, cauliflower and pumpkin into 1″ pieces. Then parboil the vegetables and drumsticks in salted water. Take care, so the vegetables are not completely cooked as we have to simmer them in the sambar.

Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes and then strain it to remove any fibers and pits.

Now in a pot, take the dal and add the tamarind pulp to it. Make a paste of the turmeric, red chilli and sambar powders and add to the dal. Keep the pot on simmer and add the vegetables. Now simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.

Tadka : In a tadka pan, add oil and heat it. When the oil is hot, add the asafoetida and mustart seeds and let them crackle. Then add the curry leaves and pour this tadka over the dal. Mix well and remove from heat.

P.S. : Adding a few drops of oil to the dal helps to cook it quickly.