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Posts Tagged ‘Ginger’

Just as assured as sun rises every day in the east..there are few rituals of every one which do not change over time.  For us it is ‘Pongal’  being the first meal of the week.  It is an equation that does not need any proof :  Sunday AM= pongal 🙂

Pongal is a rich and healthy food . It is a famous breakfast served in marriages.  With no further ado..lets see the ingredients list.

Ingredients:

1. Rice- 1 cup

2. Moong dall- 1/2 cup

3.Grated ginger- 1 1/2 tsp

4.Peppercorn- 10-15 numbers

5. Cumin seeds- 1 1/2 tsp

6. Ghee – 1 tbsp

7. Asafoetida – few pinches

8.curry leaves

9.Cashews – 10 nos

10. Water- 4 1/2 cups

By the time , you gather these …I like to show case my handmade gift for one of our friends. It is  a  crystal tree.

Back to the cook show ……..

Method:

Measure out the dall and rice. Wash the rice. In a pressure cooker, dry roast a little bit the dall. When you feel the raw smell is gone, add water,  rice and needed salt and cook till a whistle.

Alternatively, you can cook in any vessel covered till all water is well absorbed and the rice is well cooked.

To do the tadka, heat the ghee (for diet conscious ..use mixture of oil and ghee), sputter the peppercorns, cumin and ginger and curry leaves. Dash the asfoetida  after the turning off the stove. Add cashews if you want to make it extra rich.  Mix this to the rice and serve warm with sambhar or chutney.

The key is to slightly roast the dall and cook the rice really well. Enjoy (y)our first meal of the week!

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Poondu satham / Garlic rice

This is a simple recipe but a very helpful postnatal diet. I had made this several times and found this as  the easiest, yet a tasty way to include garlic in my postnatal diet.  I found this recipe  in a supplement of a tamil magazine.

Garlic rice

Ingredients:

Cooked rice – 2 cups

Small onion- 1/2 cup

Garlic pods – 1 cup

Ginger- 1/4 inch piece

Roasted and ground black pepper- 1/2  tsp

Raosted and ground cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Method:

An important thing in  making any mixed rice variety is that the rice has to be cooked well but  must be separate grains. Normally this can be achieved by  roasting the raw rice in little ghee before cooking or adding a little sesame oil while it is cooking. Once the rice is cooked, cool it well  in a wide pan/ plate.

Cut the onions, garlic and ginger into fine pieces. Heat oil or ghee in a wide skillet, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds , dried  chillies (3-4 numbers)  and curry leaves. Add the onion, garlic and ginger pieces and  fry them on low heat.Add pepper powder and cumin powder. Add salt to taste and mix the rice , turning off the heat.

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Steaming idlis and ‘my’ kari kuzhambhu

I was preserving one of my mom’s best dish  for the new year . Oh ,what a pity, my modem went wrong on the new year day , just 10 days after its warranty period.  Can you imagine? I  spent 9 full days without browsing the blogs .  mmm mm ….. That was good in a way. I could look at my daily routines in a different way.

Coming to the treasured recipe , this kurma (but we call it kuzhambhu) is perfect for Idlis. My brothers call it ‘duplicate kari kuzhambhu’, as it  is much spicy and the taste immitates mutton kurma. (They eat meat.)  For a vegetarian  like  me , it is like a feast to have it with steaming idlis.

Idly:

Though, almost every one of  the Indian bloggers has posted this, I feel it is good to share my  mom’s secret for a ‘malli poo idly’. Yes, my daughter used to describe my mom’s idly this way , meaning it is as soft and white as jasmine flower.

Ingredients:

Idly rice- 4 and 1/2 cups

Urad dall- 1 cup

Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp

Method:

Wash the rice twice and soak it with fenugreek seeds  for 2-3 hours. 

Wash the dall twice and soak it separartely for half an hour to one hour.

Grind the dall first. Add minimum water and sprinkle ice cold water for better frothing. The right consistency of the batterThe grinder should run for atleast 30 min. Take the dall out and grind the rice next. When the rice is little coarse, add enough salt , unload and mix well with your hands. Make sure the batter has the right consistency  before fermenting. If you pour the batter from your hands, it should run down smoothly and slowly. After a thorough mixing, let it stand for 10- 12 hours. The batter would have risen good if it was in right consistency and  had the right amount of salt.

Mix again well and pour in the idly molds and steam cook for 15 minutes. To check the doneness, just touch the idlis and they should not stick to your hands. Take out  the molds from the stand and let it cool a while. Dip a spoon in water and use it to unmold the idlis. Hot and soft idlis are  ready to be served with chutney, sambhar or kurma.

 

Please note :

* The ratio for rice and urad dall varies with the variety we use.

* Also it is true that if it is an aged dall and rice , it yeilds more batter.

* My mom has the conventional idli steamer, in which she covers the mold plates with a wet white cotton cloth instead of greasing with oil. It is my belief that it is the cloth that  gives the ultra softness to the  idlis.

* You can  store this batter even for a week in the refrigerator, but always bring the batter to the room temperature  before steaming for better results.

* The consistency and salt are the key factors for a  perfect idli. If  the batter is watery,  the idli will not rise on steaming, on the other hand, if it is thick, the idli will be hard. 

* You can store  the cooked idlis in the refrigerator. When  needed, steam it again in the cooker for hot and refreshed idlis. To reheat the idlis in the microwave oven,  simply wet the idlis in running water, place them as a layer on a microwavable  plate and cover with a wet paper towel and heat them for a couple of minutes.

* For a different redo of the idlis,  crumble them and do upma . Find here a lemony version of idli upma .

Idli batter - gracefully risen

Peppery potato kurma:

Ingredients:

Potato- 2 number

Oil – 1/2 cup

Fennel seeds- 1 tsp

To grind:

Chana dall /Gram dall- 1/4 cup 

Medium sized onion-1 number

Medium sized tomato – 1 number

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

 

Pepper corns- ½ tsp

 

Ginger- 2 inch  piece

 

Red chilli powder- 2 tsp

 

Coriander powder – 1/8 tsp

 

Turmeric powder- few pinches

 

Method:

 

Finely chop the potato. Take the ingredients in the ‘to grind’ list and grind with little water and make as a coarse paste. Stop stirring when all the oil oozes outHeat oil in a non stick skillet, sputter fennel seeds, add the ground paste, keep stirring continuously  till the raw smells fades away. Once the masala is sauted well and oil oozes out, add the chopped potato and stir slightly. Add  enough water and salt according to taste. You can test the spice level at this point.

 

Transfer the contents to a pressure cooker and cook  till you hear the first whistle. The curry thickens very well after cooking . If it is too thick , dilute with water and bring it  to another boil.

 

Idly and peppery potato kurma

Note: If you hesitate to use the liberal amount of oil asked for, the chana dal will stick (even)  to the (non stick) pan  and get burnt , spoiling the whole taste. Also stirring continously is  as  important  as the oil.

Go ahead and try this, I am sure this will be in your favourite list soon.

Updated on  Jan 21st :

Illustrating the cloth lining method

As Gini  wanted to know, I am  adding a picture to illustrate how to line the idli mold with damp  cotton cloth.

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I studied from hostel and I was the only one who was 3 hrs travel from the home town.All my friends were from far south with atleast 10 hrs travel. So, whenever my mom visits me , she brings this dish for her home sick daughter and friends in a big container. Whenever she brings this kuzhambhu, none in our group will taste the mess sambhar for a week. The reason , longer the kuzhambhu stays  out, tastier it is . It stays gud even for a week outside the refrigerator.So, I am  happy to share my friends’  all time favourite dish.

Ingredients:

Ingredients for inji poondu kuzhambhu

Medium sized onion-  1

Large tomato- 1

curry leaves

Garlic- 7-8 cloves

Tamarind- lemon size

Vadagam– for seasoning/thallipu

To grind: 

Ginger/Inji-  2 inch piece

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Coriander seeds- 1 tsp

Dry chillies- 5

Poppy seeds- 1 tsp

pepper corns- 1/2  tsp

fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp

Soak the tamarind in warm water. Extract the juice.

Chop the onion into bite size chunks. You can also use pearl onion for greater taste. Chop the tomato finely.Peel the garlic.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the ‘ to grind ‘ items one by one. Take extra care while frying fenugreek. If they are burnt, it spoils the dish.You can avoid fenugreek, if you are not  confident.

Grind the fried spices to a fine paste.

Heat  2 tbsp of oil in a kadai and sputter  the vadagam/ simply mustard seeds and urad dall.

Add curry leaves, garlic and onion. Fry till the onion turns transparent .

Add tomato , salt and tumeric powder and fry till all juice comes out.

Add the ground paste , saute a little and pour water.

When the raw smell diminishes, add the tamarind extract and  let it  cook on low heat for sometime.

Turn off the heat when oil starts floating on the top .

The aroma of the inji  will fill your house and all your digestive enzymes will start secreting at once.Go ahead and  dig in.

Rice with inji poondu kuzhambhu and potato curry

I love the onions in this kuzhambhu with curd rice. They marry so gladly and makes my taste buds happy.

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