Thursday, April 28, 2011

Milagai Podi / Idli Podi / Chutney Powder | Side Dish for Idli Dosa

Milagai Podi / Idli podi is a common side dish for South-Indian delicacies - idlis and dosas. Often referred to as gun powder (I don't know why), there are 'n' number of methods to make podis with numerous varieties of dhals used in different proportions of each. This recipe is a traditional one by grandma. I am yet to try many varieties including my sister's specialty, my MIL's and the one I have tasted at my friend Sowmi's home. Planning to try every variety and blog about it. 

Urad Dhal / Black gram - 1/2 cup (standard measuring cup)
Chana dhal / Split Chick peas - 1/4 cup
Dried Red Chillies - 10 - 12
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - cleaned and dried - 25-30
Salt - to taste 
Dry roast all the ingredients (except salt). Roast the dhals until they turn a pale brown color, currl leaves until they are crisp and the chillies until they turn  little puffed. Grind the roasted ingredients with salt in a blender/dry grinder until coarse. It should not be too coarse or too fine. Serve mixed with oil for hot steaming idlis or dosas.
Sending this super aromatic podi to Srivalli's Condiment Mela.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quinoa Savory Pancakes

I know I cannot be so late in posting something for the Breakfast Club event I am hosting this month, but better late than never. I was planning to make some fruity pancakes, but thought why not something savory. After all my DH loves pancakes though he is not a big fan of sweet dishes. So decided to make it savory by adding onions, spinach and one of my recent discovery - Quinoa. I was quite skeptical about quinoa until I cooked and tasted some. And wow I did like it for its nutty texture.
Quinoa - cooked - 3/4 cup
Wheat flour - 1/4 cup
All-purpose flour - 1/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp or to taste
Pepper - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - finely chopped - 1/4 cup
Spinach leaves - a few - chopped
Milk - 1/3 cup or more based on how thin/thick your pancakes should be
Egg - 1
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp(optional)
Wash and cook quinoa with with twice the amount of water in a saucepan in medium heat for 15-20 mins until soft. Here is my tip for quick cooking of quinoa. I pressure cooked it with twice the amount of water for 3 whistles. Voila! Done in less than 15 mins.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and pepper, followed by the cooked (cooled) quinoa. Beat the egg until frothy and add in the vanilla. Heat oil in a small saucepan and add the onions and fry until transparent followed by the spinach. Saute until the leaves wilt and add the mixture to the quinoa mixture. Add the beaten egg and milk and mix to form a batter. Heat a pan and spray some oil and pour 1/4 cup of batter and allow it to spread on its own. Maintain a medium heat on the pan. After a minute flip and cook for some more time. Serve hot with a pat of butter or a drizzle of maple syrup.
Sending these Quinoa savory pancakes to the Wholesome Wholegrain Cooling - Quinoa event by Sanjeeta guest hosted by Denny of Oh Taste N See and to Only - Fusion recipes event by Pari guest hosted by Priya of Now Serving and to Srivalli's Breakfast Mela
This also goes to Breakfast Club - Pancakes event by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours, happening here this month.

Only Fusion (1)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grilled Pineapple Rings

I had wanted to make something for the Veggie/Fruit event for this month and was thinking really hard to make something with Pineapple. Pineapple smoothie was the first which came to my mind, until I came across this one. I saw this simple and beautiful pineapple rings recipe in my supermarket's spring special recipes magazine. Tried it this weekend and loved this new recipe absolutely.

Pineapple - 1 - cut into 1/2" rings
Butter - 2 tbsp
Brown sugar/Jaggery - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp (optional)
In a small saucepan heat butter, brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon(if using) until bubbly. Brush the butter mixture on both sides of the pineapple. Place the pineapple on the hot grill and grill for 5 mins on both sides.
Sending this to Veggie/Fruit a month - Pineapple event by Priya and Rupali and to Fun N Sun event by Radhika.
Also sending this to Kid's Delight event by Srivalli and Mina.

I am also sending this to Bookmarked Recipes - Every Tuesday event by Priya and Aipi.
Sending this to Srivalli's Kid's Delight hosted by Nupur of UK-Rasoi, for the month of April 2012.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Arachivitta Sambar / Sambar with Fresh ground spices / Indian Lentil Vegetables Stew | Side Dish for Idli Dosa

Arachuvitta sambar, literally translated as Ground spices Sambar is a tasty, spicy and authentic south-indian dish prepared with fresh ground spices and coconut, unlike using sambar powder. Though the process is bit more than the regular sambar, it is worth the effort. The aroma of the spices fills in the kitchen and when it served with spongy idlis, our day is made.

Toor dhal - 3/4 cup
Carrots - diced - 1 cup (can use any vegetable of your choice)
Tomato - medium sized - 2 - chopped roughly
Pearl onions - 10 (trust me this has a great taste compared to regular big onions here) - peeled and halved
Tamarind - size of a lemon - extract juice / Tamarind paste - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Roast and grind:
Coriander seeds - 2 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal/Black gram dhal - 1 tsp
Dry Red chillies - 5
Grated coconut - 3 tsp
Wash and soak the toor dhal in water for a minimum of 30 mins. 
Heat a tsp of oil and add the red chillies, followed by coriander, fenugreek and urad dhal one by one. Fry in medium heat until lightly toasted and a nice aroma emanates. Turn off the heat and add grated coconut and give a quick mix and let it cool. When cooled, grind to a fine powder in a mixie/blender. 
In the same pan heat a tsp of oil and add the onions and saute for 3 mins in medium heat, add the tomatoes and mix until it is mushy. Set aside.
Cook the dhal until it is soft and mushy. I pressure cooked it for 4 whistles adding 2 cups of water, turmeric powder and a little salt. Add the onion-tomato mixture, carrots to the dhal, 1/2 cup of water and cook for one more whistle (If on stove-top, cook until carrots are soft yet firm.
In a big pan, heat 1 tsp of oil, add mustard seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves, asafoetida. When mustard crackles add the cooked dhal with vegetables, ground spiced powder, tamarind juice and salt. Heat until the masala incorporates into the dhal and comes to a boil. Serve hot with idli, dosa or rice.
Sending this to CWS-Coriander seeds event by Priya and Aruna and MLLA #34 event by Desi Soccer Mom, brain child of Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Steamed Rice Jaggery Dumplings / Pidi Kozhukattai

Kozhukkattai or steamed rice dumplings is a traditional dish of South India. It is made with rice for outer covering filled with sweetened coconut or lentils. The process of making is somewhat similar to ravioli. Finds its presence during Ganesh chaturthi and is an important neivedyam to Lord Ganesh. Pidi kozhukattai is a simpler version without the stuffing and is quick and easy to make. I made this for a evening snack the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Idli rava (Coarsely ground rice) - 3/4 cup
Jaggery - crushed - 3/4 cup - I used palm jaggery
Water - 1 cup
Salt - a pinch
Ghee - 2 tbsp (optional)
Dry roast the rice flour and idli rava separately until it turns light brown. Transfer to a wide plate to cool. Dissolve the jaggery in water and filter for impurities. Heat the jaggery water until just hot and mix the rice flour and rava and mix together to a coarse dough consistency. Add ghee now if using. Take lemon sized balls of the dough and hold together between palm and fingers to make pidi kozhukattai. Steam in a idli cooker until firm. Serve hot.
I am sending this to Celebrate Sweets - Sweets with Rice event by Nivedita and Priya and CBB-Evening Tiffin event by Radhika.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Roundup - Herbs & Flowers in my Platter - Cilantro/Coriander

I am back again after a refreshing break. We went on a road trip to Boston and Connecticut and had a great time. And here is the roundup of Herbs & Flowers in my Platter - Cilantro/Coriander leaves. I would like to thank PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds for giving me an opportunity to host the event. For Cilantro, I received an awesome 74 entries including 5 non-vegetarian entries and 2 tips on growing coriander leaves. Here comes the entries in the alphabetical order.

Vegetarian Entries
Ammu Mohan from Rasi's Veg bites sent Coriander Moong dhal gravy and

Amritha from AK's Vegetarian Recipe sent Cilantro Mint Pilaf.
Ankita from Eat Hearty Stay Healthy sent Lemon coriander Dosa.

Arch from The Yum Factor sent Kothimbir Vadi/Steamed Coriander cake.
Aruna Manikandan from Veggie Paradise sent Coriander Chapathi and Aloo Paratha Riyadh style.

Chaitanya from Raja Food sent Tamarind Coriander Chutney.
Chitra and Dibs from Chitra Amma's Kitchen sent Kothamalli Thokku.

Dheeksha from Dee's Kitchen sent Green Poha.
Dhyuthi from M√©lange! sent Mushroom Green Masala.

Indrani from Recipe Junction sent Asian Style Fried Rice with Brown rice and Paneer Dhaniya.

Indu Srinivasan of Khatta Meetha Theeka sent Coriander Leaves Pulao,Pudina Coriander Chutney.

Jay from Tasty Appetite sent Coriander rice.
Kalva form Curry in Kadai sent Masala vada.

Kalyani of AK's Vegetarian Recipe World sent Coriander Coconut Chutney, Cilantro Rice.

Kaveri from Palakkad Chamayal sent Subz Hara Masala - Mixed vegetables in green gravy.
Krithika Rajgopal from Foodieworkz sent Coriander PulaoCoriander Mint Paste and Coriander and Bell Pepper Dhokla
Neetu Srivastava from TipsNDeals sent Cauliflower Kurma.

Neeraja from Neeru's sent Tomato Coriander Chutney.

Nivedita from Nivedita's Kitchen sent Fresh Coriander Thokku.
Nutan from Rice N Spice sent Coriander PulavCoriander Dry Chutney.

PJ of Seduce Your Tastebuds sent Kothamalli Thokku.
Prathima from Prats Rao sent Coriander Chutney.
Priti of Indian Khana sent Green Chutney.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal from Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes sent Coriander and Onion Chutney
Priya Sreeram of Bon Appetit sent Cheese-Egg-Cilantro Fried Sandwiches.

Priya of Now Serving sent Cilantro Chapathis and Indian Chinese Pizza.

Radhika from Ticking Palates sent Coriander Briyani.
Raksha from Raksha's Kitchen sent Coriander Dosa.

Raji from Vegetarian Tastebuds sent Potato and Coriander Tikkis.
RS from Relishing Food sent Green Chutney for Chaat.

Saraswathi Iyer from Sara's corner sent Coriander Chutney, Cilantro Pulao.

Savitha of Savitha's Kitchen sent Cilantro Rice.
Sowmi from Sowmi's Kitchen sent Coriander Stuffed Paratha

Shanavi of Kitchen Secrets sent Masala BiscuitsCoriander Veggie Pulao and Kothamalli Thokku.

Sheetal from Nicks & Jits Kitchen sent Coriander rice
Shobha from Food Mazaa sent Seyala Maani and Karela & Coriander juice.

Sravani of Srav's Culinary concepts sent Methi and Coriander Chutney.

Swetha from Our Cherished world sent Coriander Rice.

Shobha from Food Mazaa sent Okra in Sao Masala.

Sobha Shyam from Good Food sent Green Chapathi.
Vaishali Sabnani of Ribbons&Pastas sent Hara Samosa and Kotmeer Vadi.

Vidhya from Sugar 'N spice sent Spinach'N Cilantro Pesto Pasta.

Vimitha Anand of My Culinary Trial Room sent Coriander Chutney.

And finally from me Fenugreek Coriander Thokku and Cilantro Paneer rice.

Non-Vegetarian Entries

Trisha of My Hobbie Lobbie sent Prawn Chilli Fry with Coriander Speckled Rice

Shobha of Food Mazaa sent Green Masala Chicken.
Sonali from Only Fish Recipes sent Goan style Baked fish with Green Masala.

Growing and preserving Cilantro
Roochi from Roochis blogspot sent us Tips on how to preserve Cilantro leaves.
Swetha from Our Cherished World sent Tips on Growing Cilantro.

And finally one entry from our friend Sindhia S a non-blogger
Baby Potatoes in Cilantro Pesto

Baby Potatoes - 8 - Add salt and boil with skin. (i used red baby potatoes)
Onion - 1 medium sized - chopped.
Olive oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste

For the Pesto Paste:
Cilantro - 1 cup tightly packed
Mint - 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves - 5
Green chilly - 8 (adjust according to your spice level)

Grind the ingredients for pesto to a smooth paste adding a little water. Heat oil in a pan and saute onions till transparent. Add a pinch of salt to the onions and saute well. Mean while make little slits around the potatoes using a knife(this helps the gravy to penetrate into the potatoes).
Now add the ground pesto paste and saute for few min. add salt as required.
Add potatoes to it and saute untill the potatoes are well coated with pesto paste. Goes well with chapathi as well as a side dish for rice and Biriyani.

This month's Herbs & Flowers - Fenugreek Leaves is hosted by Kalyani of What's Cooking. Send in your entries and extend your participation and support.

There is another event Breakfast Club - Pancakes happening here now. Send in your lovely entries. The end date is April 30.