Green cucumber/Dosakaaya or kheera/Vellarikkai/Soudekai

A very different and yummy chutney that goes very well with idli/dosas. I just love them and even my sons loved. Made this using different kinds of cucumber like salad, english cucumbers and everything tasted good. Suppose if you find that the cucumbers are not too tenderand tasty, then you make this chutney and enjoy it without wasting them. It is also very simple and easy to prepare also a perfect one in summer.

Onion - 1 large
Cucumber - 1 large or 2 small or 4 salad cucumbers
Garlic - 4 - 5 flakes
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Green chillies - 3 or 4
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Tamarind - 1 inch piece
Salt as needed
Oil - 2 tsp

For tempering:
Mustard seeds and urad dhal - few
Curry leaves - few
Oil - 1 tsp

Peel and cut cucmbers into thick chunks.

Heat 2 tsp of oil and add onions. Fry for 2 - 3 minutes and add garlic, ginger, green chillies and tamarind. Fry all together till onions are transparent. Next add cucumber chunks and fry till they nicely shrunk. Before removing add coriander leaves and mix. Adding coriander leaves gives a very good taste and also a very vibrant color. Remove and cool. Later grind to a fine paste also by adding salt. Transfer to a bowl and temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Serve with idli/dosa.



Tender Tamarind Leaves Rice/ Chintha aaku(chiguru) Pulihora/

This is a very different type of rice variety using tender tamarind leaves. Most of us would have relished tasting these leaves sometime and enjoyed the tartness, I too have many times and enjoyed it very much. Back home my mom used to make many dishes using these leaves and once such is this pulihora. It tastes just good as any other rice like lemon or mango rice. You get the main tanginess out of the tender tamarind leaves. So if you are lucky enough to get tamarind leaves especially the tender ones, then definitely go and try out this dish. You will surely enjoy.

Rice - 2 cups
Tender tamarind leaves - 1 cup ( cleaned and washed)
Peanuts - 3 - 4 tbsp
Channa dhal - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Red Chillies - 2 or 3 broken
Oil - 2 - 3 tbsp
Salt as needed

Always try to make use of the tender leaves, the ones you get particularly in April- May. Clean and remove the leaves from the stem.

Cook rice seperately and cool completely. While cooking add a tsp of oil and little salt.

Add another tsp of oil and turmeric powder to the cooling rice and mix well. Keep aside.
Heat few drops of oil and add the washed leaves( You can add more or less depending on the tartness needed). Fry till they are cooked very well. These leaves take some long time to cook and they also do not shrink that easily. So be careful and fry them. They also change in color very fast to brownish just like the color of tamarind. Keep the fried leaves seperately and in the same pan add the remaining oil and add peanuts,channa dhal, mustard seeds, urad dhal and red chillies. Also add few curry leaves and saute till the dhals are all nice brown in colour. Add the fried leaves and the cooled rice. Mix well and if needed add more salt. Remove and serve.



Boondi/Boondhi/ Motichoor - Laddu/Ladoo

These are the tiny yellow droplets deep fried and later soaked in sugar syrup and pressed and made into balls. Usually made during festivals.

An other authentic recipe sent in by my Gomathi Athai. She is an expert in making this sweet and we have enjoyed it many times prepared by her. She was so comfortable making this sweet that she used to make 100's of them in no time for small gatherings,festivals.

Besan/Chickpea flour/Kadalai maavu/kadale hittu/Senaga pindi - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1/2 cup( for syrup)
Oil - for deep frying

Cardamom seeds - 6 or 7 by count
Clove - 3
Nutmeg - a small piece
Sugar - 2 tsp
Edible camphor - a pinch(optional)
Saffron - few strands
Cashewnut and raising - few
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Dry roast clove and nutmeg and powder it along with cardamom seeds and sugar 2 tsp. Keep it aside.(adding sugar is optional. This is just to powder the clove and nutmeg very finelY).
In a tsp of ghee fry cashew and raisin and keep aside.

Take sugar and water in a vessel . Heat and boil well until you get a thick syrup consistency( called as one string consistency). Keep aside.

Mix besan with water to a thick batter consistency. Heat oil for deep frying. Take a perforated ladle/boondhi ladle and keep it on top of the hot oil. Take a ladleful of batter and pour it on top and keep spreading such that tiny droplets fall in the hot oil. Do not over crowd. Fry in small batches and keep aside. No need to fry till crispy.

Next add saffron, nutmeg clove,cardamom powder to the sugar syrup and mix well. Also add the prepared boondi along with edicble camphor and fried cashew and raisins. Mix well and keep aside for the boondi's to absorb the syurp. Add the remaining ghee and take a small mixture and press to make as balls by pressing in between your palms. Store in a airtight container and enjoy.
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Vazhakkai Varuval/Raw Banana Fry

I am back from my vacation and had a very good time in India visiting relatives and many other places. Mostly toured 3 south Indian states. Kids too had loads of fun especially with their grandparents and cousins and they wish to go again next year if possible - also me :).
Now time to update my posts. Many were left pending before I left and ofcourse got many more in these 2 months. Will start updating one by one slowly. Also will reply to all your queries one by one as I still need some time and get back to normal routine :).

Now to start off with the one that was there in my draft from a very long period. My friends loved this so much that they asked me to prepare again and again. Only recently did I realise that I had not posted it :).
This is one of the simplest side dish and also can be made in now time. Goes well with any curries and hot rice.

Raw Banana - 1
Onion - 1 small chopped fine
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Garlic - 3 or 4 pods
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder - few pinch
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds and urad dhal - very few
Curry leaves - few

Cut the banana in 2 and cook it water for 10 mts. Prick with a fork to check. They should not get mushy, but soft enough to immerse. Remove and drain water. Peel the skin and cool. Later cut into small cubes.

Mean while grind fennel seeds, garlic and coconut to a coarse paste.
First add fennel seeds and run the mixer for few seconds, then add the garlic to crush together. Finally add coconut and turn on the mixer for few seconds. If needed add few drops of water, just make sure they are not ground to a fine paste.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Next add onion and saute till light brown. Add the ground paste and stir in for few minutes for the raw smell to leave like about 3 - 4 minutes. Next add the powders(turmeric and chilli powder) and mix once. Immediately add the cooked and chopped raw banana along with salt and fry together for 2 - 3 minutes adn serve. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves if needed.

This is an other version of vazhakkai fry. Though some procedure look similar, the taste is completely different and flavorful.

Sending this to Priya's CWS - Fennel seeds event.

Read more of "VAZHAKKAI VARUVAL - Type 2"