12 Back from Break and few things to share

Back from my break(vacation). Now sharing few things during the end of the year 2010.

My Kaju Katli recipe got selected at Chackos Kitchen as one of the 30 best recipes of 2010.

Next my blog has been selected as one of the Best online cooking blog in Indian Cuisine for the year 2010 by Online cooking schools.


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19 BANANA FLOWER DHAL- and 2 weeks Break

Banana Flower(blossom)/ Ariti puvvu/ Vazhai poo Dhal or Sambhar

Happy holiday everyone.

Here schools have declared holiday due to snow blizzard and I am at home relaxing after 4 months with finishing my short term course in a community college. Just last week finished with course, final projects and final exam. Feeling relaxed and relieved :)
Now time for holidays and taking 2 weeks break from blogging, as will be travelling to California this thursday. Visiting sister's family and brother's family and also my mom who is there right now. Sis and bro, both live in California in two different cities with a travelling distance of only 15 minutes. Kids are excited and so am I.

Now coming back to the recipe:-

Love any dish prepared with banana flower, but getting it here in my place is very rare. Mostly will prepare vadai when I get and sometimes koottu or usili.

Banana flower - 1 cup ( cleaned and chopped0
Toor dhal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Sambar powder - 2 tsp
Onion - shallots (around 10) or red onion - 1 chopped
Tomato - 2 medium chopped
Green chillies - 2 slit
Ginger - 1 inch crushed
Garlic - 5 crushed
Tamarind - one small lime size
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - few
Curry leaves - few
Lime juice - few drops
Coriander leaves - few chopped
Salt as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp

Wash and cook toor dhal with few drops of oil and turmeric powder for 2 - 3 whistles with banana flower( Here I cooked the flowers seperately as was planning to make vadais).

Heat oil and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds, curry leaves. Wait till they pop and add onions. Fry till transculent and add green chillies, garlic and ginger. Fry till onions are nice brown. Next add chopped tomatoes. Mash and cook till pulpy. Then add sambar powder and mix once. Next add the cooked banana flowers( if cooked seperatelY) and fry in oil for a minute. Pour in tamarind pulp( soaked for 30 minutes in a cup of water and pulp extracted). Allow it to boil up and pour in cooked toor dhal. Let it come to a boil. Add salt and garnish with chopped corinader leaves. Remove and squeeze in lime juice. Serve with hot rice.

Sending this to CMT-Dhal/Kadhi/Sambar/Rasam event hosted by Priya an event started By Jagruti.

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Vellai Paniyaram

This is a traditional dish from Chettinadu( Tamilnadu). Though have heard about this dish very much and tasted it in few places, it was not common in my house. During my visit to India this summer, happened to learn it from one of our relative. Hearing about my visit one of our close relative had come over to my parents place. Along with her came 2 of her distant relatives, one of whom had stayed in Karaikudi for more than 25 years. Knowing about my interest in learning new dishes, she was so happy to give me notes and recipes along with some tips. One such dish is this vellai paniyaram. I often was confused with the names vellai paniyaram and vella paniyaram. Vella paniyaram is lightly sweet and made with jaggery (vellam) the one I am posting today is Vellai paniyaram the name due to its white(vellai in Tamil) color.

The best combo with this paniyaram is tomato kara chutney or red chutney which I will be posting soon. This can be had as a snack or as an evening tiffin or breakfast.

Raw rice - 1 cup
Urad dhal - 1/4 cup
Salt - as needed
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup or very little
Oil - for frying

Wash and soak rice and dhal together for one hour. Wet grind to a smooth paste consistency. The consistency should be slightly watery than dosa batter for tha add milk to lightly dilute the consistency. Also add salt and sugar(though sugar is added, it is not a sweet dish, but it just helps in puffind up and also taste good :) ) and mix very well. Transfer to a deep vessel and immerse the vessel with a lid covered in a vessel filled with cold water or in a refridgerator for one hour. Remove 10 minutes before using. You can as well skip this step and fry them right after grinding.

Heat oil for deep frying. When hot reduce to medium flame. Take a ladle full of batter and pour into hot oil 3- 4 times so some of the mix falls and flattens. With a different ladle used for frying things take some hot oil(using the ones that it is fried) and keep on pouring on top of the paniyarams. This way the paniyarams will get puffed up. Turn and repeat the same until the sizzle stops and the paniyarams are cooked. Do not over fry till they are crispy or turn dark. Remove and serve with nice spicy chutney.

Sending this to Food palette series white event hosted by torview.



Kang kong /Mashed water spinach/(Kaattu Keerai/Sarkaraivalli) Keerai Masiyal / Anne Soppu ( Kannada)/ Gurukkoorakku (Telugu)

It is also known as aquatic morning glory,Swamp morning glory, swamp cabbage, chinese water spinach, kangkong. Kalmua in Hindi, Tutikura in Telugu, Kalamba in sanskrit, Vallai Kirai(k(S)arkarei valli) in Tamil, Chanthion in Kannada.

Had this post in my drafts for more than 5 months, that is from my trip to India. Main reason was finding its name in English and only recently got to know that it is called as water spinach. At home my mom calls it as kaattu keerai in Tamil and GuruKoorakku in my home language. I googled a lot and found all these names above through wikipedia.

This is very commonly prepared at home and served with rice. The taste is really awesome. During my visit this time I was able to eat of greens and one such is this keerai masiyal. Prepared with very minimum ingredients and less time. Try it out and you will agree with me.

Water spinach - 1 bunch
Small onions/shallots - around 6 roughly chopped
Red chillies - 3 or 4 broken into half
Tamarind - 2 inch piece
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Salt as needed
Oil - 3/4 tbsp
Mustard seeds - very little
Urad dhal - very little
Garlic - 3 or 4 pods crushed ( optional)

Dry roast coriander seeds until nice brown without darkening and keep aside.
Heat 1/4 cup of water and add the leaves and cook. To it add coriander seeds, salt and tamarind. Cook till leaves are shrinked and very soft. Remove and cool. Later grind to a paste or mash with a masher.
Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal and red chillies. Next add crushed garlic( you can skip this one) and onions. Fry till nice brown and pour in the mashed greens. Mix and serve with rice.

Sending this "Only greens" event hosted by Sara an event started by Pari.