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Vendakka kichadi

It been just a short time I started blogging & I have got a sort of addiction to it. Daily thinking of new recipes, new thoughts…Just love doing those!! 

Well folks, for few weeks I’ll be away as I’m planning for a vacation to my homeland!! Recently I read from Archana’s blog about drafting recipes, I too plan for the same, but cannot guarantee how often can I. I will certainly be trying to do so.  

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Picture courtesy answers.com

You know I’m going to be rich soon, as Vishu is approaching…Vishu is an important festival for all the Malayalees which is regarded as New year. Of all the festivals I like Vishu as I used to get lots of Vishukaineettam ( money given in form of coins by elderly people which symbolizes prosperity).   It is also believed that the first objects which one sees on the morning of this auspicious day determine the prosperity experienced in the coming year. Hence, all of them make it a point to see all the auspicious things as soon as they wake up. This is called Vishukkani .

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Pic courtesy keralatourism.org

When we were young we used to make these arrangements the previous day & next day early morning our mom used to come & wake us…keeping our eyes closed slowly we approach the place where it is arranged and see the kani !! After that keep on asking for kaineettams! At the end of the day we start counting the amount we got & feel envious on who got more J Another important thing is the feast which is one of the best part of the day!!Vendakka kichadi is one of the Thodukari’s in this feastwhich is served for every vishu at my place.  So thought of sharing🙂  My loving wishes for all of you….Happy Vishu!! For the kichadi

  • Okra – 20 to 25 thinly sliced
  • Curd 1 ½ cup
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying 

To grind

  • Grated coconut 1 cup
  • Green chilies 3 to 4
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp 

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Fry the okra slices till it is brown & crisp. If in large quantity fry them in batches. Grind coconut & said ingredients to fine paste. Cook the paste with little water [say quarter cup of water]. Once it is cooked add curry leaves & salt. Add Okra & mix; switch off the gas & add curd, stir at once. The curd should be sour enough…

Chapati/Roti

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Making rotis is indeed an art, but certain ideas could make it better!!I had lost hope of making them initially as it never used to be soft & palatable.If kept for more hours it turned to be like Frisbee & could even chop off one’s head if thrown with more velocity.

Changing brands, adding milk, curd, other softeners, kneading with efforts, etc did not find any solution to my problem. Finally I came upon the whereabouts of making them. I cannot say as a masterpiece, but certainly it remains soft & moreover looks like chapati or so called roti!! 

Ingredients 

All you need is wheat flour, water to knead, oil & salt. To impart good softness, the kneading skill is very much important. What I do is, take 3 cups of whole wheat flour [100% wheat, no Maida added. I found Swad as a good brand] 2 tsp of any cooking oil, salt to taste and 1 to 1.5 cups of water [approximately, cannot say a specified quantity for kneading]. 

Kneading

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Add all the ingredients together and mix properly. Keep kneading till it becomes like a smooth even surfaced ball. After kneading make the dough rest peacefully for 15 to 20 minutes. This is to make the gluten relaxed. Also keep the container packed where it is resting to avoid drying the surface. A wet cloth or kitchen napkin will also do. 

Rolling 

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 Make equal sized small balls or pedas out of this dough. Dust with flour. Here I take flour in a circular bowl & press the pedas along the base of the bowl towards the rim on both sides, So that the flour is evenly distributed & no need of extra dusting. Start rolling the pedas into chapati in round shape turning them clockwise & further rolling in between.  

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Toast them in griddle or a tawa. Set the temperature to medium flame [temperature also plays important role; if kept on high it becomes more hard & if on slow, uneven distribution of heat may not cause it to blow up]. You could see small bubbles blowing up on one side. Press & turn side. The roti completely blows up after turning them. Check the video to see how it blows up

 Once completely blown take them from the tawa into a plate & if required, smear a tsp of oil or ghee on top of it.

Every time when either of meat or poultry is bought, it is prepared in excess. I am happy to see the leftovers as it taste better on next day!! This time I thought I will make in variety. I made mutton chaarr the previous day & mutton stew the next day morning. I cooked with some salt in a pressure pan & reserved and then finally boost up with added spice to it.

Good to go with easter menu ” HAPPY EASTER”!!!!

Both the curries go well with either rotis or any of the breakfast items of Kerala origin. My mouth is still watering even while writing! I always take resolution to get rid of fleshy stuffs ; but  to be frank cant help it,,,it makes me irresistible!!!!

Mutton – 1 lb each for both the recipes

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Mutton chaarr 

  • Onions sliced 2
  • Green chilies 4 silted
  • Curry leaves few
  • Mustard seeds few
  • Salt
  • Oil 

To grind 

  • Whole cinnamon bark 2 to 3
  • Whole big cardamom 2 to 3
  • Peppercorns 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger paste 1 ½ tsp
  • Garlic paste 1 ½ tsp
  • Red chilly powder 1 ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp 

Make paste of all the ingredients mentioned above to grind.  Splutter mustard seeds in pan. Sauté onions, green chilies & curry leaves till they become translucent. Add the paste and keep stirring till oil separates out. Add the previously cooked mutton, 1 cup of water & salt if required simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve hot with chapathis. 

Mutton stew 

  • Onions sliced 1 big
  • Ginger paste 2 tsp
  • Green chilies 8to 10 silted
  • Curry leaves few
  • Powder of fennel seeds & coriander seeds 1 tsp each [powder the whole seeds taking in equal proportion]
  • Whole masalas [big cardamom & cinnamon bark (2 to 3each) & whole peppercorns ½ tsp
  • Boiled potato cut in chunks 1
  • Coconut milk 1 ½ cup [if using coconut milk powder, then 3 Tbsp in 1 ½ cup water]
  • Salt
  • Oil

Mutton stew

Add whole masalas to splutter in oil. Sauté onions, green chilies & curry leaves. Add ginger paste when onions become transparent. Stir at once & add all the spice powders; continue stirring. Add boiled potato chunks, cooked mutton, salt & mix well. Add half a cup of water & simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes. Add coconut milk, blend well & switch off the gas. Serve hot with apams or idiappam.

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I was so much happy to see this time’s JFI element in RP’s workshop to be tomatoes as it is an essential vegetable in my kitchen. I love its juicy texture which gives richness to the gravy. I don’t know anyone who hates them!!

Tomato pickle is always one of my choice of pickles, but for this theme are these beautiful small, long, grape-like clusters of brilliant red elongated grape tomatoes which are sweet, complex & rich in flavor.

  • Grape tomatoes – ½ lb [washed & thoroughly dried]
  • Garlic chopped finely 1 tsp
  • Red chilly powder 2tsp
  • Paprika 1tsp
  • Crushed mustard seeds ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Kalongi [onion seeds] 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder ¼ tsp
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil ¼ cup 

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Mix all spices together with little of oil. Heat oil to smoking point & allow cooling. Till the oil is just warm, add the chopped garlic, spice mixture & then the tomatoes keeping gas on slow flame.  Keep stirring for not more than 3 minutes & add salt.

This I had made in very small quantity & is hardly left, but if making in large amount, the tomatoes should be dried properly as it is very much juicy & can get spoilt. Drying can be done either sun drying for a day or 2 or oven drying at 170 F for 1 hr. This is for extended shelf life.  

Khatta Bhindi with pickled tomatoes.

 This is one of my favorite dishes which go well with rotis. khatta-bhindi-2.jpg

  • Bhindi / okra 1 lb [cut into 2 or 3]
  • Pickled tomatoes ½ cup
  • Onion sliced -1
  • Red chilly powder ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil  

Shallow fry the okras & reserve. Sauté onions till transparent & add the pickled tomatoes. Add the spices & salt and stir till mixed well. Add fried okra to it & cook in low flame for 3 to 5 minutes.

Irachi Puttu

Our professor in formulation development dept used to say that pharmacy is much like cooking and I always remember his words while I make puttu. It reminds me of the steps involved in tablet granulation. Tablets & puttu….Who are the guinea pigs then???? Sorry dear ones they are tried & tested!!!! 

Well Irachi puttu is not at all my invention. It was while back at home where I was a regular watcher of Kairali Tv’s Magic oven presented by Lakshmi nair, where in one episode was dedicated to this recipe. It sound to me different among the puttu we make. Nothing special, only cooked & spiced minced meat added which shows the difference. But somehow I liked the recipe and thought of sharing! 

To know more about puttu read this & also about chiratta puttu over here & here 

Also try another great innovation of Varna Puttu

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The meat stuff 

  • Here I used cooked & minced chicken 1 cup[ any meat can be used ]
  • Shallots chopped finely 4to 5
  • Ginger chopped finely ¼ tsp
  • Garlic chopped finely ¼ tsp
  • Red chilly powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Fennel seeds 1 or 2 pinch
  • Chicken masala ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil 

Stir fry the shallots, ginger-garlic in oil, add up spice, salt & cooked chicken to it. Keep stirring until everything is mixed properly. 

For Puttu 

Rice flour  2 cups

 
Grated coconut 1 cup  
Water approximately ½ cup  
Salt to taste  

Add salt & water to the rice flour & mix in required consistency. It should neither be too wet nor too dry. In a puttu maker, layer 2 tsp grated coconut, rice mixture, then the meat stuff, again rice mix then grated coconut & steam till done!!

Gravies add the whole body or content to Indian recipes. As rotis & rice form the staple diet in Indian cuisines, gravy form a basic part to go along with it. There are n’ number of ways of making the same or similar kind of gravies which mainly includes onion-tomato, only tomato, green masala , curd, cashew nut, coconut, poppy seeds, roux…etc etc as even I am unaware how many of them are there.  

It is easier to make any kind of dish if the basic of making gravy is known. I was initially very much avid to know how people make so many variations with a single vegetable as I was familiar with one and only funda in gravy making; one reduced to the simplest & significant form possible without loss of generality I suppose, “Sautéed onions, tomatoes with turmeric & red chilly powder”.  

To my curiosity I started collecting the various blending ideas with recipe booklets & my own cook mentor “Google highness”, one great invention! Many of which is described in Saroj’s Cook book  Here I made two kind of gravies, where mushroom was my choice of ingredient to add up. 

Call it Mushroom kadai or Mushroom dahivale …the choice is left with you!!  

You just need Button mushrooms 15 to 20 for each item or paneer or any vegetables of your choice. Servings for 3 people.

  

Mushroom in cashewnut gravy

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For the gravy 

  • Onion 1 medium sized sliced
  • Cashewnuts 15 to 20 soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Red chilly powder 1 tsp
  • Jeera powder ½ tsp
  • Garam masala powder 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil 

Sautee onions till its golden brown. Grind cashewnuts and sautéed onions into fine paste. In the same pan fry ginger garlic paste and add the ground masala to it. Add spice mix and keep stirring for a while till the raw taste of cashew goes nil. Add mushrooms and cook till the mushrooms are done. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Mushroom in curd gravy

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 For the gravy

  • Onions chopped finely 1

  • Garlic chopped finely 3 to 4 pods

  • Green chilies chopped finely 4

  • Ginger chopped finely 1 tsp

  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

  • Kalongi or onion seeds 1/4 tsp

  • Red chilly powder ½ tsp

  • Garam masala 1 tsp

  • 1 tsp of any flour [corn, wheat or all purpose]

  • Curd 1 cup

  • Salt

  • Oil

Sauté onions, garlic, ginger & green chilies till transparent. Add spices together and stir for a while. Add the flour and keep stirring till everything is blend together. Add curd and cook for a while in slow flame. Keep stirring, add mushrooms & salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Beetroot kichadi

Beetroot kichadi is one of the specialities in Kerala sadyas which is included in “thodukaris”. This colorful recipe gives a centerpiece attraction for the sadya. In some places the term kichadi is substituted with pachadi, I guess.beetroot-kichadi.jpg

Many people are of the belief that Beetroot is good for the blood. This is not correct. Of course beetroot is good, but not high in iron so it will not help to prevent anemia, which many believe it will do. Beetroot’s main benefits are that it contains no fat, very few calories and is a great source of fiber.
Beetroot has for many years been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red coloring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer and beetroot also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 percent. Additional studies are taking place to add support to these claims. The green leafy part of the beetroot is also of nutritional value containing beta-carotene and other carotenoids.
Beetroot contains folate, potassium and manganese. The green leafy tops are especially nutritious as they contain calcium, beta-carotene and iron.Beetroots are notable for their sweetness, they have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, but they are very low in calories[4 oz/100g = 36 calories]. beet-ingr.jpg

  • Beetroot 2 medium sized grated
  • Coconut [ground with a tsp of mustard seeds & 3 to 4 green chilies] 1 cup
  • Curd 1 cup mixed with half cup of water.
  • Mustard seeds, red whole chilies & curry leaves for spluttering
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil for spluttering 

Cook beetroot with turmeric powder & salt with little water. Add ground coconut and cook for another 5 minutes. Add curd and simmer for a while. Finally splutter it with said items. 

Fresh beetroot also supplies a nutritional bonus; their green tops are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, and iron.

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