Dosai Milaga Podi

dosaimilagapodi

Ingredients

Red chillies  100 g

White sesame seeds 100 g

Urad dal  200 g (1½ cups)

Chana dal 100 g (¾ cup)

Tamarind 4 to 5 scales (areca-sized ball)

Salt 2 tbsp

Sugar 2 tsp

Method

  • Roast  sesame in a pan on low flame till it starts turning brown.  Transfer to a plat e and let it cool.
  • Add a few drops of oil to the pan and roast the chillies on low flame till the chilli starts swelling up and aroma wafts along.  Cool the chillies to room temperature in a plate. Roast the tamarind scale in the pan and add to chillies.
  • Add the two dals to the pan and roast them dry till the color starts changing and add the rock salt/table salt and let it get dry.  Cool it to room temperature.
  • When all ingredients have cooled to room temperature, blitz sesame to a fine powder and transfer to a plate. Transfer the chillies and tamarind to the blender and blitz it to powder. As the chilli may still be in a flaky form add half the dal and powder finely. Transfer to the plate with sesame.
  • Transfer the remaining dal to the blender, add sugar and grind to a coarse powder. Transfer to the remaining mix and mix well. Store in air tight bottles

Makes two bottles of podi.

Chef’s Note: If you like asfotida flavor in podi, roast ¼ tsp asafotida powder along with dal.

Methi Pulao (4 Servings)

methipulaoIngredients Basmati rice 1½ cups

Water 2½ cups

Cleaned fenugreek leaves  2 cups

Tomato puree  1 cup (3 medium-sized tomatoes)

Onion  2 (medium-sized)

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Pepper powder ½ tsp

Red chilli powder (cayenne)  ¾ tsp

Ginger-green chilli paste  1 tsp Oil 1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tsp

Ghee 1 tsp

Method

  • Dice onion to thin slices and keep aside. Rinse the cleaned methi leaves in running water, drain and cut them fine.
  • Soak basmati in water for 15 minutes and  drain excess water. Heat ghee in a wok and saute till aroma wafts out.
  • Add oil to pressure pan and when the oil heats up add jeera and let it splutter.  Add onion and saute till it turns translucent. Add ginger-chilli paste and saute for a minute before transferring the methi leaves to the mix. Saute methi leaves for a few minutes (3 to 4 min) and add tomato puree.
  • Stir in the masala (turmeric powder, pepper, chilli powder) and salt. When mixed well add the sauteed rice and add water.
  • Pressure cook for two whistles and wait for rice to cool and the grains to separate before serving.

Chef’s Note You can a cup of shelled peas to the mix while cooking and make it a methi-mattar pulao 🙂

Sakkarai Pongal

IMG_1341

Sakkarai pongal is made normally made with jaggery or some prefer it with sugar too. What is made on Sankaranthi is cooked in milk and has a different taste and thus sankaranathi pongal   is a little different in taste from traditional pongal. At home following Sankaranthi on Maattu Pongal day also it is traditional to make pongal and hence the variation without milk 🙂

Ingredients

Raw rice 1 cup

Moong dal ¼ cup

Jaggery 1½ cups

Ghee ¼ cup or less

Cardamom 4 (powdered)

Mace 2 petals (crushed)

Nutmeg powder  1 pinch

Cashew pieces 1 tbsp (10pieces sliced)

Raisin 1 tbsp

Saffron 1 pinch

Method

Quite similar to Sakaranthi pongal with variation in water added . More water added in place of milk.

  • Roast the dal and rice on slow fire until aroma is wafted.
  • Wash the dal-rice mix in water, add 3 cups water and pressure cook till done (4 to 5 whistles should do … 2 whistles in high flame and the rest in reduced flame)
  • While the rice is getting cooked melt the jaggery in a wok in ½ cup water and as it starts boiling strain it through a tea strainer to remove dirt and keep it ready.
  • Add a spoon of ghee in a wok and roast cashew and raisin and keep them ready. Soak the saffron a spoon of milk and keep ready
  • In the same wok transfer the mashed rice and keeping a low flame stir in  the  molten jaggery syrup and stir till evenly done. Add the remaining ghee and mix well. Add cashew-raisin, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder, mace and mix well.Add the saffron filaments in milk and mix well.
  • Serve hot

Sankaranthi Pongal ( 4 servings)

Harvest festival ,,, Sankaranthi is celebrated nationwide in different forms and among the South Indians too there are some differences although pongal is the basic dish for the day. Even today there are households that follow the tradition in cooking pongal on firewood and in earthen pots bought for the occasion .

At home we use bronze pots coated with lime and rice flour (basic idea to prevent the vessel from soot when cooked on firewood) as per the tradition and cook on gas flame.

 

Sankaranthi 2014
Sankaranthi

On festival day the rice is cooked in milk but can be done with less milk or no milk otherwise and the taste of course is distinct either way.

 

img_1338

 

Ingredients

Raw rice  1 cup

Moong dal  ¼ cup

Jaggery (powdered)  1½ cups

Milk 1 cup

Ghee ¼ cup or less

Cardamom 4 (powdered)

Mace 2 petals (crushed)

Nutmeg powder  1 pinch

Cashew pieces 1 tbsp (10pieces sliced)

Raisin 1 tbsp

Saffron 1 pinch

Method

  • Roast the dal and rice on slow fire until aroma is wafted.
  • Wash the dal-rice mix in water, add milk and 2 cups water and pressure cook till done (4 to 5 whistles should do ..2 whistles in high flame and the rest in reduced flame)
  • While the rice is getting cooked melt the jaggery in a wok in ½ cup water and as it starts boiling strain it through a tea strainer to remove dirt and keep it ready.
  • Add a spoon of ghee in a wok and roast cashew and raisin and keep them ready. Soak the saffron a spoon of milk and keep ready
  • In the same wok transfer the mashed rice and keeping a low flame stir in  the  molten jaggery syrup and stir till evenly done. Add the remaining ghee and mix well. Add cashew-raisin, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder, mace and mix well.Add the saffron filaments in milk and mix well.
  • Serve hot

Bell Pepper Bhath (2 Servings)

Bell pepper bhath

 

Ingredients

Green bell pepper  2 (medium-sized)

Rice   1 cup

Salt 1 tsp

Oil   1 tbsp

Ghee  1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Lemon juice 1 tbsp

Peanuts   2 tbsp

For Masala

Coriander seeds  1tbsp

Dry Red chilies   3

Peppercorn   ¼ tsp (about 10)

Cumin seeds ½ tsp

Chana dal 1 tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Coconut   2 tbsp

Cinnamon 1″ piece

Method

  • Wash the rice well in water, add ½ tsp oil, half the salt and cook in 2 cups of water in pressure cooker.
  • Spread the cooked rice on a plate and let it cool so that the grains separate.
  • While the rice is getting cooked, roast the peanuts and powder it coarsely and keep aside.
  • On a low flame roast all the masala ingredients in the following order: Cinnamon, red chillies, pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dals and finally coconut.  when the mix cools blitz it to a fine powder in a blender.
  • Dice the bell pepper into julienne. Heat the remaining oil in a wok and let the mustard seeds splutter. Add capsicum and saute on a low flame till cooked. Add salt, mix and transfer the rice, powdered masala, powdered peanuts and mix gently . Add hot ghee and mix to get a grainy texture.
  • Remove from flame and add lemon juice and mix well.

Chef’s Note: It is optional to add onions in case you like onion-capsicum combo. Saute the onions and the add bell pepper.

If u prefer tamarind to lemon juice (I prefer lemon in this dish) Add tamarind scales to masala mix and powder

Usili-Cauliflower n Peas (3 Servings)

cauliflowerusili (2)

Ingredients

Cauliflower (medium) cut into small pieces (0.5 cm)  2 cups

Shelled peas 1 cup

Coconut grated  2 tbsp

Chana dal  ¼ cup

Toor dal  ¼ cup

Red chilli powder ½ tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Turmeric ¼ tsp

Cooking oil 1 tbsp

Mustard 1 tsp

Coriander leaves diced fine  1 tbsp

Method

  • Soak the dals for 30 minutes and grind to a coarse texture along with turmeric, chilli powder and half quantity salt.
  • Transfer to a greased bowl and in another bowl take the cut vegetables and add the remaining salt to it and mix.
  • Steam the bowls placed one above the other in a cooker (no weight please) for 10 minutes.
  • Crumble the dal when it cools.
  • Heat oil in a wok and temper the mustard seeds, and saute the dal for 2 or 3 minutes on low flame. Add coconut and stir well.
  • Maintain the low flame and add the veggies and cook for 5 minutes or less till done

Penne Pasta in Marinara Sauce (2 servings)

IMG_1319

Ingredients

Penne  1 cup  (200 g)

Medium-sized onion 1 (smoked in skin)

garlic 2 cloves (crushed)

Tomato puree 1 cup ( from 3 medium-sized tomatos)

Olive oil 1 or 2 tbsp

Green bell pepper 1 (smoked in skin)

Mozarella cheese or Cheddar cheese  2 tbsp (grated)

Milk 1 cup

Butter  25 g ( 1 tbsp softened)

Corn flour/Maida  1 tbsp

Chilli flakes 2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar ½ tsp

Pepper powder 1 tsp

Oregano  ½ tsp

Parsley  ½ tsp (dried)

Basil (dried) 1 tsp

Method

  • Boil the pasta in adequate water to al dente point. Drop in cold water and drain the water.
  • Smoke the onion in skin and after peeling puree the onion.
  • Brush the bell pepper with oil and smoke over fire, remove the skin and dice into thin slivers.
  • To make Marinara Sauce: Saute  the crushed garlic in olive oil and when the raw smell is gone, saute the onion, add the tomato puree an let it boil for a few minutes ti thicken. Add salt, chilli flakes, sugar and basil.
  • Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and mix well.
  • White sauce: Melt butter in a pan and stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Add milk and when it thickens, add the herbs (parsley, oregano), pepper, slivered bell pepper and keep aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 200° C. Grease a baking dish and layer the pasta in the dish and top with white sauce.
  • Bake for 20 minutes till the top layer is caramelized.
  • Serve hot 🙂