Idli Uppuma

Idli uppuma

Idli … a popular and one of the healthiest dishes ever is a common household name in South India and now a very popular and much sought after cuisine globally and is enjoyed most with sambhar, coconut chutney and milagai podi. Often there are leftover idlis and the same made as uppuma makes another healthy breakfast. Anyday a favorite with all idli lovers!

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

Idli 8 numbers(leave overnight in refrigerator)

Onion  2 medium-sized diced fine

Green bell pepper  1 medium-sized, diced

Carrot 1 big (peeled and grated)

Green chili 1 (slit)

Milagai podi 1 tsp

Salt ½  tsp

Curry leaves from 2 sprigs

Oil 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

 

Method

  • Refrigerate the leftover idlis or the freshly made ones for a few hours so it is easy to crumble the idlis to a coarse texture. Crumble the refrigerated idlis between the fingers to get a coarse powder.
  • Heat oil in a wok and let the mustard seeds splutter, Add the slit chili, urad dal, curry leaves and when the dal is golden brown add onion and saute till translucent. Add the diced bell pepper and saute for two minutes or so on a low flame. Add the grated carrot, milagai podi, and salt and stir fry for another two minutes.  Sprinkle a few drops of water to keep it just moist,  cover the wok .
  • Transfer the crumbled idli to the wok and mix well but not too vigorously. Switch off the flame and serve hot. Garnish with coriander leaves if you feel like.

Chef’s Note

  • Fresh idlis are soft and get gooey if you try to crumble. Ensure you refrigerate for a few hours to get a firm texture.
  • You can substitute milagai podi with half the quantity of sambhar powder but if using sambhar powder ensure it is well roasted in oil to overcome the raw feel.
  • More vegetables such as fresh peas or beans can also be added but they have to be precooked

IMG_1941

Murungai (Drumstick) Rasam

 

 

murungakarasam

 

Drumstick in any form as the pod, leaves or even the flowers is used in South Indian cuisine or even among the Bengalis very frequently. The flavor and its loaded mineral content makes it a much sought after vegetable. Very often the fruit finds its place in sambars, vatha kuzhambu or avial. The leaves are sauteed and cooked as a  stir fry in an onion-tomato base  or they are used as a topping in adai.   The tender drumsticks are a hot favorite with Bengalis who cook it with fish or potatoes.

Murungakai rasam is also quite popular as it is a very aromatic rasam. I used the pulp from the fruit and also the leaves to make the rasam and it was a good decision.

Ingredients

Drumstick      10 to 12 pieces (3″ long)

Tomato            1 big or 2 medium-sized

Tamarind       1   gooseberry-sized ball or 1 tbsp pulp

Rasam powder    2 tsp

Salt              1 tsp

Arahar dal  2 tbsp

Turmeric powder ¼  tsp

Moringa leaves   1 tsp (separated and cleaned)

Ghee 1 tsp

Mustard seeds   1 tsp

Pepper powder ½  tsp  (optional)

Asafotida  ¼ tsp

Water 4 cups

 

Method

  • Add water and turmeric powder to arahar dal and pressure cook the dal along with tomato for 4 whistles to get a soft texture.  Cook the moringa pieces in the cooker in a bowl while cooking the  dal.  Scrape out the flesh from the skin and add to dal-tomato mixture. Keep the seeds separately. Mash the dal, moringa flesh and tomato to a pulpy consistency and keep it ready.
  • Add salt and rasam powder to tamarind extract/pulp and add a cup of water and boil on medium flame till the raw rasam powder smell is gone (about 5 to 7 minutes). Make the volume to 1 liter.
  • Add the dal-moringa pulp to the rasam when it starts boiling  and simmer it till the rasam starts frothing. Add asafotida powder, cooked moringa seeds and switch off the flame.

In a thick-bottomed ladle/wok heat the ghee and add mustard seeds. When the mustard starts spluttering add pepper powder (if used) ans switch off the flame. Add the moringa leaves to the seasoning while hot and let the leaves get crisp. Transfer the seasoning to the rasam and enjoy one of the most flavorsome rasams.

Murungaka rasam

Chef’s Note

  • Freshly roasted rasam powder  can be used in place of ready powder.
  • Some like to drop drumstick pieces in the rasam instead of pulping it like I did.

No garnishing with curry leaves or cilantro is done in this rasam as the flavor of moringa can get masked. Moringa leaves are used for garnishing and to add to the flavor.

murnga rasam

 

 

 

 

 

 

Udupi Rasam

udupirasam

 

Time we visited the coastal Karnataka after reveling in the land of mangoes for a festive cuisine …. Udupi rasam! No meal offered in the Udupi temples/Dharmasthala or any of the Brahmin Mangalorean wedding feast is complete without the famous Udupi rasam. The specialty of the rasam powder for this is the inclusion of mustard seeds as also fenugreek seeds. Furthermore, the ingredients are roasted in a generous amount of coconut oil and often the tempering is also done in coconut oil. Naturally with so much of coconut flavor to it, fresh coconut is only optional. The powder is made in bulk and used for other stir fry dishes too. I used coconut oil minimally to roast the condiments and I love the aroma of ghee in tempering; so tempering in ghee. To balance the heat from the chilies I used coconut and also jaggery. Byadagi chilli is used to give the vibrant color and one can use a mix of normal red chilies and Byadagi chilies to give color and taste.

This recipe is adapted from the recipe from  Chitra Amma’s Kitchen

Ingredients

Tamarind 1 lemon/gooseberry sized ball or  1 tbsp of pulp

Green chili 1 (slit)

Arahar dal 2 tbsp (to be pressure cooked)

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Tomato 2 medium-sized

Fresh coconut 1 tbsp (grated)

Curry leaves frpom 3 sprigs

Salt 1 tsp or as per taste

Jaggery powder ½ tsp

Ghee 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida ¼ tsp

Water 4 cups

 

For rasam powder

rasam condiments

 

Red chillies 4

Byadage chilies 4

Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1tsp

Urad dal 1 tsp

Coconut oil  ¼ tsp

 Mustard seeds 1/3 tsp

Fenugreek seeds ¼ tsp

udupi rasam ingred

Method

  • Add turmeric powder to the washed arahar dal and pressure cook the dal for 4 whistles.
  • For rasam powder: In a wide and thick-bottomed pan add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and dry roast till the color starts changing to brown. Remove from fire and transfer to a platter to cool.

Add the coconut oil to the same pan and roast the chilies, followed by cumin seeds, coriander seeds and urad dal. As the aroma is released switch off the flame and transfer to the platter to cool down.

Powder the roasted condiments to a slightly coarse texture.

  • Blanch the tomato in hot water or by microwaving for a minute. Blend the blanched tomato, coconut and curry leaves to a smooth paste.
  • Extract the pulp from tamarind soaked in warm water into the cooking vessel or add the ready pulp and make up the volume to 1 cup. Add salt and slit chilly and keep it on slow fire till the raw smell of tamarind is gone.
  • Add the mashed dal and tomato-coconut paste to the vessel and make up the volume to 1 liter.
  • When the mix starts boiling add the rasam powder, asafotida, and jaggery. Switch off the flame when the mix starts boiling and gets frothy.
  • Temper the mustard seeds and transfer to the ready rasam.

udupi saaru

Note

Normally this rasam uses coconut oil for tempering and those who love strong coconut flavor can use coconut oil. The condiments are also roasted (fried?) in a fairly large scoop of oil

Red chili is commonly used in tempering but I decided to skip it.

 

 

 

Raw Mango Rasam

mango rasam

 

Mango and rasam?!

Anything can happen in the land of mangoes! Raw mango is a good sour base and can replace  tamarind in rasam. If anything, I realized that mango rasam is not so uncommon a rasam; I was quite surprised to note that this rasam is quite popular in Andhra and is known as mamidikaya charu. Mango has been taken to new heights by using ripe fruits of mango in rasam by mango fans.

A little bit of research showed that rasam powder is often used in this dish but I decided to add the aroma of fresh spices and enhance the flavor with a dash of ginger and slit green chilly. Needless to say this was a great success.

 

Ingredients

Raw mango 1 medium-sized

Tomato    1 medium-sized (optional)

Green chilly 1

Ginger 1” piece (grated)

Curry leaves from 3 sprigs

Salt 1 tsp

Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

Arahar dal 2 tbsp

Water 4 cups

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Ghee 1 tbsp

Asafotida  ¼ tsp

Jaggery powder ½ tsp

For Spice powder

Dry  red chilies   4

Peppercorn  ½ tsp

Cumin seeds  ½ tsp

Coriander seeds  1½ tsp

Fenugreek seeds   ¼ tsp

 

Method

 

  • Add turmeric powder to washed arahar dal and pressure cook till soft. Mash the cooked dal and keep it ready.
  • When the dal is getting cooked prepare the spice powder by roasting the spices listed in a few drops of ghee (in the order given) on a low flame just to the point when the aroma is released. Ensure that the color does not change. Powder finely when the spices are cooled.
  • Blanch the tomato and dice the peeled mango. Transfer the mango pieces, tomato and curry leaves to a blender and blitz it fine.
  • Transfer the blended pulp to a thick-bottomed pan, add salt, grated ginger, and slit chilly and add a cup of water and cook on a medium flame. When the mix starts boiling add the mashed dal and make up the volume to 1 liter with the remaining water.
  •  When the rasam starts foaming add asafotida and jaggery powder and remove from flame.
  • Heat the ghee in the tempering ladle and let the mustard seeds splutter and transfer to rasam.

 

manga rasam

Note

If you prefer to use rasam powder in place of freshly done powder, let it boil for 5 minutes in a cup of water before adding the pulp. Where you like to enjoy the exclusive flavor of mango skip tomato.

As the pulp gives a thick consistency, if you like a thinner consistency use just a tablespoon of arahar dal.

No coriander leaves required in this rasam.