Category Archives: Dinner

ūüĆŅ POTHINA THUVAIYAL | THOGAYAL | MINT CHUTNEY ūüĆŅ

Master chef calls for challenge

Domestic looks for balance

Testing recipes, call for a duel

To which, day-to-day fire may not fuel

Thuvaiyal‘ – minced spiced veggies with lentil

Stock on table, is fundamental

Back in times, it was hand ground

On an Indian stone mortar pestle, all around

Old school chefs, still vouch by the flavour

Of the energetic, manual labour

However, modern world surrender

To the electric blender

PT2
Pothina thuvaiyal

Prep time : 5 mins ; Cooking time : 10 mins ; Serves : 4

Ingredients  :

  • 1 bunch of Pudina or Mint leaves
  • 3 whole red chilies (small round variety)
  • 1/4 tsp whole pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp udad dal | Black gram lentil
  • 1 tsp thuvar dal | Red gram lentil
  • a marble size¬†piece of tamarind
  • salt to taste
  • 11/2 tsp sesame oil / cooking oil of choice

For tempering (optional) :

  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp¬†udad dal | Black gram lentil
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • a red chilly (small round variety)
  • few curry leaves
  • a tsp of sesame oil / cooking oil of choice

Method :

  1. Pinch out the mint leaves, discarding the stems. Wash, drain and scald them on a pan, with half a tsp of oil.
  2. Fry in a tsp of oil mustard seeds, red chilies, pepper, black gram lentil, red gram lentil and tamarind, till the lentils are golden brown.
  3. Grind them coarsely in a mixer jar with salt and scalded mint leaves. If required sprinkle little water to ease the grinding process.
  4. Fry ingredients given under tempering, in a tsp of oil and temper the ground thuvaiyal. This step is optional.
  5. Serve mint thuvaiyal as an accompaniment, along with steamed ghee rice. It can also be used as pesto or spread, on different types of bread.

Variation :

The list of thuvaiyal / thogayal, among many more, which one can prepare in a similar fashion are with coriander leaves, curry leaves,  finely chopped coconut, Kamala orange peels, onions, garlic, brinjal, ridge gourd (peerkangai), chayote (chow-chow), ginger, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and red gram lentils .

 

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‚ėĮ CHINESE | INDO CHINESE | VEGETABLE FRIED RICE ‚ėĮ

“Chinese fried rice” named as a matter of fact

 Oriental terrain knows it is not infact

‘Indo Chinese fried rice’ phenomenal tact pact

Its claim to irrefutable fame

Tickling taste buds is thy game

Pointless playing by thy name

 Balancing the ying and yang

 Sweet ‘n’ sour tastes boomerang

Hot, pungent, warm ‘n’ cold

Plants energy Qi ‘n’ roots the soul

 Family’s touch is always welcome

Magical is the outcome

Creating a beckoning array

It was one such fine day!

CF1

ūüéľ Standing in the Hall of Fame  And the world’s gonna know your name ‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame  And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame – The Script – “Hall of Fame” (feat. Will.I.am)

Prep time : 15 min; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups Basmati | any long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Spring onion bulbs | Scallions
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Celery (optional)
  • 1/4 cup  thinly sliced Capsicum | Bell Pepper
  • 1/4 cup  thinly sliced Green Beans
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced or shredded Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sliced Mushroom | Tofu | Baby corn (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Green chilly sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp  Red chilly sauce (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tomato ketchup sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Sesame Oil

To be ground into a paste :

  • 1 bulb of Garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch Ginger, peeled
  • 1 – 2 green chilies
  • 1 – 2 whole red chilies
  • 1 – 3 whole peppercorns (optional)

Ingredients for garnish :

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onion greens

Method :

  1. Rinse well and soak the rice for about 15 mins in 4 1/2 cups of water. Cook in a pressure cooker up to 1 whistle or cook in a vessel filled with water and then drain out once cooked. Make sure the grains are separate and not mushy. Set aside.
  2. Thinly slice all the vegetables and mushroom, tofu (if added) . Set aside.
  3. Grind the ingredients under  ‘To be ground into a paste’ in a mixer. Set aside.
  4. Heat the sesame oil in a large wok, preferably on a medium or high flame, with all ingredients close at hand. Fry the ground paste. Add the vegetables and salt. Saute them for a few minutes, when the vegetables are slightly cooked and crunchy, add the salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and other sauces (if used). Cook for a few more minutes. Check the seasoning.
  5.  Next add the cooked rice and toss things around like a pro, taking care not to break the rice grains and making sure all the grains are evenly coated with the gravy. Switch off heat.
  6. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot, as is or along with a Manchurian gravy or your choice of sides.CF2

    Indo Chinese Vegetable fried rice

‚ôß SHREENIDHI SABZI | BOTTLE GOURD CURRY | DHOODHI KI SABZI ‚ôß

“Maa,  Shreenidhi got her classic sabzi again today for lunch and guess what?!” hollers my older one.

“WHAT?!” apprehensive me, hollering a notch above her, gearing up to dodge a googly that might come next.

“It is Sorrakkai (tamil word for Bottle gourd) curry!” she exclaims.

“DON’T TELL ME!” A relieved me also exclaiming with disbelief, albeit on a note higher but clearly, she had me all ears.

The credits for this Bengali cuisine style recipe go to Shreenidhi’s mother, who not only shared her recipe but also a sample of Nigella seeds, as we do not use these commonly in our day to day cooking – a sweet and thoughtful gesture on her part.

Our way of saying a ‘Big Thank You’ in appreciation of both Shreenidhi and her mother was naming this lip smacking dish ‘Shreenidhi Sabzi’ in our home. Forever!

A great way to introduce any vegetable!SS2Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 25 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 1 large Bottlegourd/Dhoodhi/Sorrakkai
  • 2 -3 onions (optional)
  • 1 -2 tomatoes
  • 1 – 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 tsp Panch phoran made of the following 5 ingredients ( 1/4 tsp mustard seeds + 1/4 tsp cumin seeds+1/4 tsp fennel seeds+1/4 nigella seeds + 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds /methi seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp corn flour (optional)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp Kitchen king masala or garam masala
  •  salt to taste
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tb.sp Mustard oil | any cooking oil of choice
  • 3 sprigs of coriander leaves

Method :

  1. Peel and chop the bottle gourd in 1 inch square pieces and finely chop onions, tomatoes, green chilies. Grate the ginger. Keep them ready.
  2. Heat oil in the frying pan. Temper with ‘Panch phoran’ till the mustard seeds splutter and rest of the seeds are aromatic and well roasted. Now add the grated ginger, finely chopped green chilies and onions. Saute till cooked. Now add the tomatoes. Scald some more and then add the chopped bottle gourd.
  3. Throw in the seasoning powders – turmeric powder, red chilly powder, kitchen king masala or garam masala and salt. Mix  the corn flour well, in 1/4 glass of water and add it if required, to thicken the gravy. Close with a lid for 5 – 10 mins. Cook till vegetables are well done and check the seasoning. Switch off heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  4. Serve hot with Rotis, Parathas or steamed rice.

Variations :

  1. This gravy can be made with a medley of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, peas – to name a few.
  2. Instead of corn flour, 1 boiled and mashed potato can be added to thicken the gravy.
  3. A paste of ginger, garlic and green chilies can be added instead of finely chopping them.
  4. Juice of half a lemon can be added at the very end, if a tangy version of the gravy is desired.

Note :

Larger quantities of ‘Panch phoran’ can be prepared by taking equal propotions of the 5 ingredients i.e equal quantities of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds.

SS1

‚ėÜ MOAR KUZHAMBHU | BUTTERMILK STEW ‚ėÜ

A year back, the main intent of starting this blog, was to note down recipes for my girls. Along the way, am happy to find it being appreciated by many!

“Maa, you’ve surpassed yourself!” exclaimed, my older one after having ‘Moar kuzhambu’. Woah! Mammoth compliment, elevating me right up to cloud nine.

‘Moar kuzhambu alias Butter Milk Stew’¬†is a mildy spiced stew. Loved by all in the¬†family, this blog would be incomplete without it. Landed and firmly grounded back to earth, I’m now busy jotting down the recipe. Voila!

mk1
Moar Khuzhambu

Prep time : 5 – 10 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 3 1/2 cups ¬†buttermilk (thick and slightly sour would be preferable)
  • 1/2 cup cut vegetables like ¬†Lady’s finger (okra), Brinjal ( egg plant) or Capsicum (bell peppers)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt as per taste

For grinding into a paste:

  • 1 1/2 tsp bengal gram dal / channa dal
  • 1/2 tsp raw rice
  • 3 – 5 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp cummin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red gram lentil / thuvar dal (optional)
  • a handful of coconut scrapings

For seasoning :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 – 3 broken red chilies
  • a few curry leaves
  • 2 – 3¬†tsp Sesame seed oil

For garnishing (optional) :

  • a few fresh coriander leaves

Method :

  1. Soak the dals and rice for a few minutes. Grind all the ingredients given under the list for grinding, into a smooth paste. Keep it ready.
  2. Chop Lady’s finger, Brinjal or Capsicum into 1 inch large pieces and scald well in a tsp of oil. Set aside.
  3. If you are using curd then churn it into smooth buttermilk and also make sure it is at room temperature. Add the ground paste, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Boil it on slow fire in a large wok,stirring continuously to avoid curdling.
  4. Once it starts boiling. Add the scalded vegetables and let it boil for a few more minutes, then switch off the flame.
  5. Heat sesame oil for seasoning, throw in the mustard seed. Once they splutter, add the red chilies and curry leaves. Scald and pour the seasoning over the buttermilk stew.
  6. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy along with hot steamed rice and dry vegetable curries.

Variations :

  1. Vegetables like Ash gourd, Chayote squash (Chow Chow), Cucumbers, Potatoes and Colocasia  can be peeled, cut into large bits, boiled and added to the stew. Inch long chopped bits of Drumstick too, can be added.
  2. Dried and salted Manaithakkali, Chundaikai can be fried and added to the stew.
  3. Fried small round balls made with [(equal measures of soaked bengal gram dal+red gram dal+black gram dal) + salt+ red chilies] can also be added to the stew.
  4. 1/4 tsp of coriander seeds can be included in the ingredients for grinding into a paste.
  5. 1/4 tsp of Thymol or carom seeds / Ajwain may be added while seasoning, if one likes the taste.
mk2
Lady’s finger Buttermilk Stew

 

 

‚ôß PASTA ‚ôß

Italian cuisine, swoop up the world and my country!

Deftly chiselling and carving its niche!

Italian ingredients, need stocking up in the pantry!

Arrives with an olive branch, now well within reach!

Pasta, distinguished, diverse in shapes and varieties, makes a gallant entry!

Surprise and sneak veggies, into the sphagetti!

Discover with glee, children fancy more and are hungry!

Gains approval, with complete unanimity!

Why bother searching ‘Ristorante’ up on Zomato?!

Make it at home, creamy, cheesy, flavourful with olive oil, oregano and tomato!

Wine and Dine! Divine!

p14
A PASTA !

PASTA IN WHITE SAUCE

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves: 4

p10
Creamy white sauce with veggies

Ingredients for preparing the Alfredo sauce | Béchamel sauce  (organic and natural) :

  • 1 1/2 tbsp ¬†butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp plain flour or corn flour (for gluten free version)
  • 3 – 4 cups milk
  • 25 gms or 1 tbsp grated¬†parmesan cheese | cheddar | cheese of choice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 – 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg powder
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for preparing the white sauce (organic and natural) :

  • 1 onion
  • 6 – 9 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1 /2 cups of finely chopped vegetables (an assortment of coloured capsicum, green or black olives, corn, peas, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, a few spinach leaves, a sprig of parsley or coriander leaves, mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 11/2 to 3 tsp Italian herb mix seasoning (a blend of rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese | ¬†cheese of choice
  • salt to taste

Ingredients to prepare the Pasta (organic and natural) :

  • 500gms whole wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta made with rice flour | millet flour | buckwheat flour (for the gluten free version)
  • ¬†2 tsp salt or as required
  • large pot of water for boiling the pasta

Method :

  1. Grate the cheese block and set aside.
  2. First  prepare the creamy Béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a skillet, add the flour and roast it for a couple of minutes. Poke and secure the cloves onto the bay leaf and add it in. Stir for about 2 Р3 mins then add milk and cook for about 5 Р7 mins till it thickens. Remove out  the secured bay leaf and cloves and discard. Mix in the grated cheese. Switch off heat. Grate in the nutmeg, add pepper powder and salt. If the sauce is too thick, stir in another 1/2 Р1 cup of milk. Set aside.
  3. Peel and crush the garlic and make a garlic paste. Peel and finely chop the onion. Finely chop, rest of the vegetables.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the crushed garlic paste and saute for a 1 -2 mins, till done. Now add the olive oil and throw in the onions. Add the salt and saute them till translucent, then toss in the assorted veggies, except spinach or any other greens and olives. Fry them for about 5 – 10 mins till lightly cooked and crunchy.
  5. Fold in the prepared Béchamel sauce, then add the seasonings, first the red chilli flakes, italian herb mix. Mix well and cook for about 2 -3 mins. Now add the spinach, parsley, any other greens (if added) and olives. Mix well. Alfredo white sauce is done. Switch off the heat.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. 10 – 15 mins for regular pasta and about 7 – 10 mins for gluten free pasta or as per the instructions on the packet.
  7. Pour the sauce over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.

PASTA IN RED SAUCE :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 1 hr; Serves: 4

p11
Spicy tangy red sauce with tomatoes

Ingredients for preparing the red sauce | Marinara sauce (organic and natural) :

  • 1 kg tomatoes (preferably sweet roma ones)
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 9 – 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar (optional, if the tomatoes are not sweet enough)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 11/2 to 3 tsp Italian herb mix seasoning (a blend of rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano)
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 3 – 4 basil leaves | tulsi leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese | ¬†cheese of choice

Ingredients to prepare the Pasta (organic and natural) :

  • 500gms whole wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta made with rice flour | millet flour | buckwheat flour(for the gluten free version)
  • ¬†2 tsp salt or as required
  • large pot of water for boiling the pasta

Method :

  1. Make a few gashes or slits across all the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch the tomatoes for 2 minutes. Drain and shock them in cold water and then peel all of them.
  2. Puree half the quantity in a blender and finely chop the rest. Finely chop the capsicum, garlic and basil leaves.
  3. Take butter in a skillet and roast the garlic for about 3 mins, then pour in the olive oil. Add in the tomato puree, finely chopped tomatoes and capsicum. Cook covered for 5 mins. Open the lid stir well and cook covered, for atleast 30 mins. The longer you cook the tomatoes, the tastier the sauce.
  4. Roast the fennel seeds and powder them in a dry grinder.
  5. Then add the sugar, fennel seeds powder, Italian herb mix, red chilli flakes and pepper powder and cook for about 5 mins. Add the finely chopped basil leaves. Marinara red sauce is done. Switch off heat.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. 10 – 15 mins for regular pasta and about 7 – 10 mins for gluten free pasta or as per the instructions on the packet.
  7. Pour the sauce over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.

PASTA IN MIXED SAUCE OF WHITE AND RED :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 1 hr; Serves: 4

p12
Mixed sauce of both white and red.

Ingredients for Mixed sauce of White and Red :

  • Prepared White Sauce
  • Prepared Red Sauce
  • 500 gms Prepared and boiled al dente pasta
  • 50 gms or 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese | ¬†cheese of choice

Method :

  1. Mix the freshly prepared white sauce and red sauce together
  2. Pour the mixed sauces over the boiled pasta or vice-versa. Top with grated cheese and serve hot.
p13
Pasta in mixed sauce of red and white. This one gets the highest vote @ home!

BAKED PASTA :

Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins ; Serves : 4

p15
Baked pasta. Goey goodness!

Ingredients :

  • Freshly prepared Pasta in white sauce pasta | Pasta prepared in red sauce ¬†| Pasta prepared in a mixed sauce of White and red
  • 100 – 150 gms parmesan cheese block | ¬†cheese of choice
p17
See this is what I mean?!

Method :

  1. Grate the cheese.
  2. Make alternate layers of  prepared pasta and grated cheese or pour in the prepared pasta and cover only the top layer with grated cheese, in an oven proof baking dish.
  3. Bake at 170 C for about 30 mins or till the cheese layer on the top melts and bakes to a golden brown colour. Serve hot.
p16
A Yum!

‚ôß MENTHI KUZHAMBU | VENDAYA KUZHAMBU| VATRAL KUZHAMBU | VEGETABLES IN TAMARIND STEW ‚ôß

Hello from the other side!!! ūü龬†Hello from the outside!!!ūüéĶūüé∂

Can’t greet any other way, thanks to my girls! For this is all I have being hearing,¬†played on the loop, ever since the album released! Oh yeah, Adele has slayed it!

It is Fall season. Halloween and Thanksgiving are round the corner. Social media and the seasonal vegetable pumpkin posts, rampant on the net, make sure I stay well informed! Keeping up with the spirits, I toooooh, am sharing a Pumpkin recipe, the way we love our pumpkin the most!

Menthi Kuzhambu is a traditional tamarind based stew cooked with fenugreek seeds. Fresh vegetables are cooked in tamarind juice or to the cooked and reduced tamarind juice, vatral | dry, salted vegetables like Manaithakkali , Sundaikkai are added in the end. This pumpkin endeavour has an indelible taste Рpiquant, tangy, tarty, spicy and gets better with age, like fine wine. Menthi khuzhambu Рmention of this food muse, is enough to make us drool but for some it may be an acquired taste. It is served hot with steamed rice, paruppu | pressure cooked red gram lentils and dry vegetable curry. Happy eating!

mk
DROOOOOOOOOOOOOL! Pumpkin Menthi kuzhambu

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients :

  • A big lime size lump of Tamarind (preferably old – older the tartier stew)
  • 250 gms yellow pumpkin
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp bengal gram lentils | channa dal
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds | methi seeds
  • ¬†2 – 3 whole red chilies
  • 1 – ¬†1 1/2 tsp Sambar powder
  • 1/ 2 tsp jaggery
  • 1 tsp rice flour
  • a stem of curry leaves
  • 2 – 3 tbsps of sesame oil
  • powdered rock salt to taste

My Modus Operandi :

  1. Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water for 15 mins. Squeeze out all the juice and strain out the pulp with a strainer. Set aside the clear tamarind juice, so obtained.
  2. Peel and chop the pumpkins into 1 inch rectangular or square pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a wok | bandli. Season with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, bengal gram lentils, whole red chilies broken into halves and curry leaves. Add the pumpkins, sambar powder and scald till reddish brown about 1 Р2 mins. Now add the extracted tamarind juice and 5 cups of water. Boil on slow flame, till it reduces to about   4 Р41/2 cups of tamarind juice. Mix rice flour with about a tbsp of water till no lumps are formed and add it to the kuzhambu | broth for thickening. Add jaggery and salt. Check seasoning and the pumpkins, which need to be soft and cooked. Let it come to a boil and then switch of the heat.
  4. Serve hot with steamed rice, paruppu | pressure cooked red gram lentils and curry.

Variations :

  1. Vegetables like ladies finger, brinjal, capsicum, onions and shallots work wonderfully in this kuzhambu. Onions must be peeled and the vegetables chopped length wise. They must be scalded well, till lightly brown and then the sambar podi followed by the tamarind juice must be added.
  2. Sweet potatoes, drumstick, yam,carrot and potatoes also taste excellent in Menthi kuzhambu | tamarind stew.
  3. Instead of fresh vegetables, salted and dried Vatrals like Manaithakkali, Sundakkai, Kuzhambu Curryvadams (crispies) are also added to this kuzhambu but at the end, to maintain their crispiness, after the tamarind juice is cooked and reduced. Since the Vatrals are already salted, the Menthi kuzhambu | tamarind stew will need less salt.

‚ôß SAMBAR | ARACHIVITTA SAMBAR | HOTEL SAMBAR | TIFFIN SAMBAR ‚ôß

Sambar, the grand dish of South Indian cusine is a brimful of spicy goodness. Prepared with red gram lentils and assorted vegetables, it tastefully reflects, the broad and ancient tradition of lentil based vegetable stews of Southern India. It is a versatile, nutritious, everyday fare. Sambar is had along with steamed rice as a main course, for lunch or dinner.

Hotel Sambar | Tiffin Sambar, a fine¬†variation, goes well as a side dish with¬†idli, dosa, vada, upma, pongal….the list is endless! To put it simply, say just¬†about any south indian snack | tiffin item.

Here I share with thee, 3 recipes for Sambar

  1. Hotel Sambar | Tiffin Sambar¬†made with a lot of spices. Fabulous tasting and¬†popularly served in restaurants. The inevitable use of good quality and fresh spices at home, will make this sambar, a lot more flavourful than in restaurants. ‘Hotel Sambar at a Hotel’ is overrated! recreation of this spicy sambar recipe, by a jubliant you will lead to the dawn of this realisation!
  2. Arachivitta Sambar meaning Sambar with ground paste of coconut and spices, generally made for special occassions, functions or festival days and 
  3. Sambar  homestyle, a near daily fare in most South Indian homes.

“Aaha! Inda kaikhuzlku thanga valayal senji podulam”¬†(voice it like Tamil cinema’s, king of melodrama – Nadikiyar Thilakam Shivaji Ganeshan! ‘Orai the feels, eh?!’ No offence to his fans and pardon¬†‘the local Tanglish baashai’, the situation calls for¬†it!) – a filmy tamil compliment which is received when a lip-smacking dish is prepared and served well. Literally meaning¬†“Hands that made this dish deserve gold bangles!”.

Must try recipes! Go on work your Midas touch!¬†Hail the yellow metal! Aim¬†for the ‘Naghazha Kadai Thanga Maligai’ a.k.a ‘The whole jewellery showroom’!

HOTEL SAMBAR | TIFFIN SAMBAR

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 35 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

S2
Yummy delicious ‘ The Hotel Sambar | Tiffin Sambar’
Ingredients for the Hotel Sambar :
  • 3/4¬†cup Thuvaram paruppu | Toovar dal | Red gram lentil
  • 3 cups ¬†of water for pressure cooking the dal
  • 6 cups ¬†of water to be added later
  • 3 small onions or 15 – 20 shallots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 250 gms of assorted¬†vegetables (depending on their availability or the desire to experiment)¬†like drumstick, radish, carrots, white pumpkin, ladies finger, french beans, potatoes, small round brinjals, squash, zucchini, chayote, bottle gourd.
  • Gooseberry sized,seedless tamarind
  • 1 ¬†tsp of sambar powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of powdered jaggery
  • powdered rock salt as per taste

for tempering :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 stems of¬†curry leaves

 for grinding into a paste :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds | dhania
  • 1 tsp raw rice
  • 2 – 3 whole red chilies
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion or 3 – 6 shallots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/4 of a fresh coconut

for garnish :

  • 3 sprigs of coriander leaves

Method :

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and fully extract the tamarind juice. Set aside
  2. Wash and rinse the lentils in water well. Boil the lentils in 3 cups of water, in a pressure cooker for 8-9 whistles on medium to high flame. The lentils should be soft and mushy. It can roughly smashed with the back of a ladle or a hand blender. Set aside.
  3. Finely chop all the vegetables to be added to the Sambar.  Finely chop the coriander leaves. Grate the coconut. Set aside.
  4. Next prepare the vegetable ingredients under ‘grinding into a paste’. ¬†Peel and roughly chop the onion, ginger and garlic. Then roughly chop the tomatoes and green chilly too.
  5. Heat up¬†1 tsp of¬†oil in a skillet. Fry the ingredients for ‘grinding into a paste’ as per the listed order, till there is no raw smell of the vegetables and they are soft and done. Blend well into a fine paste in a blender or grinder.
  6. Heat oil in large vessel. Add mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the onions, curry leaves. Saute well, till the onions are translucent. Now add the finely chopped vegetables, tamarind water, sambar powder and about 3 cups of water. Cook covered on a medium flame, till the vegetables are soft and there is no raw smell of the sambar powder.
  7. Finally add the pressure cooked lentils, ground paste and remaining 3 cups of water to the stew, salt and jaggery. Cook till it thickens. Check the seasoning, balance the flavours by adjusting salt,  jaggery and sambar powder if required. Let it boil well. Once it is frothy and the fantastic aroma engulfs the whole neighbourhood, be sure it is done. Serve hot.

Dunk any south Indian snack item in the Tiffin Sambar and gorge on this delicious spicy goodness!

S3
‘Mini idlis float’ – Mini idlis dunked in ‘Hotel Sambar’
  ARACHIVITTA  SAMBAR
Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 35 mins; Serves : 4 – 6
S6
Arachivitta Sambar made with radish and ground coconut paste is called ‘Rooba kuzhambu’ at our home as the Radish roundels in the sambar, resemble olden days rupee coins. S loves this dish and more so because she is fascinated by the aptness, of this interesting name!
Ingredients for the Arachivitta Sambar :
  • 1 cup Thuvaram paruppu | Toovar dal | Red gram lentil
  • 3 cups ¬†of water for pressure cooking the dal
  • 3 cups ¬†of water to be added later
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or assorted¬†vegetables (depending on their availability or the desire to experiment)¬†like drumstick, radish, carrots, white pumpkin, ladies finger, french beans, potatoes, small round brinjals, squash, zucchini, chayote, bottle gourd, kohlrabi ¬†or even green leafy vegetables.
  • Lemon ball size,seedless tamarind,
  • 1 1/2 tsp of sambar powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • powdered rock salt as per taste

for tempering :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 stems of¬†curry leaves

 for grinding into a paste :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds | dhania
  • 1 tsp raw rice
  • 2 – 3 whole red chilies
  • 1/4 of a fresh coconut

Method :

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and fully extract the tamarind juice. Set aside
  2. Wash and rinse the dal in water well. Boil dal in 3 cups of water, in a pressure cooker for 8-9 whistles on medium to high flame. The dal should be soft and mushy. It can roughly smashed with the back of a ladle or a hand blender. Set aside.
  3. Chop any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables into big chunks i.e. 1 inch square pieces or roundels in case of vegetables like radish | carrot.
  4. Grate the coconut. Set aside.
  5. Heat up¬†1 tsp of¬†oil in a skillet. Fry the ingredients for ‘grinding into a paste’ in the listed order, till lightly brown and fragrant. Blend well into a fine paste in a blender or grinder.
  6. Heat oil in large vessel. Add mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the broken red chilies, channa dal and curry leaves. Saute till light brown. Now add the chopped vegetables, tamarind water, sambar powder and about 2 cups of water. Cook covered on a medium flame, till the vegetables are soft and there is no raw smell of the sambar powder.
  7. Finally add the pressure cooked dal and remaining 1 cup of water to the stew, salt and jaggery. Cook till it thickens. Check the seasoning. Boil well till frothy. Switch of heat.

Note :

If onions | shallots | madras onions are used for the Sambar, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil add the onions and saute them well till translucent and followed by other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

SAMBAR 

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 35 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

S5
Homestyle daily fare Sambar made with greens and tomatoes.
Ingredients for the Sambar :
  • 1cup Thuvaram paruppu | Toovar dal | Red gram lentil
  • 3 cups ¬†of water for pressure cooking the dal
  • 3 cups ¬†of water to be added later
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or assorted¬†vegetables (depending on their availability¬†or the desire to experiment) like drumstick, radish, carrots, white pumpkin, ladies finger, french beans, potatoes, small round brinjals, squash, zucchini, chayote, bottle gourd, kohlrabi or even green leafy vegetables
  • Lemon ball size,seedless tamarind,
  • 1 1/2 tsp sambar powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice flour
  • powdered rock salt as per taste

for tempering :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 stems of¬†curry leaves

Method :

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and fully extract the tamarind juice. Set aside
  2. Wash and rinse the lentils in water well. Boil lentils in 3 cups of water, in a pressure cooker for 8-9 whistles on medium to high flame. The dal should be soft and mushy. It can roughly smashed with the back of a ladle or a hand blender. Set aside.
  3. Chop any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables into big chunks i.e. 1 inch square pieces or roundels in case of vegetables like radish | carrot.
  4. Grate the coconut. Set aside.
  5. Heat up 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Fry the ingredients for grinding into a paste in the given order, till lightly brown and fragrant. Blend well into a fine paste in a blender or grinder.
  6. Heat oil in large vessel. Add mustard seeds and after they splutter, add the broken red chilies, channa dal and curry leaves. Saute till light brown. Now add the chopped vegetables, tamarind water, sambar powder and about 2 cups of water. Cook covered on a medium flame, till the vegetables are soft and there is no raw smell of the sambar powder.
  7.  Mix the rice flour well, with about 1/4 cup of water, making sure there are no lumps. Add it to the broth and cook for another 5 Р10 mins.
  8. Finally add the pressure cooked lentils, remaining 1 cup of water and salt. Cook till the stew thickens. Check the seasoning. Boil well till frothy. Switch of heat.

Note :

If onions | shallots | madras onions are used for the Sambar, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil, add the onions and saute them well till translucent followed by other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

S1
‘Rooba Khuzhambu’ Radish sambar with steamed rice. Check out these edible gold coins!

Another way to remember these recipes would be to keep the Hotel Sambar as the base recipe and make the following changes to make Arachivitta Sambar and Plain Sambar.

Arachivitta Sambar

Follow the Hotel Sambar recipe with the respective changes :
1.  Changes in the Ingredients for Arachivitta Sambar from the Hotel Sambar list :
  • 1 cup Thuvar Dal | Red gram lentil
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sambar powder

2. Add the following ingredients for Arachivitta Sambar to the Hotel Sambar list of ingredients for tempering :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves

3. Skip the following ingredients for Arachivitta Sambar from the Hotel Sambar list of ingredients for grinding into a paste :

  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion or 3 – 6 shallots
  • 2 small tomatoes

4. Skip the garnish.

5. In Step 3 of the Method for Hotel Sambar, any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables are to be chopped into big chunks i.e. 1 inch square pieces or roundels in case of vegetables like radish | carrot.

6. If using onions | shallots | madras onions, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil add the onions and saute them well till translucent and then add then follow with other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

PLAIN SAMBAR 

Follow the Hotel Sambar recipe with the respective changes :

1.  Changes in the Ingredients for Plain Sambar from the Hotel Sambar list :

  • 1 cup Thuvar Dal | Red gram lentil
  • 250 gms of any one vegetable or combination of assorted vegetables
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sambar powder
  • 11/2 tsp Rice flour

2. Add the following ingredients for Plain Sambar to the Hotel Sambar list of ingredients for tempering :

  • 1 tsp bengal gram dal | channa dal
  • 1 – 2 whole dry red chilies broken into halves

3. Skip the ingredients for grinding into a paste and garnish of Hotel Sambar for Plain Sambar.

4.  Mix the rice flour well, with about 1/4 cup of water, making sure there are no lumps. Add it to the broth and cook for another 5 Р10 mins at the end of Step 6 of the above Method for Hotel Sambar.

5. If using onions | shallots | madras onions, then after adding the tempering ingredients to the oil add the onions and saute them well till translucent followed by other chopped vegetables and tamarind water in Step 6 of the above method.

Serve Sambar hot with steamed rice.

 NF