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Poondu Vengaya Vatha Kuzhambu

#Quickrecipe #TraditionalSouthIndianFood #Vathakuzhambu

Vatha Kuzhambu’, is one of the popular everyday sambar varieties down South. It is full of flavours and has an amalgamation of spicy, sweet, sour and salty taste.

There are many versions of this recipe ‘Poondu Vengaya Vatha Kuzhambu‘. Each one differs with the level of spiciness and the choice of veggies added to it. Traditionally, it is made with sundried black nightshade berries(manthakkali) or turkey berries(sundakkai). Veggies like brinjal, drumstick, onions, broad beans, garlic can also be added to give some variation to this sambar.

How to make Poondu Vengaya Vatha Kuzhambu?

Here, I have used shallots(vengayam) and garlic(poondu) in this recipe. The core ingredients are tamarind and sambar masala powder. Two quintessential ingredients arhar dal and coconut, that are present in most of the sambars are not needed in this recipe.

Ingredients

  1. Shallots – 1 cup, peeled
  2. Garlic – 10 to15 cloves, peeled
  3. Imli – medium lemon-sized
  4. Sambar Powder- 1 tbsp
  5. Rice Flour – 2 tsp
  6. Haldi – 1/4 tsp
  7. Jaggery – small gooseberry-sized
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Rai – 1/2 tsp
  10. Urad Dal – 1/4 tsp
  11. Methi Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  12. Red Chilly – 1 or 2, broken into pieces
  13. Curry Leaves- few leaves
  14. Oil – 2 tbsp (preferably til oil)

Method

  1. Soak imli in 2 cups of warm water for 15 minutes. Extract imli water.
  2. In a kadai, heat oil and add rai.
  3. When it splutters, add urad dal, methi seeds and roast till dal turns golden in colour.
  4. Add curry leaves, red chilly and saute for few seconds.
  5. Add shallots, garlic and saute till they are translucent.
  6. Now, add sambar powder and mix well.
  7. Pour in the prepared imli water and add haldi, salt, jaggery.
  8. Let it boil well for 3-4 minutes so that the raw flavour of imli gets reduced.
  9. Make a paste of rice flour with little amount of water and add it to the sambar.
  10. Let sambar boil for 2-3 minutes.
  11. Remove from flame and serve hot with steamed rice.
Poondu Vengaya Vatha Kuzhambu with thogaiyal rice, potato podimas and papad

Notes

  1. The best way to savour this sambar is to pair with thogaiyal rice, a simple curry of your choice and a papad.
  2. For sambar masala, you can either use the store-bought sambar powder or the freshly grounded one.

This podimas goes well with Urulai Kizhangu Podimas, Thenga Paruppu Thogaiyal.

For yet another interesting lunch combo, plz checkout Kambam Kanji with Madhura Kizhangu.

Happy Cooking!

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Dal Baati Churma

 #Traditional #WholesomeFood #RajasthaniCuisine

Besides its splendid history, rich culture and heritage, the most striking aspect of Rajasthan is its aromatic, colourful & delectable cuisine. ‘Dal Baati Churma’, one of the popular delicacies of Rajasthan…a wholesome trio…complete meal in itself, is a quintessential menu in all festivals and feasts.

How to make Dal Baati Churma?

Prepared using simple ingredients, this unique combo consists of flaky but soft baati, tangy & spicy mixed dal and partially sweetened churma. As baati and churma have long shelf life, they can be prepared in large batches and used along with other Rajasthani food variations.

Baati

Baati, round shaped bread is made using whole wheat flour, ghee, ajwain and salt. It is usually deep fried or baked or grilled and dipped in hot melted ghee before serving. The process of baking baati can be done over charcoal chula or in tandoor or in oven.

Here, I have mentioned both the ways of grilling of baatis in barbeque as well as baking it in oven. In winters, most of our Sunday morning is spent outdoor in our garden enjoying the weather, gazing at the colourful winter flowers, barbequing fresh garden veggies & fruits and also treating ourselves with scrumptious brunch like grilled baati with dal & churma. Grilling baatis in BBQ gives a unique smoky flavour to the dish.

Baati in BBQ

Ingredients

  1. Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  2. Semolina / sooji – 1/4 cup
  3. Besan – 2 tbsp
  4. Ghee – 1/4 cup + required amount to dip baatis before serving
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Ajwain – 1/2 tsp
  7. Baking Powder – a pinch
  8. Milk- to knead

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients namely flour, sooji, besan, baking powder, melted ghee, salt, ajwain and knead it well into a firm dough using milk. Keep it aside for 10-15 mins.
  • Take medium lemon-sized dough and make a round shaped ball. Flatten the rounds and make a small indentation in the centre of the baatis using your thumb. If it has some cracks, don’t worry as those cracks will help baatis to cook properly. Keep it covered with a muslin cloth or a kitchen towel.
Baati – Baked Version

In Oven:

  • Preheat the oven at 180 deg C. Line the baking tray with baking sheet or grease it with any cooking medium. Place the baatis in rows with equal space between them so that they get baked evenly. Bake the baatis for 20 mins or till they turn golden in colour. 
Baati – Grilled in BBQ

In BBQ:

  • Prepare the barbeque apparatus before you start grilling baatis. There are various medium with which you can create fire in BBQ. Our option is always using charcoal as it is easy to ignite the fire and maintain the required heat. Fill the bottom space of the apparatus with charcoal and ignite fire using a paper. Baatis require low to medium heat to get cooked evenly. So, wait for 2 or 3 mins to bring down the heat. Arrange the baatis on the grilling tray and keep it over the medium rack.
  • Brush the baatis with any cooking medium once or twice. When it turns golden in colour, remove the baatis from the rack and let it cool. 
  • Dip the baatis in the melted ghee. Break it into two and serve hot along with a bowl of mixed dal and churma.

Mixed Dal

Ingredients

  1. Chana Dal – ¼ cup
  2. Thuvar /Arhar Dal – ¼ cup
  3. Moong Dal – ¼ cup
  4. Urad Dal – ¼ cup
  5. Masoor Dal – 2 tbsp, splitted
  6. Turmeric Powder / Haldi – ¼ tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
  9. Green Chillies – 1 tsp, finely chopped
  10. Dhaniya Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Amchoor Powder – 1 tsp
  12. Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
  13. Jeera – 1/2 tsp
  14. Hing – ¼ tsp
  15. Ghee – 2 tbsp
  16. Fresh Coriander Leaves- 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Method

  • Wash and soak the dals for 30 mins. Pressure cook the dals with haldi & salt till 4-5 whistles. Release the pressure and slightly mash the dals. Keep it aside.
  • In a kadai, heat ghee and give tadka with jeera, hing, green chillies, ginger. Add the mashed dals and all the above-mentioned spices.
  • Give a nice boil till the masala flavours gets incorporated with dal well. Switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with baati and churma.

Churma

Ingredients

  1. Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup
  2. Semolina / Sooji – 1/4 cup
  3. Ghee – 1/4 cup
  4. Milk to knead
  5. Refined Oil – to deep fry
  6. Powdered Sugar – 1/4 cup (you can increase / decrease as per your taste)
  7. Elaichi Powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Dry Fruits (Badam, Cashew, Raisins) – 1 tbsp each, finely sliced

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients namely flour, sooji, melted ghee and knead it well into a firm dough using milk. Keep it aside for 10-15 mins.
  • Take small lemon-sized dough and make a round shaped ball. Flatten the rounds and make a small indentation in the centre using your thumb. Keep it covered with a muslin cloth or a kitchen towel.
  • In a kadai, heat refined oil. Deep fry the dough balls in low heat till it turns golden in colour. Let it cool.
  • Using a mixer grinder, coarsely powder the deep-fried balls. Mix it with the powdered sugar, elaichi powder and sliced dry fruits. Churma is ready to be served with dal and baati.
  • Churma can be made in large quantity and stored in air tight box for later use. It stays fresh for 3-4 days on kitchen shelf and more than a week when refrigerated.

Notes

  • You can also steam the baatis slightly and deep fry them in low heat. Deep fried baatis has more shelf life than baked or grilled baatis.
  • In mixed dal, you can add tomatoes instead of amchur powder to get tanginess and nice colour in the dal. 

For more interesting recipes, plz checkout Laccha ParathaPindi Chole Palak Paneer Paratha.

Happy Cooking!

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Curry Leaves Spice Paste

To me, cooking is a passion… more often than not it is a good stress buster. If given a choice and time, I would always prefer my heirloom recipes, that are simple but soulful and cooked in a traditional way using fresh natural ingredients…most importantly that were fondly prepared and fed with love by my Grandmas.

However, in today’s fast paced world…while juggling between home, work and various social commitments, quick and easy dishes become handy. So, I have always tried to find out an easy way to incorporate authentic but elaborate recipes into my daily food…certainly that are packed with fresh, regional veggies and herbs, lentils and pulses etc…

Here is an authentic recipe in which curry leaves plays a major role…aromatic, tangy and spicy, multi-purpose “Curry Leaves Spice Paste” is one basic recipe for numerous authentic South Indian dishes that are prepared instantly with the original taste intact.

Curry Leaves (Karuveppilai in Tamil) Spice Paste is best suited for those who can’t spend much time in kitchen but desire to cook and nourish their loved ones with traditional dishes.

What makes this versatile recipe stand out is the generous use of curry leaves…With its citrusy distinctive aroma, this Superherb enhances the flavor, taste and health quotient of the dishes.

The recipe calls for simple ingredients that are common in all Indian kitchens. Though the process involves roasting, grinding, simmering but once you prepare this paste in bulk and refrigerate, you are sure to cook and relish authentic sambar, rasam, kootu varieties at any moment.

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5 from 1 vote

Curry Leaves Spice Paste

An authentic recipe in which curry leaves plays a major role…aromatic, tangy and spicy multi-purpose "Curry Leaves Spice Paste” is one basic recipe for numerous authentic South Indian dishes that can be prepared instantly with the original taste intact.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Basic Recipe, Main Course
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Spice Paste, Tradiotional Basic Recipe, Curry Leaves Paste, Sambar Paste, Rasam Paste, Kootu Paste
Servings: 10
Author: Delicious Galore

Equipment

  • Thick Bottomed Kadai
  • Mixer Grinder

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Curry Leaves washed, pat dried
  • big lemon sized Imli/Tamarind
  • small gooseberry sized Jaggery/Gud
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp Haldi
  • 1 tbsp Til/Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp Desi Ghee

To Grind

  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds heaped
  • 1 tbsp Arhar/Thuvar Dal leveled
  • tbsp Chana Dal leveled
  • ½ tbsp Urad Dal white, splited
  • tsp Jeera
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 Nos Red Chillies

For Tadka

  • ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Jeera
  • ¼ tsp Urad Dal optional
  • ½ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
  • 5 or 6 Nos Curry Leaves roughly torn
  • 3 tbsp Til/Sesame Oil

Instructions

  • Wash and pat dry the curry leaves.
  • Soak imli in a cup of warm water for 15 mins.
  • Extract the thick pulp from the soaked imli. Keep it aside.
  • Dry roast one by one all the ingredients given under 'To Grind', till nice aroma emits.
  • In a mixer jar, add the roasted ingredients along with curry leaves and grind it into a thick fine paste.
  • Take a heavy bottomed vessel, heat 3 tbsp of sesame oil.
  • Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the remaining ingredients given for tadka. Saute till the urad dal turns golden in colour.
  • Add the extracted imli juice, haldi, jaggery and salt. Bring it to boil.
  • Add the grounded paste and mix well.
  • Let it simmer till it thickens.
  • Keep stirring periodically till it forms a thick paste.
  • Add a tbsp of sesame oil and 2 tsp of desi ghee. Mix well and switch off the flame.
  • Let it cool. Store it in a clean, dry container.
  • This spice paste stays good for about 1 week at room temperature and almost 2 months when refrigerated.

Here, I have give some brief ideas on how we can go about with this Curry Leaves Spice Paste basic recipe in our daily cooking…

Notes:

  • In addition to these dishes, you can also prepare any kind of kootu, pepper rasam, kalyana rasam, milagu kuzhlambu, sambar varieties with any veggies like onion, garlic, capsicum, keerai and more.
  • In all the above said dishes, please adjust the amount of Curry Leaves/Karuveppilai Spice Paste as per your preference.

For similar authentic recipes, plz checkout Nellai Milagai Podi, Poondu Vengaya Vathakuzhambu, Puliyotharai Gojju, Chia Seeds Idly Powder, Puzhimilagai.

Happy Cooking!