‘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.
Shallots – 1 cup, peeled
Garlic – 10 to15 cloves, peeled
Imli – medium lemon-sized
Sambar Powder- 1 tbsp
Rice Flour – 2 tsp
Haldi – 1/4 tsp
Jaggery – small gooseberry-sized
Salt to taste
Rai – 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal – 1/4 tsp
Methi Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly – 1 or 2, broken into pieces
Curry Leaves- few leaves
Oil – 2 tbsp (preferably til oil)
Soak imli in 2 cups of warm water for 15 minutes. Extract imli water.
In a kadai, heat oil and add rai.
When it splutters, add urad dal, methi seeds and roast till dal turns golden in colour.
Add curry leaves, red chilly and saute for few seconds.
Add shallots, garlic and saute till they are translucent.
Now, add sambar powder and mix well.
Pour in the prepared imli water and add haldi, salt, jaggery.
Let it boil well for 3-4 minutes so that the raw flavour of imli gets reduced.
Make a paste of rice flour with little amount of water and add it to the sambar.
Let sambar boil for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from flame and serve hot with steamed rice.
The best way to savour this sambar is to pair with thogaiyal rice, a simple curry of your choice and a papad.
For sambar masala, you can either use the store-bought sambar powder or the freshly grounded one.
This is a basic recipe for preparing tangy, spicy and scrumptious South Indian delicacy ‘Puliyotharai Rice’ that has a long shelf life.
How to make Puliyotharai Gojju | Pulikaachal?
Though there are many versions of this delectable recipe that belong to various parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra, I always have followed the one which is inherited from my family, especially from my father (yes! he is so fond of trying out authentic dishes with great flair).
This version has a fine blend of Andhra style and Iyengar style of making puliyotharai. You can make this recipe in large quantity and store to relish puliyotharai as and when required. It is an ideal option for tiffin box or as a travel food.
Tamarind / Imli – a small orange-sized, appr 150g
Sesame / Til – 1/3 cup
Turmeric powder / Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Jaggery / Gud – a small-lemon sized
Salt to taste
Desi ghee – 1 tbsp
Sesame / Til Oil – 3/4 cup
Mustard Seeds / Rai – 1 tsp
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Channa Dal – 2 tsp
Fenugreek / Methi Seeds – 3/4 tsp
Red Chilly – 6 or 8 nos
Groundnut – a handful, roasted and peeled
Sesame Seeds / Til – 2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 twigs, torn into pieces
Asafoetida / Hing- 1 1/2 tsp
For Puliyotharai Masala
Red Chilly – 10 nos
Urad Dal – 2 tsp
Channa Dal – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek / Methi Seeds – 3/4 tsp
Coriander / Dhania Seeds – 3 tbsp
Soak imli in a cup of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
In the meanwhile, dry roast sesame or til (black or white) and coarsely powder it. Keep it separately.
Dry roast one by one the ingredients given for puliyotharai masala and finely powder it.
Extract the thick juice from the soaked imli.
In a heavy bottomed vessel / kadai, heat til oil and add rai.
When it splutters, add the remaining ingredients given for tadka (please follow the same order mentioned above) and sauté till the dals and groundnuts turn golden in colour.
Add imli water, haldi and give a boil.
Add powdered puliyotharai masala, salt, jaggery, half the amount of powdered til and boil till the raw flavour of imli lessens.
Keep stirring the gravy periodically till it thickens and forms a thick paste like consistency.
Add the remaining til powder and a tbsp of desi ghee, mix well and switch off the flame.
Let it cool and store it in a clean and dry container.
This gojju stays good for at least 2 weeks in normal temperature and almost 2-3 months when refrigerated.
For making puliyotharai rice, mix 2 tbsp of puliyotharai gojju with a cup of steamed rice (increase or decrease the amount of paste as per taste) and serve with papad and curd.
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, 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.
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Semolina / sooji – 1/4 cup
Besan – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1/4 cup + required amount to dip baatis before serving
Salt to taste
Ajwain – 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder – a pinch
Milk- to knead
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.
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.
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.
Chana Dal – ¼ cup
Thuvar /Arhar Dal – ¼ cup
Moong Dal – ¼ cup
Urad Dal – ¼ cup
Masoor Dal – 2 tbsp, splitted
Turmeric Powder / Haldi – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Green Chillies – 1 tsp, finely chopped
Dhaniya Powder – 1 tsp
Amchoor Powder – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Hing – ¼ tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Fresh Coriander Leaves- 2 tbsp, finely chopped
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.
Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup
Semolina / Sooji – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1/4 cup
Milk to knead
Refined Oil – to deep fry
Powdered Sugar – 1/4 cup (you can increase / decrease as per your taste)
A scrumptious paratha with the wonderful blend of ‘Palak and Paneer’. When the paratha is loaded with two superfoods, ‘Palak and Paneer’ it becomes a wholesome food providing good amount of proteins, vitamins, calcium and more.
How to make Palak Paneer Paratha?
This paratha is prepared by kneading whole wheat flour with palak puree and then stuffed with spiced paneer filling. A power packed breakfast option that keeps your tummy happy till the next meal. Moreover, it’s a good way of making fussy kids eat greens like palak and an excellent tiffin option too.
Whole Wheat Flour / Aata – 1 cup
Spinach / Palak Puree – 1/2 cup
Carrom Seeds / Ajwain – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water to knead
Cottage Cheese / Paneer – 1/2 cup, grated or crumbled
Onion – 1 small sized, finely chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Green Chilly – 1 medium, finely chopped
Fresh Coriander – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Jeera Powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp + as required for cooking the parathas
Wash Palak well and make puree by adding little amount of water.
In a large bowl, add flour, ajwain, oil and salt. Mix well till it resembles like bread crumbs. Add palak puree and knead well into a soft dough. If required sprinkle water while kneading. Keep it covered for 15 mins.
To prepare the filling: Heat oil and saute finely chopped garlic, green chillies.
Add onion, salt and saute till it turns golden in colour.
Add jeera powder, garam masala powder and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix well and switch off the flame.
Take lemon-sized dough and roll it into small circle. Place a tbsp amount of filling and bring together the edges and roll it into a paratha.
Cook the paratha on a hot tava with a tsp of oil till they are well roasted.
Serve them hot with a pickle of your choice and curd.