‘Monsoons’ and ‘deep-fried snacks’ always go hand in hand. During rains when we have sudden craving for a quick munch, bajji is my go-to option. Now, this delectable snack has got several names across India… pakora, pakoda, bhajjia, fakkura, ponako, fritters etc… and in down South it’s fondly known as ‘Bajji’
How to make Brinjal Bajji | Vankaya Bajji?
Bajjis can be made using various veggies and fruits like onions, raw banana, potato, carrot, capsicum, unripe green apple and more. Here, I have used the India’s King of Vegetables, ‘Brinjal’ for making bajjis (we call Vankaya in Telugu). These brinjal bajjis are light, crunchy…so gorgeous to look at and of course totally irresistible in taste.
You can choose any variety of brinjal to make bajji but it’s always good to use less seeded one. Preparation is very easy…thin slices of brinjals are coated evenly with spiced chickpea flour batter and deep-fried till golden in colour. You can also air fry this if want to avoid deep frying.
Brinjal – 2 or 3, large in size, preferably less seeded variety
Chickpea Flour / Besan – 1 cup
Rice flour – 1/4 cup
Haldi / Turmeric Powder – a pinch
Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp (or as per taste)
Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Salt to taste
Cooking Soda – a pinch (optional)
Oil for deep frying
Wash and slice brinjals into thin circles. Immerse them in water to avoid any decolourization of brinjal until we use.
Sieve besan and remove the lumps if any. Mix besan, rice flour, red chilly powder, salt, pepper powder, jeera, haldi, hing and cooking soda in a bowl.
Heat oil for deep frying. Strain the brinjal slices from the water and keep it ready.
When the oil is hot, take a tablespoon of hot oil and pour it over the besan mixture. This will make the bajjis crispy.
Add required amount of water and mix it well to form a fine paste of dosa-batter consistency.
Keep the flame in medium-hot mode. Gently dip the brinjal slices into the batter. The slices should be evenly coated with the batter.
Deep fry till golden in colour.
Drain the bajjis in kitchen tissue to remove excess oil.
‘Thengai Paruppu Thogaiyal’, is one of the popular traditional South Indian recipes that can be made quickly. Thengai in Tamil means coconut, Paruppu means Dal, Thogaiyal is chutney. A versatile chutney that can be served with plain hot rice as well as with Idly, Dosa and other tiffin varieties.
How to make Thengai Paruppu Thogaiyal | Coconut Dal Chutney?
Simple thogaiyal with any rasam or sambhar is one of our comfort foods. Whenever we carve for such menu, Thengai Paruppu Thogaiyal is my go-to recipe. Reasons are…it’s healthy, delicious and very easy to prepare with few ingredients. The core ingredient Coconut is rich in good fats and has properties like anti-bacterial, anti-fungal that boosts our immune system when consumed regularly. Protein and potassium-rich Arhar dal on the other hand, enhances the taste and health quotient of this thogaiyal.
Thogaiyal and plain hot rice with a dollop of ghee / sesame oil, pairs well with Vendhaya Kuzhambu or Pepper Jeera Rasam or simply with fried papad. A divine combination!
Coconut -1 cup, grated
Thuvar / Arhar dal – 2 tbsp
Red Chillies – 2 or 3 (as per taste)
Curry Leaves – few twigs
Salt – to taste
Hing – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp (preferably coconut oil)
In a kadai, add 1 tsp of coconut oil and roast arhar dal, red chillies, hing and curry leaves. Roast till the dal turns golden in colour.
Transfer it to a plate. Let it cool. Grind it along with grated coconut, salt into a fine paste adding very little amount of water.
Serve it with hot plain rice with a dollop of ghee / sesame oil.
If serving with tiffin varieties, dilute the thogaiyal little bit. Give tadka with rai, urad dal and curry leaves.
Instead of arhar dal, we can use moong dal and yellow channa dal too.
Idly powder/ Milagai Podi is a quintessential condiment in every South Indian household. It is made in bulk quantity and relished on a daily basis.
The usual version of idly powder has black urad dal, chana dal, sesame seeds, red chillies, hing and curry leaves. But here, in order to incorporate a superfood in my daily menu, I have used Organic Raw Chia Seeds in place of sesame seeds. Chia Seeds are rich in Omega-3 & Omega-6 essential fatty acids, protein and dietary fiber and enhances the nutrient content of the dish greatly. The Milagai Podi can be prepared in bulk and stored in air-tight box for good about 2-3 months. Commonly, idly powder is mixed with sesame / til oil and consumed in the form of a paste as an accompaniment to tiffin varieties. Another interesting way is to smear the podi paste on idly or dosa. This is an ideal option for tiffin box or for packed travel food as the podi and oil coated tiffin stays fresh for a long time.
Black urad dal – 1 cup, splitted
Chana dal – ½ cup
Raw chia seeds – ¼ cup
Dry red chilies – 25 to 30 nos
Asafoetida / Hing- 2 to 3 tsp
Curry leaves- 2 to 6 twigs, torn into pieces
Salt to taste
Sugar – ½ tsp (optional)
cooking oil – 1 to 2 tsp (Preferably sesame oil)
Roast black urad dal, chana dal, dry red chilies and curry leaves one by one with little amount of oil till they are crisp and golden in colour.
Chia seeds can be grounded raw (Grounded form of raw chia seeds helps in the optimal absorption of nutrients in our body).
Bring the roasted ingredients to room temperature.
Grind it into a coarse powder along with chia seeds, asafoetida, sugar and salt.
Transfer it to a large bowl and mix well.
Store it in an air-tight container to keep the flavours intact.
Relish this podi with idly, dosa and upma varieties.
Few interesting ways of using this podi…
For preparing podi idly, make a paste of Chia seeds Idly powder with oil/ghee and smear it on both the sides of idly. Serve hot with curd.
For onion podi dosa, sprinkle a tsp of Chia seeds Idly powder and chopped onion over the dosa on one side. Flip and toast both the sides till golden.
To have it along with plain idly, dosa or upma, just mix the required amount of Chia seeds Idly powder with sesame oil/desi ghee and relish.
An instant method for preparing a mouth-watering, luscious raw mango pickle…Famously known as Keethu Manga Urugai down South, keethu means cut, manga means mango, urugai means pickle…one of the easiest pickles that can be made in a jiffy with very few ingredients available in our pantry.
How to make Instant Raw Mango Pickle?
This cut mango pickle is omnipresent in festival spreads and wedding menus…and in summer, when green mangoes are available in plenty every South Indian household likes to prepare this frequently and relish it with almost every meal.
Bursting with flavours, enticing with tangy and spicy taste, this pickle goes well with curd rice, dosa varieties, upma and pongal/khichadi varieties. It stays good for 2-3 days at room temperature and for about a week or 10 days when refrigerated.
An instant method for preparing a mouthwatering, luscious raw mango pickle…omnipresent in festival spreads and wedding menus…in summer when green mangoes are available in plenty, every South Indian household likes to prepare this frequently and relish it with almost every meal.
Course: accompaniment, Basic Recipe, Pickle
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Cut Mango Pickle, Keethu Manga Urugai, Mango Pickle, Raw Mango Pickle
Author: Delicious Galore
2medium sizedRaw Mangoes raw and firm
¼tspTurmeric Powder / Haldi
2tbspRed Chilly Powder
¾tspFenugreek / Methi Seeds roasted and powdered
¼cupSesame / Til Oil
½tspAsafoetida / Hing
1tspMustard Seeds / Rai
Wash and pat dry the raw mangoes. Cut them into thin pieces along with the skin.
Place the mangoes pieces in a bowl. Add salt, haldi, chilly powder and methi seeds powder.
In a small kadai, heat oil and add rai. When it splutters, add hing.
When the hing emits nice flavour, switch off the flame.
Pour the tadka over the mangoes and mix well.
Yummy raw mango pickle is ready to serve.
If you must store the pickle for later use, store it in a dry, air-tight container.
Increase or decrease the amount of chilly powder as per your taste.
If you don’t have roasted and powdered methi seeds powder, dry roast and powder/pound them coarsely.