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Kootchulu | Fermented Rice Drink

#HealthDrink #AgeOldRecipe #TraditionalSouthIndianFood #Neeragaram #ComfortFood #GrandmasRecipe

Kootchulu or Neeragaram is a simple, age-old recipe made from overnight fermentation of cooked rice. For over many generations, this has been a staple health drink in many parts of India. It acts as a natural body cooler, especially in summer. This unique porridge or kanji tastes slightly sour with the aroma of sesame oil and the crunchiness of onions.

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Nellai’s Poori Khizhangu | Poori Masaal

#Comfortfood #Nellaicuisine

Poori Khizhangu‘ is a magical combination that instantly satisfies our taste buds. For us, it’s one of our comfort foods. It fills our tummy and soul alike. Though, there are many versions of this delectable recipe popular across India, each one is unique in its own way. One such kind is Nellai’s Poori Khizhangu.

It is one of the most sought-after breakfast menus in eateries and households in Nellai district, Tamilnadu. Silky soft pooris are served with Urulai Khizhangu (potato) side dish called ‘Masaal’ which is super delicious and rich in flavour.

How to make Nellai’s Poori Khizhangu?

The localites say, the secret ingredient of this recipe is ‘Tamirabarani’s water’, a perennial river that is the lifeline of the Nellai district. This may be true because whenever we had a chance to relish their local food, it was absolutely appetizing, scrumptious and out-of-the-world dishes that are prepared using simple, locally grown ingredients.

For over many years, I have tried replicating Nellai’s poori khizhangu recipe that I have relished many times in my native place, Kallidai Kurichi in Nellai district. Poori came out perfect in one or two trials, but I couldn’t
get the exact taste of the Khizhangu like the original one. After many try-outs, l understood the proportion of onions to potatoes and the handling of onions in this recipe. Here’s the recipe that tastes similar to Nellai’s recipe…

Ingredients

For Poori

  • Wheat Flour / Aata – 2 cups
  • Maida – 1 tbsp
  • Sooji – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee – 1/2 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

For Poori

  • Mix wheat flour, maida, sooji, ghee, oil and salt.
  • Add water little by little and knead it to a firm dough, not too hard and also not too soft like chapathi dough.
  • No resting time is required for poori dough. So, we can start making poori as soon as the dough is kneaded.
  • Heat oil in a kadai. The oil should be hot but not smoky.
  • To check the temperature of the oil, just drop a small piece of the dough in the hot oil. If the dough rises to the surface immediately and puffs up, then that is the correct temperature to fry pooris.
  • Lower the flame slightly and start rolling the pooris.
  • Take a small lemon-sized amount of dough and roll it into a round shape. Roll it from one side evenly without putting any pressure on the rolling pin to get a smooth rounds without any cracks.
  • Slide one poori at a time in the hot oil. When it raises to the surface, press the edges gently using the back side of the spatula. This step helps poori to puff up nicely. Flip it once and fry both the sides till it is golden in colour.
  • Using a slotted spatula, remove it from oil and drain it in an oil absorbent napkin.
  • Serve hot with potato masaal / khizhangu.

Notes

For Poori

  • Don’t knead the poori dough for a long time like chapathi dough. While kneading, the gluten content in the dough gets released and thus makes roti / chapathi /paratha soft and silky. For poori, the dough has to withhold the gluten content intact so that we get crisp, puffed up poori.
  • Do not fry the poori for a long time. They may become hard and dark in colour. Ensure the correct oil temperature throughout while frying. If the oil is too hot, the outer layer of the poori gets fried and the inner layer remains uncooked. If the heat is low, the poori doesn’t puff up and absorbs more oil.
  • Once fried, either serve the pooris immediately or store it in a wide bottomed vessel. Do not store it in a casserole as it makes the pooris to sweat and lose its crunchiness. Consume the hot pooris within 10-15 mins to enjoy the silky but puffed up poori!

Ingredients

For Khizhangu / Potato Masaal

  • Potato – 3 medium-sized
  • Onion – 4, large
  • Green Chillies – 3 to 4 
  • Ginger – 1/2 tbsp, grated
  • Curry Leaves – few leaves
  • Oil – 2 tbsp (preferably sesame / til oil)
  • Mustard / Rai – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Channa Dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Haldi – 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilly Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Besan – 2 tsp

Method

For Khizhangu / Potato Masaal

  • Boil and mash the potatoes coarsely. Cube the onions, finely chop the green chillies, grate the ginger, roughly tear the curry leaves. Mix 2 tsp of besan in 1/2 cup of water and keep it aside.
  • In a kadai, add 2 tbsp of til oil, add mustard. When it splutters add urad dal and channa dal. Fry till it turns golden.
  • Add grated ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and saute for a second.
  • Add onions and saute till it looks translucent. Add a glass of water, haldi, salt and sugar.
  • The water should be just enough to immerse the onions. Cover it with a lid and give a good boil till onions are soft.
  • Add mashed potato and chilly powder. Mix the mashed potatoes with the onion well.
  • Add the besan paste and keep on stirring till the besan gets cooked. If required, we can add little more water, say 1/4 cup.
  • When the khizhangu looks glossy, switch off the flame.
  • Serve hot with Poori.

Notes

For Khizhangu / Potato Masaal

  • The amount of onion should be more than the qty of mashed potatoes.
  • Ginger and green chillies should be used adequately. It enhances the flavour.
  • Using sesame or til oil boosts the flavour of this recipe, but I always feel that cooking oil preferences are entirely based on one’s choice. Til oil can be substituted with any suitable refined oil.    

For similar interesting recipe Laccha Paratha, Paneer Butter Masala, Pindi Chole, Dal Baati Churma, Palak Paneer Paratha, Butter Idly, Crème Anglaise with Caramalized Banana .

Happy Cooking!

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Puliyotharai Gojju | Pulikaachal

#TraditionalSouthIndianCondiment #Authentic #BasicRecipe

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.

Puliyotharai rice goes well with Avial

Ingredients

  1. Tamarind / Imli – a small orange-sized, appr 150g
  2. Sesame / Til – 1/3 cup
  3. Turmeric powder / Haldi – 1/2 tsp
  4. Jaggery / Gud – a small-lemon sized
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Desi ghee – 1 tbsp

For Tadka

  1. Sesame / Til Oil – 3/4 cup
  2. Mustard Seeds / Rai – 1 tsp
  3. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Channa Dal – 2 tsp
  5. Fenugreek / Methi Seeds – 3/4 tsp
  6. Red Chilly – 6 or 8 nos
  7. Groundnut – a handful, roasted and peeled
  8. Sesame Seeds / Til – 2 tsp
  9. Curry Leaves – 2 twigs, torn into pieces
  10. Asafoetida / Hing- 1 1/2 tsp

For Puliyotharai Masala

  1. Red Chilly – 10 nos
  2. Urad Dal – 2 tsp
  3. Channa Dal – 1 tbsp
  4. Fenugreek / Methi Seeds – 3/4 tsp
  5. Coriander / Dhania Seeds – 3 tbsp
Dry roasted sesame seeds
Tadka
After adding imli water
Puliyotharai in the making..

Method

  • 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.
Puliyotharai Gojju ready to be mixed with rice
Gojju with steamed rice

Notes

  • 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.
Delectable Puliyotharai!

For more such authentic recipes, plz checkout Thenga Paruppu Thogaiyal , Nellai Milagai Podi, Puzhimilagai, Getti chutney, Curry Leaves Spice Paste.

Happy Cooking!

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Nellai Milagai Podi | Idly Podi

#Comfortfood #TraditionalSouthIndianFood #Idlypodi #Grandma’srecipe

Nellai Milagai Podi is an appetizing, flavourful and quintessential condiment in all the South Indian households and eateries as it goes well with idly, dosa and upma varieties. My version of this Milagai Podi is inherited from my Grandma’s recipe that is with the adaptation of Nellai Tamizhar-style Idly Podi.

How to make Nellai Milagai Podi | Idly Podi?

This recipe has good amount of sesame / til and it needs to be had with
sesame oil mixed in it. So, it’s heart-friendly when used regularly. Needless to mention the nutritious value added by urad and channa dals, curry leaves to this humble recipe!

Inclusion of black urad dal as core ingredient gives this recipe a distinctive colour and flavour than usual versions. This recipe can be prepared in bulk and stored in air-tight box. It helps to savour this delicious podi as and when required either in the form of a paste or smeared on idly or dosa. It is an ideal option for tiffin box or as a travel food.

Ingredients

  • Black urad dhal – 1 cup, splitted
  • Channa dal – ½ cup
  • Sesame Seeds / Til – ¼ cup
  • Dry Red Chilies – 25 to 30
  • Asafoetida / Hing – 2 to 3 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 2 to 6 twigs, torn into pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar- 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Sesame / Til Oil – 1 to 2 tsp

Method

  • Roast black urad dhal, channa dhal, sesame seeds, dry red chilies and curry leaves one by one with little amount of oil till crisp and golden in colour.
  • Bring it to room temperature and grind it into a coarse powder along with asafoetida, sugar and salt. You can grind it finely also as per your taste.
  • Transfer it to a large bowl and mix well.
  • Store it in an air-tight container to keep the flavours intact.
  • It can be served as an accompaniment for idly, dosa and upma varieties.

Notes

  • This recipe stays fresh for 2-3 months. 
  • If you don’t like to use sesame oil, use any
    cooking oil or melted ghee.
  • Either you can have this podi + til oil as accompaniment or smear the podi paste on Idly, dosa vareities.
Mini Uttappams smeared with Idly Podi..best for tiffin box!
Idlies smeared generously with Milagai Podi…awesome tiffin & travel food option!

For more such authentic recipes, plz checkout Thenga Paruppu Thogaiyal, Chia Seeds Idly Powder, Poondu Vengaya Vathakuzhambu, Puzhimilagai, Kambam Kanji with Madhura Kizhangu, Getti chutney.

Happy Cooking!