Today's Menu

Saturday, May 06, 2006

10 min Tomato Kadhi

Part of being a working mom who still likes to serve up hot food everyday is that i am always looking for quick and easy recipes. These can be really handy for days when office is too loaded or the baby gets temperemental.
This is a recipe for tomato kadhi that I tried once and with such good results that this has become my staple quick-and-easy recipe. On busy days, it is really a life-saver; I mean, no soaking, grinding, peeling or pressure-cooking and very little chopping - and the taste id pretty good to. I love this with rice, but you can serve it with chapatti also since it is thick enough.

Ingredients

2 ripe medium sized tomatoes
2 tablespoons besan or kadala mav ( chick pea flour)
3/4 green chillies and ginger either chopped finely or crushed in a pestle
seasonings ( mustard seeds, cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida)
1/2 tsp turmeric
A handful of curry leaves

Heat oil and add mustard and cumin seeds. When they splutter, add green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, and stir fry. Add the asafoetida and the tomatoes and fry for a bit till the tomatoes get soft. Add 2 cups of water, turmeric and salt and bring to a boil.
In a small vessel, mix the chick pea flour with a little water till it gets mixed well.
Bring the kadhi down to a simmer and add the chick pea flour while stirring simultaneously.
Simmer for 3-4 minutes till the kadhi thickens and gets the consistency of a dal.
Switch off the flame and serve hot.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mambazha Kutan with Soy

The first time I had Mambazha Kutan ( or Mango stew) was in Palakkad, Kerela where we had been for our annual vacation. This was the real deal - the mangoes and coconuts were from the orchard, the curry leaves from the backyard and the rice from the paddy fields outside. The combination of the wonderful air and natural surroundings and the delicious meal is something that has stayed with me.
This is the authentic Kerela recipe for Mango kutan with some changes to make it healthier for our urban lifestyles.



Some Main Ingredients

Ingredients
Main
1 ripe mango diced roughly into cubes
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut ( fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup Nutrella soy granules
1/3 cup sour buttermilk

Spices
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3-4 red chillies
1 tablespoon uncooked rice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon jaggery
a few curry leaves


Lightly Roasting the spices

Procedure

Prep Work
Boil the soy granules in a little water for 3-4 minutes. You can also microwave them for 1 minute with a little water - they just need to get soft.
Roast 1 tsp fenugreek seeds and the red chillies. Put these in the mixer along with the coconut, soy and raw rice. Grind well to make a paste

Process
Heat 1 cup of water. Add the mangoes, turmeric, jaggery and salt and boil for 10 minutes on a medium flame. You can adjust the jaggery based on the sweetness of the mango. Then add the ground paste and allow the kutan to simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occassionally. Switch off the flame and add the buttermilk and mix well.
In a smaller vessel, heat oil and when the oil is smoking, add mustard and fenugreek seeds. After the seeds splutter, switch off the flame and throw the curry leaves into the vessel. Pour this seasoning mixture into the kutan and allow the kutan to sit for 3-4 minutes.
Serve hot with steaming rice and papads.

Mambazha Kutan with soy

Footnote:
The above recipe is completely authentic except for the addition of soy. Coconut is a high cholestrol food while soy is an excellent source of protein. Therefore I use coconut and soy in the proportion of 2:1 for this dish and the results are very good. You can change this ratio and use more/less soy depending on your preferences.


Rolicking with Raw Mango -

Raw mango - When I was a child, summer vacations were all about getting tanned in the hot sun, climbing mango trees and getting bruised and bitten by bugs - and sampling the raw mangoes from the tree.
These are a few of my favourite dishes with Raw Mango
1) Mango bhel - Make the regular bhel and throw in a few slivers of chopped raw mango for an additional kick
2) Mangai moru chadam - The traditional Moru chadam or Yogurt rice is made with rice and buttermilk and seasoned with mustard seeds, urad dal, green chillies and curry leaves. To this combination, add some milk to reduce the tartness of the yogurt. then add a few finely chopped raw mango for extra bite.
3) Raw Mango Dal - While pressure cooking the lentils, add 1/2 a raw mango - this is a good substitute for tamarind. Season and serve
4) RawMango curry pickle - Another summer favourite - Heat oil and season mustard seeds, hing and red chilli powder. Pour over finely sliced raw mango, add salt and some fenugreek powder and allow to sit overnight. you have spicy-sour pickled mango in no time - one of the simpler pickles.