Pasi Parippu Kosumalli|Simple South Indian Lentil Salad

Best wishes for Sri Rama Navami!

Today, I present to you the recipe for Pasi Parippu Kosumalli, a simple South Indian-style lentil salad. This mildly spiced salad is extremely delicious and healthy, and is a breeze to put together. A dish that is traditionally prepared in Tamilian households on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami, this cooling salad is just perfect to beat the summer heat that is soaring by the day.

Pasi Parippu Kosumalli is also quite commonly prepared in Karnataka. On the day of Rama Navami, you will come across make-shift stalls on the roadsides in Bangalore, handing out leaf bowls full of this kosumalli (‘kosambari‘ in Kannada) and disposable glasses of neer more (‘majjige‘ in the local language) and panagam (‘panaka‘ in Kannada).

I have fond memories of watching my grandmother preparing a big bowl full of this beautiful salad on Rama Navami, for the entire extended family. My mom continued the tradition after her, and she passed on the recipe to me too. All those memories came flooding back as I prepared a bowl of Pasi Parippu Kosumalli this morning. My little one munched on it delightfully, amidst tales of how ‘Rama Umachi‘s (God) birthday came to be. 🙂

This is a gluten-free preparation that can be made vegan if you skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. If you skip the tempering altogether, this becomes a no-cook recipe, perfect for a raw food diet. The split moong daal that goes into it makes this salad full of protein, the carrot and cucumber adding to its nutritional value.

Let’s now check out the recipe for this Pasi Parippu Kosumalli.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1/2 cup split moong daal (pasi parippu)
  2. 1 medium-sized carrot
  3. 1 medium-sized seedless cucumber (vellarikkai)
  4. 3-4 green chillies or as per taste (paccha milagai)
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  8. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut (thengai)
  9. 1 tablespoon oil (ennai)
  10. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (kadugu)
  11. 1 sprig curry leaves (karuveppilai)
  12. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida (perungayam)

Method:

  1. Wash the moong daal well under running water, a couple of times, draining out all the water each time. Then, add in enough fresh water to cover the daal, and let it soak for 1-2 hours.
  2. When the moong daal is done soaking, drain out all the water from it. Place the soaked moong daal in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the cucumber finely. Add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Peel the carrot and grate it medium-thick. Add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the fresh grated coconut to the mixing bowl, along with the finely chopped coriander.
  6. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the salad. Slit the green chillies length-wise, and keep them ready. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add in the mustard, and allow it to sputter. Turn the flame to low. Add the asafoetida, curry leaves and slit green chillies – allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Ensure that the tempering does not burn. Add this tempering to the salad in the mixing bowl.
  7. Add in salt to taste and lemon juice to the salad. Mix well. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. 1-2 hours of soaking makes the moong daal soft and adds flavour to the salad. However, if you are in a hurry, about 30 minutes of soaking also works.
  2. Pomegranate arils and grated raw mango can also be added to the Pasi Parippu Kosumalli. I have kept it very basic, and skipped these two ingredients.
  3. Adjust the quantity of salt, lemon juice, green chillies and coconut as per personal taste preferences.
  4. Add the salt at the very end. The salad will start leaving water once you add salt, so do not let it sit for too long after salt is added.
  5. For best results, use ‘European’ or ‘English’ cucumbers that have very few seeds. These are also called ‘seedless cucumbers’.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #271. Ai @ Ai Made It For You is the co-host this week.

I’m also submitting this recipe to the 127th edition of My Legume Love Affair (MLLA), a monthly event that celebrates legumes. This event was started by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen and Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. This month, MLLA is being hosted by Amrita of Motions And Emotions.

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Neer More With A Difference| Spiced Buttermilk Recipe

It is Sri Rama Navami this weekend, the birthday of God Rama. In Tamilian households, this occasion is marked by the preparation of Neer More (literally, ‘watered-down buttermilk’ in Tamil), Panakam (a mildly spiced beverage prepared with jaggery water), and Kosumalli (a salad made using split moong daal).

Each of these delicacies possesses cooling properties, just what our bodies need in the heat of summer. Sri Rama Navami falls bang in the midst of summer and, I am pretty sure, the special foods prepared for the occasion were inspired by the season. I am constantly awed by how our ancestors drew inspiration from the world around them!

Today, I present to you a recipe for Neer More that is different from the usual. This is not your regular South Indian-style spiced buttermilk, but one infused with kaffir lime and chilli. This version is just as delicious, just as cooling as the traditional one, and is equally simple to prepare. Do try out this new Spiced Buttermilk Recipe this summer!

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 3 cups slightly sour buttermilk
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1 green chilly
  4. 7-8 medium-sized kaffir lime leaves

Method:

  1. Whisk the buttermilk well, ensuring that no lumps remain.
  2. Add salt to taste.
  3. Slit the green chilly length-wise and add it to the buttermilk.
  4. Tear the kaffir lime leaves roughly with your hands. Add them to the buttermilk.
  5. Mix up all the ingredients.
  6. Let the buttermilk sit, covered, for at least 15-20 minutes for all the flavours to get infused into it. After it has rested, you can serve it at room temperature or after chilling it a bit in the refrigerator.

Notes:

1. Mix 2 cups of runny curd with 1 cup of water to get the 3 cups of buttermilk needed for the above Spiced Buttermilk Recipe. Adjust the quantity of curd and water, depending upon personal taste preferences.

2. I have used home-made curd here, but you can use a store-bought version as well.

3. Use buttermilk that is slightly sour, but not overly so, for best results.

4. Let the prepared Neer More sit for at least 15-20 minutes before serving, for the flavours of the kaffir lime and chilli to get infused into the buttermilk. You can even chill the prepared Neer More in the refrigerator before serving. Alternatively, you can use chilled curd and water (or chilled buttermilk) to prepare the Neer More.

5. You may strain out the chilli and kaffir lime before serving the Neer More. I prefer letting them stay in.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #271. Ai @ Ai Made It For You is the co-host this week.

Postcards From The 75th Ayappan Festival, Tattamangalam, Kerala

Tattamangalam, a village near Palakkad in Kerala, is a small place if you compare it to the sprawling cities of today. However, it is quite big if you choose to compare it to the surrounding villages. It is the village where my mother-in-law was born and grew up, a cherished childhood and adolescence, judging from the several anecdotes she has narrated to us of the customs and traditions, the people and the lifestyle of her hometown. I have visited Tattamangalam a couple of times with her in the past and it is, indeed, a quiet and charming place, a world that is far, far away from the hustle and bustle of my own today. However, it is very recently, towards the fag end of 2018, that I got an opportunity to witness the Ayappan festival celebrations that are an annual affair in this village.

For the last 74 years, Tattamangalam has been conducting festivities to commemorate ‘Ayappan season’, the period between Diwali (October-November) till Pongal (January 14), which is when the maximum number of pilgrims visit the holy temple of Lord Ayappa at Sabarimala. These festivities in Tattamangalam, typically held towards the end of every December, are quite grand, I have always been told, including parades by elephants, performances by music artistes, large-scale community meals, frenzied beats of drums and cymbals, and the blowing of trumpets. In December 2018, Tattamangalam celebrated the 75th edition of the Ayappan Festival Celebrations, and my extended family and I figured it was time to pay a visit. I am glad we booked our tickets at the very last minute (we were lucky to even get them, indeed!) and visited, for the festival was bigger and better than ever.

Many families staying away from Tattamangalam had had the same thoughts as we did, I suppose, as we saw an influx of city-dwellers to witness the festivities. I was, naturally, thrilled to see the magnificence of it all, in a relatively less crowded setting at that, and went crazy clicking pictures with my camera. It was lovely meeting my mother-in-law’s old friends and acquaintances, and just walking around the clean village roads, breathing in the pure air. We even managed to do some shopping for the bub in the fair that came up in the village streets, on the occasion of the festival celebrations.

I leave you with some pictures from the celebrations, of the pretty stalls that came up all over, of our walks around Tattamangalam.

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The people of Tattamangalam, making rangolis at their doorsteps, in preparation for the ceremonial procession to pass through the village
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People lighting the lamps, at one of the many serene temples in Tattamangalam
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The ceremonial elephants, being readied for the procession around the village. Check out the anklets are being tied around their legs!
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A chariot being readied, for the ceremonial procession
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The ceremonial elephants, all decked up, being taken for a walk around the village
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Taking selfies, with the majestic tuskers in the background
The ceremonial elephants, saluting at one of the temples in Tattamangalam
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The celebrations are all set to begin, and the men with the drums, cymbals and trumpets pour in to the village
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… And the celebrations begin! Here are devotees dancing and performing pooja on the backs of the elephants.
The sounds of trumpets, cymbals and drums rent the air. I can’t put into words the frenzy and fervour that filled the atmosphere at this time.

 

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Stalls selling earrings, hair clips, toys, bangles, food and what not, lining the streets of Tattamangalam. Oh, my, the village wore a fair-like atmosphere!
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Goddess Bagavathiamman, making the rounds of the village, in her bedecked chariot
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The chariot for the procession, all decked up and ready. Here, women are preparing rangolis on the ground, in preparation for the chariot to make its customary rounds around the village.
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A close-up of the men making the music. You should check out the video on my Facebook page to understand just how magical this was!
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Scenes from the idyllic village life in Tattamangalam. Sigh! I would love to spend a couple of days more soaking in this serenity!
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Two stone elephants adorning someone’s doorstep, in Tattamangalam. They surely caught my fancy!
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The gorgeousness that was the village pond! My mother-in-law used to swim here, apparently, when she was a little girl.
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The famed Kerala nei payasam (kheer cooked in ghee) getting ready for the community meal
A musical performance in the village, to commemorate the Ayappan Festival
The elephants, their duties done, being fed before they were led to their holding places to take rest. This was, as per me, the most amazing thing.

Check out my Facebook album for more pictures from the celebration!

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Tips for travellers:

  1. The nearest railway station to Tattamangalam village is at Palakkad. From Palakkad, it is quite easy to find a cab that will take you to Tattamangalam. The roads are in excellent condition, and the on-road journey takes barely half an hour.
  2. The nearest airport is at Coimbatore. From Coimbatore, it is a roughly 1.5-hour journey on road to Palakkad, with the roads in excellent condition. Local trains also ply between Coimbatore and Palakkad.
  3. There are no great stay options in Tattamangalam, as far as I know, considering that it is but a small village. Your best bet would be to rent a hotel/stay in Palakkad, and hire a cab to reach Tattamangalam.
  4. Please do find out the exact dates and timings for the Ayappan festival timings in Tattamangalam from the presiding body, the Sri Dharma Sastha Utsavam Trust, if at all you plan to witness them.
  5. I am pretty sure there are several villages across Kerala that host similar festivities for the Ayappan festival. Tattamangalam’s celebrations are believed to be among the best, though. I don’t have any information about the festivals that might be conducted in other villages, but we do receive the schedule for Tattamangalam, as it is my mom-in-law’s ancestral place.

I hope you guys enjoyed the visuals! Please do let me know, in your comments!

 

Classic Sakkarai Pongal| Traditional Sweet Pongal Recipe

Hola, guys and girls!

Warm wishes from our family to you for Pongal, Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Magh Bihu! I hope all of you are enjoying the festivities in your part of the world.

We are getting ready to celebrate Pongal tomorrow, January 15. The bub has Pongal celebrations in her school today, and a holiday tomorrow. I’m all stocked up, with respect to special groceries, all set to make some Pongal-special dishes tomorrow. The husband will be working, but I hope we’ll be able to catch up on at least a bit of the festive fun!

I recently realised I have never posted a Classic Sakkarai Pongal recipe on my blog, the traditional sweet pongal that is a must-have on the festival day. We can’t have that happening, so I decided to share the recipe today for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. I made Sakkarai Pongal a few days back to shoot pics for the blog. We thoroughly enjoyed our Pongal-treat-a-little-ahead-of-Pongal! 🙂

For the uninitiated, Sakkarai Pongal is a sweet dish made with rice and moong daal. Sweetened with jaggery, with loads of dry fruits and ghee added in, it surely is a lovely treat for kids and adults alike. We add some milk to the sweet pongal too, which makes it all the more rich and delectable. Typically, in our family, Sakkarai Pongal is served with Ezhu Thaan Kootu, a traditional Tamilnadu savoury preparation that uses at least seven types of vegetables.

The traditional Sakkarai Pongal, served with Ezhu Thaan Kootu

Sakkarai Pongal is not a very complicated dish to prepare. We make it in a pressure cooker, and not in a pan as is done traditionally, which ensures that it gets done in a jiffy and is still every bit just as delicious! Check out our family recipe below!

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1/2 cup moong daal
  3. 2 cups full-fat milk
  4. 3 cups jaggery powder
  5. 3-4 tablespoons ghee
  6. 10-15 cashewnuts
  7. 1 tablespoon raisins
  8. 2 generous pinches of cardamom powder

Method:

  1. Chop the cashewnuts roughly, into large-ish pieces. Keep aside.
  2. Wash the rice and moong daal together under running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water.
  3. Pressure cook the rice and moong daal together with 2 cups of milk + 2-1/2 cups of water, for 4 whistles or till they are well-cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.
  4. When the pressure has gone down completely, mash the cooked rice and moong daal well, using a masher. Keep aside.
  5. Now, take the 3 cups of jaggery powder and 2 cups of water in a pan, and place it on high flame. Cook till the jaggery is completely dissolved in the water. Turn the flame down to medium when the jaggery syrup comes to a boil.
  6. At this stage, add the cooked rice and moong daal to the jaggery syrup. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes, or till all the ingredients are well integrated together. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  7. While the sweet pongal is cooking, heat the ghee in another pan. Add in the raisins and the chopped cashewnuts. Wait for the cashewnuts to turn slightly brown and the raisins to plump up. Ensure that they do not burn. Switch off gas and transfer the fried cashewnuts and raisins to the sweet pongal cooking in the other pan.
  8. Add the cardamom powder to the sweet pongal. Mix well.
  9. Let the Classic Sakkarai Pongal cook on medium flame for a minute or two after adding the cardamom powder, cashewnuts and raisins. Keep stirring intermittently. That’s it!
  10. Serve the sweet pongal hot, warm or at room temperature.

Notes:

1. I use Nandini full-cream milk that has been boiled and cooled, in this recipe.

2. The quantity of jaggery you will need depends upon its quality and sweetness. For us, double the quantity of jaggery : (the quantity of rice + moong daal) works perfectly.

3. I have used Sona Masoori raw rice to make this Classic Sakkarai Pongal. You may use any other variety of rice you prefer, instead.

4. I have used organic jaggery powder here, which had a deep, brown colour. That accounts for the dark brown colour of the Classic Sakkarai Pongal. The colour of your sweet pongal will, naturally, depend upon the type of jaggery you use.

5. Adjust the quantity of ghee, cashewnuts and raisins you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

6. The jaggery I use doesn’t have any impurities, so I haven’t filtered the jaggery syrup. However, you might want to filter in case you suspect the presence of impurities in the jaggery you have.

7. Make sure you cook the rice and moong daal till they are well done, and can be mashed well. For us, 4 whistles in the pressure cooker works perfectly.

8. If you are using a block of jaggery, pound it to make powder before proceeding to make this sweet pongal.

9. Edible camphor and/or clove powder are sometimes added to Sakkarai Pongal, to stop the sweetness from becoming overpowering. I haven’t used them here.

10. If you don’t want to use milk, use 4-1/2 cups of water to pressure cook the rice, in the above recipe. The rest of the steps remain exactly the same.

11. I have used a 5-litre pressure cooker to prepare this Sakkarai Pongal.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme this week is #HarvestHarmony, wherein the participants are cooking special dishes for the Indian harvest festivals of Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Lohri.

Check out the other (not-so-traditional) Sakkarai Pongal recipes on my blog:

Banana Sweet Pongal| Proso Millet Sweet Pongal

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #260. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.

Ezhu Thaan Kootu| Pongal Kootu| Thiruvathirai Kootu

Pongal is just around the corner!

I’m here with a Pongal-special recipe today – one for Ezhu Thaan Kootu or Pongal Kootu, a traditional recipe from Tamilnadu.

About the festival of Pongal

For the uninitiated, Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in South India, particularly in Tamilnadu. The festival falls in the Tamil month of Thai (typically in January as per the English calendar), which is why it is sometimes referred to as Thai Pongal. Pongal is celebrated on the day the sun enters the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn), which usually happens between January 13 and 15. January 15 has been declared as Pongal day, in 2019.

The tradition of celebrating Pongal is believed to be over 1000 years old. The festival corresponds to harvest festivals celebrated in different parts of the country – Lohri in Punjab, Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan in Gujarat, and Magh Bihu in Assam. In Tamilnadu, Pongal is a major affair, with the celebrations continuing for 3-4 days. Thanks are offered to the sun for a bountiful harvest, old belongings are disposed of and new ones are bought, and a variety of sweet and savoury dishes are prepared. (Check out this very informative blog post for details on the way Pongal is celebrated in Tamilnadu.)

The term ‘Pongal‘ also refers to ‘Sakkarai Pongal‘ or a rice dish cooked with milk and jaggery to celebrate this festival. Traditionally, the sakkarai pongal is cooked outside, on a wood fire, in a new earthenware pot. A piece of turmeric root is tied around the pot, which is decorated with turmeric (haldi) and vermilion (kumkum) paste. The rice cooking in the pot is allowed to overflow, indicating prosperity and abundance. Venn Pongal (a savoury version of the above rice dish), vada, payasam (kheer), and Pongal Kootu are some other dishes commonly prepared for the celebratory festival feast.

Ezhu Thaan Kootu or Pongal Kootu

Considering that Pongal is a celebration of bountiful harvest, Ezhu Thaan Kootu is an apt thing to prepare for the festival. Ezhu Thaan Kootu is Tamil for ‘a curry with seven vegetables’. This traditional Tamilnadu preparation uses at least seven local, seasonal vegetables – largely raw banana (vazhakkai), pumpkin (pushnikkai), cluster beans (kotthavarangai), potatoes (urulaikizhangu), elephant yam (senaikizhangu), sweet potato (sakkaravelikizhangu), broad beans (avarekkai) and the like. One can add in more than seven vegetables too, but using them in odd numbers (seven, nine or eleven vegetables) is the norm. In today’s times, people make this kootu using a mix of native vegetables and ‘English’ ones (carrots, green peas, French beans and the like).

The seven major elements of the Ezhu Thaan Kootu I made, a while ago

In Tamilnadu, this Ezhu Thaan Kootu is typically served on the day of Pongal, as an accompaniment to Sakkarai Pongal. The savoury Ezhu Thaan Kootu and the sweet Sakkarai Pongal are perfect complements to each other. For this reason, the kootu is often also referred to as Pongal Kootu. Since this vegetable dish is also prepared on another Tamilian festival, Thiruvathirai, it is also called Thiruvathirai Kootu.

This Ezhu Thaan Kootu is a thing of beauty. It is a blend of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy flavours, a great thing to prepare on festive occasions and ordinary days alike. It is a lovely way to clear up your refrigerator of all those bits and pieces of vegetables that have been lounging around. With sweet pongal or plain steamed rice, this kootu pairs up very well. I have it with rotis as well.

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Pongal Kootu aka Thiruvathirai Kootu or Ezhu Thaan Kootu

The Ezhu Thaan Kootu is traditionally prepared in a pan, which takes a bit of time to cook. My mother, however, uses a sort of short-cut method, doing some of the steps in a pressure cooker. I follow in my Amma‘s footsteps, in this regard. 🙂

Now, without further ado, let’s check out the my family recipe for Pongal Kootu aka Ezhu Thaan Kootu, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  1. About 4-1/2 cups of mixed vegetables, chopped (I used red pumpkin, raw banana, cluster beans, carrot, broad beans, elephant yam, sweet potato, potato, French beans, fresh green chana and green peas)
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. 1/4 cup toor daal
  5. A small gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind
  6. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste

For the spice mix:

  1. 1 teaspoon oil
  2. 1-1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  3. 1-1/2 tablespoon chana daal
  4. 1/2 tablespoon urad daal
  5. 1/2 tablespoon raw rice
  6. 4 dry red chillies or as per taste
  7. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut

For the tempering:

  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 2-3 dry red chillies
  4. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  5. 1 sprig curry leaves

Method:

First up, we will make the necessary preparations to make the Ezhu Thaan Kootu.

  1. Make sure all the vegetables are chopped into bite-sized pieces. Remove strings from vegetables like French beans and cluster beans, and chop them into 1-inch pieces. Peel veggies like potato, sweet potato, raw banana, yam and red pumpkin and chop into cubes.
  2. Soak the tamarind in a little hot water for at least 10 minutes. Extract a thick paste out of it. Keep aside.
  3. Wash the toor daal in running water, a couple of times. Drain out all the excess water. Now, add in just enough fresh water to cover the toor daal, and pressure cook it for 4 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.
  4. When the pressure comes down entirely, get the cooked toor daal out. Mash it well, using a masher. Keep aside.

Now, we will pressure cook the vegetables and simultaneously get the spice mix for the kootu ready.

  1. Take the chopped vegetables in a pressure cooker bottom. I have used a 5-litre pressure cooker here. Add in a little water, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Close the cooker and put the weight on. Pressure cook for 3 whistles on high flame or till the vegetables are cooked, but not overly mushy. Let the pressure come down naturally.
  2. Now, we will prepare the spice mix. Heat the oil for the spice mix in a pan. Turn heat to medium, and add in the coriander seeds, chana daal, urad daal, raw rice, coconut and dry red chillies. Fry on medium heat till the daals start turning brown. Make sure the ingredients do not burn. Switch off gas, transfer the fried ingredients to a plate and let them cool down fully.
  3. When the fried ingredients for the spice mix have cooled down completely, grind them together to a powder in a mixer. Keep aside.

Now, we will prepare the Ezhu Thaan Kootu.

  1. When the pressure has gone down completely, open the cooker with the cooked vegetables in it. Place it back on medium flame. Add the cooked and mashed toor daal to it, the jaggery powder, tamarind paste and the spice mix powder we prepared earlier. Mix well. Check and adjust seasonings as needed.
  2. Cook on medium heat till the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes. Add a little water if needed. Ideally, this kootu should have a slightly runny consistency, slightly thicker than sambar. Switch off gas at this stage.

And now, we will do the final process – prepare the tempering for the kootu.

Lastly, we will prepare the tempering for the Ezhu Thaan Kootu. Heat the oil for the tempering, in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Now, add the curry leaves, dried red chillies and the asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of minutes. Switch off the gas, and add this tempering to the kootu. Mix well. Your Ezhu Thaan Kootu is ready to serve!

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #258. The co-host this week is Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts

Happy, happy new year, people!

I hope all of you had a lovely New Year’s eve and a great start to 2019. We rang in the new year chilling out at home, with some good home-made food, reading, talking and playing with the bub. Note to self – must do more of this in the months to come. 🙂

Just before New Year’s eve, I won an Instagram contest by Bhuira Jams, a brand I have come to trust and love. The good folks at Bhuira sent me a bottle of their Black Cherry Preserve, made with black cherries grown on their plant in Himachal Pradesh, with no artificial colouring or flavouring agents or preservatives. It tastes just awesome, I must say! I just had to use it immediately, and did so in these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.

Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts are super easy to make, taking bare minutes to get ready. They have a certain rustic charm to them, thumbprint and all. Use good-quality jam in them, and they become delectable little treats that you can serve for parties and get-togethers. I made the base for these tarts using Unibic’s new Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies, topping them with Bhuira’s Black Cherry Preserve, the dried coconut I added in complementing the other flavours perfectly. They turned out so delicious, they disappeared within minutes of the making!

Here’s how I made these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.

Ingredients (makes 10 pieces):

  1. 12 Unibic Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  3. 4 tablespoons dry grated coconut + more for garnishing
  4. 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. Bhuira Black Cherry Jam as needed

    Method:

    1. Grind the digestive cookies in a mixer, along with the dry grated coconut and sugar. Make a fine powder.
    2. Transfer this powder to a mixing bowl. Add the butter. Gently mix the ingredients together till you get a sort of pliable consistency.
    3. Make 10 small balls out of the dough. Flatten each ball and make a ‘well’ in the centre, using your thumb. The ‘well’ should be good to hold a little quantity of jam.
    4. Let the tarts chill in the freezer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
    5. Now, drop a little jam in the ‘well’ of each tart. Garnish each tart with some dry grated coconut.
    6. Let the tarts chill, covered, in the refrigerator (not in the freezer) for at least half an hour. The jam will set in this time.
    7. Serve the tarts immediately after bringing them to room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I used Amul unsalted butter to make these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.
  2. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use in the tart bases, depending upon personal taste preferences. You can even avoid the sugar completely, if you so desire.
  3. Use only a little quantity of jam to top these mini tarts, otherwise they might turn out overwhelmingly sweet.
  4. You may use any other type of cookie to form the base of these tarts, and any other good-quality jam for the topping.
  5. You can make these tarts in advance before a party or get-together, and store them in the refrigerator. However, make sure you get them out at room temperature a couple of hours prior to serving.
  6. Making these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts is a great way to make use of leftover cookies, jam and/or dry grated coconut powder. 😉
  7. I received a sample of Unibic’s Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies, on a complimentary basis, to try out and review, on my Instagram feed. I quite liked them, and felt they would make a great base for tarts, hence this recipe happened. The opinions expressed about the cookies on my Instagram feed are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.
  8. As I mentioned earlier in my post, I won the bottle of Bhuira Black Cherry Preserve in an Instagram contest. The opinions expressed herein about the preserve are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #257. The co-hosts this week are Suzanne @ Frugal Hausfraualupinthekitchen and Kat @ Kat’s 9 Lives.

Gongura Pulihora| Sorrel Green Rice

Hola guys! How has the end of the year been treating you? I hope you have been having fun this holiday season!

This year, I’m using Paperless Post, a USA-based website, to send out my holiday greetings. Paperless Post believes in making online communication so much fun that you don’t miss hand-written greeting cards, flyers, invitations and other notes. They have some really lovely designs by established artists, beautiful options to choose from for various types of communication needs. You can customise the design you opt for, for your cards, as well as the envelope front and backing and the message. I’ve been enjoying creating customised cards for my friends and family, and plan to use Paperless Posts for upcoming events as well. Do check out the website, folks!

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One of the New Year cards I made using Paperless Post

Moving on to food now, today, I present to you a recipe for Gongura Pulihora or Sorrel Rice. All of us at home love gongura – aka pulichakeerai, sorrel, roselle, kenaf or aambadi – the greens with a sour taste to them. Sadly, though, they are one of the least used greens in our household. We use them only occasionally to make Gongura Thokku, a spicy Andhra Pradesh-style pickle. Considering that these leaves are very rich in iron, folic acid, antioxidants and various vitamins, I wanted to use more of them in our daily diets. So, a Gongura Pulihora or sorrel-flavoured rice was made recently, which turned out to be much loved.

Gongura Pulihora aka Sorrel Rice

Let’s check out the recipe for this delicious Gongura Pulihora!

Ingredients (serves 4):

To roast and grind:

  1. 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon of oil
  2. 2 cups tightly packed gongura (sorrel) leaves, chopped
  3. 1-1/2 tablespoons chana daal
  4. 1-1/2 tablespoons urad daal
  5. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  6. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  7. 5-6 black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  8. 4-5 dry red chillies, or to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds

For the tempering:

  1. 1/4 cup peanuts
  2. 2 tablespoons oil
  3. 3-4 dry red chillies
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  6. 1 sprig curry leaves

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder, or to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  6. Lemon juice to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. Wash the rice under running water a couple of times, draining out the excess water each time. Pressure cook the washed and drained rice with 2.5 cups of water, for 4 whistles. You may also 3 whistles, if you want grainier rice. Allow the pressure to come down naturally.
  2. In the meanwhile, wash the gongura leaves well under running water. Place in a colander, and allow the excess water to drain out. Then, chop the gongura leaves finely and keep aside.
  3. Heat a pan and add in the peanuts. Dry roast on low-medium flame till crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Now, transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.
  4. Now, we will roast the ingredients we need to grind. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Then, lower the flame to medium, and add in the urad daal, chana daal, coriander seeds, methi seeds, black peppercorns and dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘to roast and grind’). Fry till the ingredients begin to change colour and emit a lovely fragrance. Take care to ensure that they do not burn, stirring constantly. Now, add the coconut and fry for a minute more. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.
  5. In the same pan, add another teaspoon of oil. Add in the drained and chopped gongura leaves. Roast on low-medium flame till the gongura wilts and changes colour, about 3 minutes. Then, switch off the gas and allow the gongura to cool down entirely.
  6. When the pressure from the cooker has gone down fully, open it. Set the rice under a fan to cool down completely. Then, fluff up the rice gently. The rice is now ready to use in the gongura pulihora. Keep aside.
  7. Transfer all the roasted and cooled ingredients from Step 4 above to a mixer jar. Add in the fried and cooled gongura leaves to the mixer jar too. Pulse a couple of times, without adding any water. Stop in between and scrape down the sides of the mixer jar with a spoon. You should get a coarse paste. Keep aside.
  8. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the gongura pulihora. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow to pop. Now, add the dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘for tempering’), asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Add in the turmeric powder and dry-roasted peanuts. Give everything a mix with a spoon. Switch off gas.
  9. Add the cooled rice to the pan, along with the spice mix we ground earlier. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using), and jaggery powder (if using). Use your hands to mix well, but gently. Add in lemon juice to taste, and mix well. That’s it! Your gongura pulihora is ready to be served – you can serve it either warmed up or at room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I have used Bullet Rice aka Wada Kollam Rice to make this Gongura Pulihora. You may use any other variety of rice instead, too.
  2. I have used 2.5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of rice here, which is less than what I usually use. Normally, I would use 3 cups of water per cup of rice, to make plain white rice. This is because I needed slightly grainy rice to make the pulihora, which is not overcooked or mushy. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon how grainy you want the rice to be.
  3. Gingelly oil tastes great in this Gongura Pulihora. If you don’t have it, though, you may use any other variety of oil.
  4. Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the dish to be. I have used Salem Gundu dry red chillies here.
  5. If you find the dish to be less spicy, you could add in a bit of red chilli powder, to taste. That is purely optional.
  6. Make sure the rice has fully cooled down before you fluff it up and use it in making the Gongura Pulihora. Otherwise, you will end up with a mushy, tasteless dish.
  7. Adjust the quantity of gongura aka sorrel leaves you use, depending upon how sour they are. The gongura I had wasn’t very sour, so I had to use more of it, and also add in some lemon juice. If your sorrel leaves are very sour, you can leave out the lemon juice entirely.
  8. You can skip the jaggery powder if you don’t like a hint of sweetness in your food. To us, it was the perfect addition.
  9. This Gongura Pulihora doesn’t really need any accompaniment, but some potato chips, papad or fryums would go beautifully with it.
  10. I was approached by Paperless Post to try out the experience of using some of their online stationery, on a complimentary basis, and I decided to give it a go. I write about it solely because I loved the stuff they have on board. The views expressed in this post are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #256. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

Diwali Marundhu| Diwali Legiyam

Diwali means time to shop till you drop, to dress up to the hilt, to meet friends and family, to exchange gifts, to light lamps and celebrate. It also means time to gorge on a huge variety of sweets and savouries, not just at your own place but also at your relatives’. The festive season is a time of indulgences and excesses. Bloated tummies and indigestion are common ailments around Diwali season, thanks to consuming a whole lot of oily, rich foods. To counter this, households in Tamil Nadu resort to preparing Diwali Marundhu or Diwali Legiyam, a common home-made herbal concoction.

Making Diwali Marundhu (which literally means ‘Diwali medicine’ in Tamil) is an age-old practice in Tamil Nadu. It is typically made the day before Diwali, using a horde of herbs and roots, cooked with jaggery and ghee. On Diwali day, a little of this herbal ‘medicine’ is consumed on an empty stomach, before the feasting begins. Some households continue to consume spoonfuls of the Diwali Marundhu till the festival season ends. It is also offered to lactating mothers, to keep minor ailments at bay and give them strength.

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The horde of ingredients that goes into the making of Diwali Marundhu – long pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, carom seeds, cumin seeds, long pepper root, coriander seeds and the like.

These days, ready-to-consume Diwali legiyam is available in Tamil Nadu stores, but to me, nothing matches the charm of making it at home. Different families make the legiyam with minor variations of their own, the basic ingredients and technique of cooking remaining more or less the same. Today, I present to you my family recipe for Diwali Marundhu or Diwali Legiyam, the way it has always been prepared by our ancestors.

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This season’s batch of Diwali Marundhu at our place

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

For the spice powder:

  1. 2 tablespoons coriander seeds (dhania)
  2. 1-1/2 tablespoons carom seeds (omam or ajwain)
  3. 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (sombu or saunf)
  4. 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (milagu or kali mirch)
  5. 1 tablespoon long pepper (rice pepper, arisi thippili or pippali)
  6. 1 tablespoon long pepper root (kanda thippili or pippali mool)
  7. A small piece of nutmeg (jathikkai or jayphal)
  8. A 1-inch piece of greater galangal (alpinia galanga, sittharatthai or kulanjan)
  9. 2-3 cardamom (elakkai or elaichi)
  10. 2-3 cloves (krambu or laung)
  11. 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds (gasa gasa or khus khus)
  12. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (manjal podi or haldi)
  13. 2 teaspoons dry ginger powder (sukku podi or saunth)
  14. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeeragam or jeera)
  15. A 1/2-inch fat piece of cinnamon (pattai or dalchini)

Other ingredients:

  1. 2-3 tablespoons of ghee
  2. 2 cups powdered jaggery
  3. 2 tablespoons honey

Method:

1. Crush the nutmeg, long pepper, long pepper root, cinnamon and greater galangal roughly, using a mortar and pestle. Place these in a pan, along with all other ingredients listed under ‘For the spice powder’. Dry roast all these ingredients on medium heat, till they begin to emit a lovely aroma. Ensure that they do not burn. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and keep aside.

2. Take the jaggery in the same pan, and add in about 2 cups of water. Place on high flame, and cook till the jaggery is entirely dissolved in the water. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas when the jaggery syrup comes to a rolling boil. Keep aside.

3. When all the roasted ingredients have cooled down completely, grind to a powder in a mixer.

4. Strain the jaggery syrup through a fine sieve, to remove any impurities. Add the filtered jaggery syrup back to the same pan, and place on high heat. Allow the syrup to heat up a bit, about a minute.

5. When the jaggery syrup heats up, lower the flame to medium. Add the spice powder we prepared earlier to the pan, stirring constantly, ensuring that no lumps are formed.

6. Cook the mixture on medium flame till it begins to thicken, stirring intermittently. This should take 2-3 minutes.

7. At this stage, add the ghee to the pan. Continue to cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, till the mixture comes together well and begins to separate from the sides of the pan. This should take another 2 minutes. Switch off the gas when the mixture is still runny, otherwise it will become hard.

8. Mix in the honey at this stage.

9. Allow the mixture to cool down completely before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight container. Store at room temperature.

Notes:

  1. Obtaining some of these ingredients might be an issue in certain parts of the world. They are easily available in most ‘naatu marundhu‘ (local medicine) shops in Tamilnadu, though, which is where I pick up my stash from. You may even be able to find a few of these ingredients online. I have tried to include the common Tamil and Hindi names of all of the ingredients used here.
  2. Some families add gingelly oil (nalla ennai) to the Diwali Legiyam, at the time of adding the ghee. We don’t.
  3. Dried turmeric root can be used in place of turmeric powder.
  4. Dried ginger can be used in place of dried ginger powder. Here, I have used dried ginger powder from Kitchen D’Lite, of which I was sent a sample to test and review. I loved the freshness and good quality of the product, an honest opinion of mine, not influenced by anything or anyone. For those of you who are interested, Kitchen D’Lite ginger powder is available on Amazon, as are other products by the brand.
  5. We add honey to the Diwali Legiyam or Diwali Marundhu, because we love the flavour it adds. You may even skip it if you don’t want to.
  6. If you are not able to procure all of the ingredients this recipe requires, you can make a basic version that skips the exotic ones – nutmeg, long pepper, long pepper root and greater galangal.
  7. Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder you use, depending upon how sweet you want the Diwali Marundhu to be. The amount of jaggery you will need also depend upon the brand and quality you use. The above measurements work out just perfect for us.
  8. I add in 2 cups of water in the above recipe because I like my Diwali Marundhu to be runny and not too thick. You may decrease the quantity of water you use, if you would prefer the final product to be thicker in consistency.
  9. Make sure you do not overcook the Diwali Marundhu. Switch off the gas when it is still runny, as it hardens further on cooling.
  10. Store the Diwali Marundhu at room temperature. Refrigeration might cause it to crystallise or harden. Use only a clean, air-tight, dry container to store it, and a clean, dry spoon to remove it.
  11. This Diwali Legiyam is meant to be consumed in small quantities only, say, 1 tablespoon every 2 days or so. Over-consumption is not recommended.
  12. The consumption of Diwali Marundhu or Diwali Legiyam is not advisable for children below 5 years of age.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Detox Recipes’. I couldn’t think of anything that would fit the theme better than this Diwali Marundhu, so here I am! 🙂

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.

 

Home-Made Chana Dal Namkeen

Diwali is just a couple of days away!

Are you looking for an easy yet delicious snack to serve to friends and family\n this Diwali? Try out this super-simple Chana Dal Namkeen!

Yes, this is a deep-fried snack, but still way better than store-bought. Here, you know exactly what has gone into your namkeen. You can control the quality of ingredients you use here, and use just as much salt and spices you need, vis-a-vis packaged namkeen versions that usually come with a high salt content. And, of course, this Chana Dal Namkeen being home-made, it is preservative-free!

This is quite a simple snack to make too, one that you can achieve in about 20 minutes or so. You can add in the spices you choose – customise the namkeen to your liking. It turns out extremely delicious, quite addictive, and pairs really well with chai and conversations!

Let’s now take a look at the recipe for Home-Made Chana Dal Namkeen.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 1 cup chana dal
  2. Oil for deep-frying, about 1/4 cup
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Red chilli powder to taste
  5. Amchoor powder to taste
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida

Method:

1. Wash the chana dal well under running water a couple of times. Drain out the excess water. Soak the chana dal overnight, in just enough water to cover it.

2. In the morning, drain out the excess water from the chana dal, if any. Spread out the soaked and drained chana dal on a cotton cloth, in sunlight. Allow the dal to dry for about an hour or till it is not soggy, but just moist to the touch.

3. Heat oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan.

4. When the oil is nice and hot, turn down the flame to medium. Put in a little of the dried chana dal into it. Deep fry the dal on medium flame, evenly, till the wet sizzle from it subsides and it begins to turn crisp and brown. Ensure that it does not burn. When done, remove the fried dal from the oil, and transfer into some paper. The paper will absorb all the excess oil from the fried dal.

5. Deep fry all the chana dal in this manner, in little batches. Transfer all the fried dal onto the paper, for the excess oil to be absorbed by it.

6. When the fried dal is still warm, add to it salt, red chilli powder and amchoor powder to taste, along with turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix well, with your hands, ensuring that the fried dal is evenly coated with all the spices and salt.

7. When the dal has cooled down completely, transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight container.

Notes:

1. Once the oil for deep frying gets hot, reduce the flame to medium. Fry the chana dal on medium heat, a little at a time. This will ensure even frying, without the dal getting burnt.

2. You can add any other spices or additions of your choice to the deep-fried chana dal. Sugar, a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves, roasted cumin powder, black salt, garam masala, roasted peanuts – take your pick! Here, I have used only asafoetida, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and amchoor.

3. Add the salt and spices to the deep-fried chana dal while it is still warm to the touch, otherwise they might not stick.

4. You can use moong dal instead of chana dal, in the above recipe, and make Moong Dal Namkeen exactly the same way.

5. Allow the fried chana dal to cool down completely before storing it. In a clean, dry, air-tight container, this stays well for over 2 weeks.

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I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.

Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai| Spiced Broken Corn Dumplings

A traditional steamed snack from Tamilnadu and a popular offering to Lord Ganesha on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, pidi kozhukattai is typically made using broken rice and toor daal. That is how it was always done in our family as well. However, in recent years, I began substituting the rice for different things like broken wheat, corn dalia, millets and so on, and have been really happy with the results.

Pidi kozhukattai by themselves are quite a healthy snack. There’s minimal oil used, as these dumplings are steam-cooked. They do not require soaking or any kind of pre-preparation, and can be put together easily. They are extremely filling, making them great for weekday breakfast or dinner and lovely options for school and office lunchboxes. The substitution of rice with millets or dalia makes the pidi kozhukattai all the more healthier, and enables me to create a different-tasting dumplings each time I make these. This Ganesh Chaturthi, I tried my hands at Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai, and all of us at home utterly loved them!

Corn dalia aka broken corn or corn rava is easily available in several departmental stores and health shops. It adds a nice, different-from-the-usual taste to the pidi kozhukattai, and offers them a lovely texture as well. I made these slightly differently from the way I usually make pidi kozhukattai, also adding in some veggies that were languishing in my refrigerator. I must say these changes took the taste to a whole new level.

Here is how I made the Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai.

Ingredients (makes 25-30 pieces):

  1. 2 cups corn dalia
  2. 4 tablespoons chana daal
  3. 6-7 dry red chillies
  4. Salt, to taste
  5. 1 medium-sized carrot
  6. A small piece of cabbage
  7. 6-7 beans
  8. 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  9. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  10. 1 tablespoon oil + a little more for greasing the steaming colander
  11. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  12. 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)

Method:

1. Grind the chana daal and dry red chillies to a coarse powder, using a small mixer jar. Keep aside.

2. Peel the carrot and grate medium-fine. Chop the cabbage finely. Remove strings from the beans and chop finely. Keep aside.

3. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add the asafoetida and let it stay in for a couple of seconds.

4. Add the grated carrot and chopped beans and cabbage to the pan. Saute on high flame till the vegetables are half cooked.

5. Add 4 cups of water to the pan, along with salt to taste. Tear the curry leaves roughly with your hands and add them to the pan too. Keep on high flame till the water begins to come to a boil.

6. Now, reduce the flame to medium. Stirring constantly, add the corn dalia, fresh grated coconut, and the chana daal-dry red chillies powder to the water. Ensure that no lumps are formed.

7. Keep cooking on medium flame, stirring constantly, till all the water is absorbed and the corn dalia mixture becomes a bit dry, resembling upma. Use your ladle to break any lumps that might have formed. Remember not to overcook the mixture – it should be cooked just to the point where it gets dry, but not overly so. Switch off the gas and allow the mixture to cool down.

8. When the corn dalia mixture has cooled down enough to handle, make medium-sized dumplings from it. Keep covered.

9. Grease a colander with a little oil. Place 8-10 of the prepared dumplings in the colander, or as many as you can fit in without overcrowding. Keep ready.

10. Take about 1-1/2 cup of water in a pressure cooker base. Place on high flame and allow it to come to a boil. Now, place a stand inside the pressure cooker, and place the colander above it. Ensure that no water enters the colander. Close the pressure cooker and steam the dumplings for exactly 10 minutes on high flame, without putting the weight on. Switch off the gas and allow the dumplings to cool down slightly, before transferring them to a serving plate.

11. Steam all the dumplings in the same manner.

12. Serve hot or at room temperature, with chutney of your choice. Here, I have served them with a yummylicious red chutney.

Notes:

  1. I used medium-fine corn dalia aka corn rava or broken corn, to make these pidi kozhukattai. If the dalia is too large, you might want to run it through a mixer once before beginning to make the pidi kozhukattai.
  2. Adjust the quantity of coconut and dry red chillies you use, as per personal taste preferences.
  3. Gingelly oil or coconut oil works best in the making of these Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai.
  4. Wheat dalia aka broken wheat can be used in place of corn dalia, as well.
  5. You can add in other veggies like broccoli, onions, cauliflower, green peas, etc. to the Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai.
  6. These pidi kozhukattai are best steamed in a greased colander, which ensures even cooking.
  7. I have ground the chana daal and red chillies dry, without washing them. You could even wash the chana daal, drain out the excess water, and then soak the chana daal and red chillies together for 20-30 minutes before grinding them into a paste. Use this paste while making the pidi kozhukattai.
  8. Remember not to over-cook the corn dalia mixture – it should be cooked till all the water has been absorbed, but not overly dry. Also, steam the Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai for exactly 10 minutes, without putting the pressure cooker weight on. Over-cooking will make the kozhukattai hard.
  9. I used a 5-litre pressure cooker to make these Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai.
  10. Please remember to place a tall stand inside the pressure cooker base, to ensure that no water enters the colander while steaming.
  11. These Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai can be prepared in advance and lightly steamed just before you want to serve them.
  12. Let the steamed Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai cool down slightly before transferring them to a serving plate. Handling them immediately after steaming might cause them to break.
  13. If you are making these Corn Dalia Pidi Kozhukattai for Ganesh Chaturthi or any other festive occasion, you might want to skip adding onion to it. Also, in that case, traditionally, the dish is made without tasting. The food is partaken of only after offering it to God.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

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I’m sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #247. The co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.