Thursday, 1 February 2018

Coconut Dosa (தேங்காய் தோசை)

Among the traditional breakfast items, dosa is the most preferred tiffin. I have shared nearly 25 varieties of dosa on Rathika’s Nest so far. Primarily the difference in the batter changes the consistency and taste of the dosa, though the method of making dosa varies with some dosa varieties. Today, I wish to share with you how to make a soft, tasty dosa called coconut dosa (தேங்காய் தோசை).

Ingredients:
Par-boiled rice or idly rice – 1½ teacups or 300 ml measure
Rice flakes or poha (அவல்) – ½ teacup or 100 ml measure
Whole black gram dhal or urad dhal – ½ teacup or 100 ml measure
Half a coconut – grated
Salt – to taste
Oil – for making dosas

Coconut Dosa (தேங்காய் தோசை)
Method – How to prepare the batter: Wash and soak par-boiled rice and urad dhal separately in sufficient quantity of water for 4 hours. Drain the water later. Grate the coconut and keep aside. Just before grinding, wash and soak rice flakes in 1 teacup of water. First grind the urad dhal with enough water into a fluffy mass using a wet grinder. As you keep grinding, add half the quantity of soaked rice to the ground dhal little by little. Drain the water from rice flakes. Next add the rice flakes to the grinding batter. Now, add the remaining soaked rice. This way, rice flakes blend well with the rest of the ingredients and do not stay as tiny lumps in the batter. You may add water as needed. Finally, add grated coconut, required salt and grind into a fine paste. Switch off the grinder, and transfer the batter into a wide mouthed vessel. Let it ferment for 8 hours. 

How to make the dosa: Heat the tava on medium flame. Pour one large hollow ladleful of batter on the hot tava and spread into a thin dosa. Add oil along the edge of the dosa. When the bubbles appear on the surface, turn the dosa over and cook the other side. Your coconut dosa is ready. It is soft and has the gentle taste of coconut. Make as many dosas as needed in the same way. You may store the remaining batter in the refrigerator and use it later, for 23 days. Serve hot with coconut chutney, tomato chutney or any other chutney of your choice.

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Potato-Broad Beans Fry (உருளைக்கிழங்கு அவரைக்காய் கறி)

In traditional cooking, broad beans (அவரைக்காய்) are used in a variety of recipes including, poricha kootu (பொரிச்ச கூட்டு), thengai potta curry (தேங்காய் போட்ட கறி), poricha kuzhambu (பொரிச்ச குழம்பு) and parupu usili (பருப்பு உசிலி) among others. This vegetable is rich in vitamins especially folic acid, minerals and dietary fiber. However, some do not particularly enjoy the taste of broad beans, which is rather bland. Interestingly, broad beans can be combined with potato in this unusual preparation that goes well with chapattis. Try this recipe the next time you buy broad beans.

Ingredients:
Potato – medium sized, 4 no
Broad beans – cut into thin slices, 2 teacups
Onion – medium, 1 no, sliced
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
Garam masala – 1 teaspoon 
Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few
Potato-Broad Beans Fry (உருளைக்கிழங்கு அவரைக்காய் கறி )
Method: Pressure cook potatoes for 5 minutes or 5 whistles; cool under running water; peel and cut into ½” cubes. Add required salt, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix well. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauce pan; add the potato pieces and fry on low flame stirring every now and then till they become crisp and golden brown in color.

Mean while, wash the broad beans well and then cut them into thin slices. Heat oil in another kadai; add mustard seeds and when they start to crackle add sliced onion. Sauté till the onion pieces become transparent. Add broad beans, salt, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetable is done and has become dry. Now transfer the broad beans to the saucepan and mix lightly with the fried potato. Sprinkle garam masala and gently mix with the curry. Garnish with curry leaves. Simmer for 2–3 minutes and then, switch off the stove. Serve hot with chapatti.  

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Brahmi Buttermilk Soup (வல்லாரைக் கீரை மோர் சாறு)

Vallarai (வல்லாரைக் கீரை) or Indian pennywort or Brahmi is a medicinal herb. It is a wonder herb used in native medicine since ancient times. This herbaceous plant grows easily in tropical climates and requires daily watering. According to Ayurveda, vallarai is neuroprotective; improves memory and concentration. It reduces hair fall, enhances skin complexion and improves immunity. Traditionally, this herb is used in cooking to make chutney/thuvayal and kootu. Today I wish to share an easy recipe using vallarai keerai and buttermilk (வல்லாரைக் கீரை மோர் சாறு).

Ingredients:
Vallarai/Brahmi leaves – 1½ teacup
Oil – 2 teaspoons
Coconut – grated, 3 tablespoons
Fresh thick curds – 1 teacup or 200 ml
Green chilies – 1-2 no, adjust to taste
Salt – to taste
Jeera/cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida – 1 generous pinch

For tempering:
Jeera/cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
Red chili – 2 no
Curry leaves – a few

Method: Wash brahmi leaves well and drain fully. Keep aside. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a kadai. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and when they crackle, switch off the stove. Add brahmi leaves, and mix well. Let the leaves stay in the hot kadai for 2 minutes. Grind the fried ingredients with green chilies and coconut into a smooth paste. 

Beat the curds using a blender; add the ground paste, salt and asafoetida; blend well. You may add up to ½ teacup of water if the mixture is too thick. Heat the remaining oil in the tadka/spice pan; add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red chilies. Once the seeds crackle, add the seasoning to the soup. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve with hot rice and poriyal or pappad.  You may drink this soup as an appetizer as well.

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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Happy Pongal!

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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year 2018!

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