Summer is here and mangoes have started entering the kitchen in a small, but definite way. In a matter of weeks, it will be mangoes all around (or may be it’s already there, I don’t venture out in the sun to find out!).
This is a chammandi, a very thick version of chutney – though not exactly the same. This will not pair with any of the tiffin items, its to be served with rice almost like a pickle. Its like thogayal of Tamil Nadu.
Its one of the simple comfort foods.
For train travels, these mostly get packed in ‘vaatiya ela’. Ie, in banana leaves wilted so that it won’t tear when you pack food. This is usually done by keeping the leaf like a lid on top of the cooked rice bowl or any hot surface. The heat will change the leaves’ color and you will find it bending without tearing.
The aroma of the food packed like that is so wonderful, it takes the taste to a whole new level!
The chammadi featured here was made specially for my mother by my father’s friend’s wife. Amma tells me that it tastes absolutely wonderful when uncle’s wife makes it. And I totally agree with her now.
Check out other participants’ contribution for the day here at the Blogging Marathon Page.
Recipe Source: Appa’s friend
- Raw Mango : 1
- Coconut : 1 cup
- Small onions : 8-10, peeled
- Green Chilli : 1
- Red Chilli Powder : 1/2 tsp (need to add after taste test)
- Curry leaves : 1-2
- Wash, peel and dice the mango. Discard the seed.
- Grind everything in a mixie jar without adding water. If it doesn’t blend, add water in tablespoons and stop adding once it’s ground properly and has come together. It shouldn’t be a very smooth watery paste.
- Check the taste. Depending on the sourness of mango, you might have to add a bit more of salt or chilli powder or couple more onions.
- Serve as a pickle like side with rice or mix with rice as a podi.
This is a very basic recipe and it varies from house to house. Some add only red chillies for grind, some add a mix of both red and green chillies. Sometimes a pinch of jeera or a piece of ginger is also added while grinding.
You can substitute a tsp of tamarind for mango. It will be a simple onion chammandi then.
The bell rang, I opened the door. A small girl was holding a bouquet. The bouquet was hiding her face. She gave it to me.
What she was holding a bunch of gongura leaves, not a bouquet.
I smiled, and I thanked her. It was my neighbour’s daughter. My neighbour had sent across this bunch they had picked up from a shop.
I was making this pachadi for the first time and didn’t know what to expect. Let me tell you this - the leaves are tangy. Really really tangy. And I loved it! The pachadi tasted better the next day and it was the star of the meal.
I have been hunting for these leaves ever since and have never seen it around. It’s available all year through (as is the case with almost all vegetables now), but its best in summer.
Check out what others are doing for the month long marathon at the Blogging Marathon page.
Recipe source: Cooking 4 All Seasons
- Gongura leaves : a bunch, washed and cleaned
- Green Chillies : 6-8 (or more depending on the sourness of leaves)
- Red chillies : 3-4
- Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
- Urad dal : 1 tsp
- Onion : 1 small chopped
- Hing : a pinch
- Garlic cloves : 2-3
- Oil : 2 – 3 tbsp
- Wash and clean the leaves. Pluck the leaves and discard the stems. Let the leaves drain in a colander.
- In a kadai, heat about one tbsp of oil and saute the leaves and the green chilies till they change color completely and are soft. Keep aside. You can also cook this by adding half a cup of water and letting it boil.
- Once its cool, grind this to a coarse paste with salt. Do a taste test and add more salt if needed. If the leaves are really tangy, then you need to increase the spice level.
- In a kadai, add another tbsp oil and once its hot, add the hing, mustard seeds, urad dal. Once it crackles, add the chopped onion, garlic and red chilies. Saute till brown, Add the ground gongura leaves to this and saute for 5 minutes.
- You can serve this as a pickle or mix with rice like a podi. Tastes good both ways.
Summer is officially here, till now what we had been just prelim rounds. You feel as if you will just melt away if you are in the sun. If you are in the house, you feel stuffy and sweat a lot.
A whole lot of cooling recipes will be included in the daily cooking. Our fridge is loaded with ready-made squashes, curd in a hundred small bowls and lots of buttermilk.
Yogurt features a lot in summer cuisine. A mor – kuzhambu (or pulissery as its known in Kerala) is one way of using up excess yogurt. You can add a whole lot of varieties of vegetables to it, I have used raw bananas here. You can use slightly ripe bananas, ripe mangoes, yam, ash gourd, pumpkins or a combination of these.
Check out the recipes from other participants for this month’s 30 day marathon in the Blogging Marathon page.
Serves : 2-3
- Raw bananas (or vegetables of your choice) : 2 cups, diced
- Yogurt : 1.5 cups
- Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
- Coconut grated : 1/2 cup
- Green Chilies : 2
- Jeera : 1/2 tsp
- Oil : 1-2 tsp
- Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds : 1 tsp
- Red chilies : 2
- Curry leaves : 5-6
- In a pan, add the diced banana pieces. Add water till the vegetables submerge, turmeric powder and salt. Cook until vazhakka is soft when touched. Don’t over cook, though.
- Grind the coconut with chilies and jeera. Once the vegetable is cooked, add this paste to it and bring it to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes. You may have to add water if there isn’t enough in the pan.
- In the same mixie jar, blend the yogurt for a few seconds. You can do this in a bowl too using a ‘mathu’ or whisk. Basically you need to break the yogurt so that no lumps remain.
- Add this to the boiling curry and let it cook for a minute in low heat until it reaches the boiling point. You will have to stir to avoid the yogurt from splitting/curdling.
- Take the pan off the heat once it reaches boiling point. Even if the pan sits in the hot stove, yogurt might split.
- In a small tadka pan, heat the oil and add the red chilies and mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Once it turns brown, take off the heat and add to the pulissery.
- Serve with rice and a side dish.
I was looking for ways to use up the single cauliflower that was left in the fridge. A little bit more rustling through the freezer and some peas too showed up to be used. Added some potatoes which were shouting ‘pick me up please’ and made an easy curry for dinner.
Dumped the left over in the fridge and served with dosas the next morning. Surprisingly, it paired very well with dosas and I loved that combination than with chapatis..It was almost like a gobi masala dosa.
So relish this curry made with winter vegetables (though its available through out the year now a days!) and check out what others are serving for this month long marathon.
- Cauliflower florets : 2 cups
- Diced potatoes : 2 cups
- Green peas : 1 cup
- Onion : 2 big
- Tomatoes : 3 big
- Ginger garlic paste : 1 tsp
- Coriander powder : 1 tsp
- Chili powder : 1 tsp
- Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
- In a microwave safe bowl (or in a pan), add the roughly chopped onions and tomatoes and ginger garlic paste with a spoon of oil. MW high for 3-4 minutes until everything is cooked. Let it cool and then grind it to a paste, keep aside.
- Steam the cleaned cauliflower florets, diced potatoes and green peas for about 7 minutes or until its cooked, yet firm.
- In a kadai, add one tbsp of oil. Add half a tsp jeera seeds and once it splutters add the onion-tomato paste. Once it starts to boil, add the chili, coriander powders and salt. Mix.
- Add the cooked vegetables and two cups of water. Let it come to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes. You may have to add more water if you want a gravy curry.
- Do a taste test, adjust seasonings. Add garam masala and coriander leaves. Give a final stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve hot with rotis.
My brother is in Bangalore and we are in Chennai. Visits are common since it’s just 6 hours of travel. Many a times I have packed sleeveless t-shirts for my son then find out that its shivering cold (for us, at least) in Bangalore.
Being used to Chennai’s tropical hot weather, cool weather is not something we are used to. So now a days the standard practice is to call my SIL and ask for the weather status there.
Whatever she says, I pack all the full sleeve or half sleeve t-shirts and pants. And if its past October, I carry the jacket too. Just in case, you know!
So for someone who is used to Summer all through the year, presenting Winter foods is something funny. Yet, here I am, with another winter recipe – Vegetable Chili. This pairs very well with basmati rice.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page to find out who else is participating in this month’s 30 day marathon.
Recipe Source: All Recipes
Makes: 4 servings
- Mixed beans (pulses) : 500 gms (cooked weight)
- Tomato puree : 200g (1 packet) or 4 tomatoes pureed
- Vegetable stock (or water) : 300 ml ( 1.5 glass)
- Onion : 1 diced
- Capsicum : 2 diced
- Pickled jalapeno : 8-10 pieces
- Garlic : 1 tsp crushed
- Coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin powder : 1 tsp each
- Bay leaf : 1
- Olive oil : 3 tbsp
- Salt and pepper
- I had picked a packet of dried mixed beans from Nilgiris supermarket. It was a mix of chana, small rajma, dried green peas and some other varieties.
- Wash and soak the mixed beans for about 6 hours or overnight. Pressure cook the next morning for about 4-5 whistles or till the beans are completely cooked. Keep aside. Once this is cool, it can be frozen too.
- For the chili, heat the olive oil in a big pan. Add the onions and garlic and saute till pink. Add the diced capsicum and the spice powders. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring often. Add a spoon of water if the masalas stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add tomato puree and bay leaf. Once it comes to a boil, add the beans, stock, jalapeno and seasonings. Bring it to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Let it simmer and cook for another 20-30 minutes, checking the seasonings and adjusting in between as needed.
- Serve on a bed of cooked basmati rice along with a salad.
Linking this recipe to Swathi’s Favorite Recipes hosted this month by Pallavi. The theme is Bookmarked Recipes.
I have never really thought about seasonal foods. The reason could be because we have only one season with three varieties.
We have Summer, Peak Summer and ‘Not so hot’ Summer. And that covers all the 12 months of the year.
But if you strain your brain, then you will find patterns that you have been doing all your life and yet never realized it.
Peak summer means ice cream and juices. And a lot of yogurt based curries too - not only because yogurt is cooling, but also because it turns sour faster in summer. Water melons and Mango also mark the beginning of Summer here.
There is no concept of winter foods, since there is no winter. Yet the rest of the world celebrates different food for different seasons. So join me this week as I share with you some of the seasonal foods.
Kick starting this week of Blogging Marathon with fresh green garlic chutney and a dal with green garlic tempering. I bought this from (yes you guessed it right!) Ahmedabad during our BM 25 Meet.
Fresh green garlic is available only in winter there and I had never seen it before. I prepared this meal in February but kept it in the drafts sections since Valli mentioned seasonal foods for BM 27.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page to know the seasonal foods other participants are posting today.
Recipe Source: Tri Daali Dal and Green Garlic Chutney from Ribbon’s to Pasta’s
For the Chutney:
- Fresh green garlic : 250 gms
- Green Chillies : 4
- Ghee : 2 tbsp
- Wash and clean the garlic. Grind it along with the chillies and salt.
- Heat ghee in a pan, bring it to smoking point and turn off the heat. Add the ground garlic paste to it and cover the vessel with a lid.
For the dal:
- Split green gram : 1 cup
- Bengal Gram : 1/4 cup
- Split black gram (black urad) : 1/4 cup (I used moong dal, since I didn’t have this!)
- Tomato : 1 big, chopped into chunks
- Green Chillies : 2
- Ginger : 1″ piece
- Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
- Ghee : 3 tbsp
- Fresh garlic : a handful
- Coriander leaves : handful
- Hing : a pinch
- Wash and soak the dals together for an hour or so. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped chillies and ginger, turmeric powder and pressure cook with enough water (to cover the dals plus one inch more).
- Pressure cook for two whistles and then reduce the heat to minimum and cook for another 5-10 minutes. The dals should be cooked thoroughly. Mash with a ladle for everything to mix. You may have to add some water and boil the dal, to get it to the correct consistency.
- In a separate small pan, heat ghee. Add hing and fresh green garlic and let it sizzle. Take off the heat and add it to the dal. Add handful of coriander leaves too and cover with a lid until its time to serve.
Every family has its own traditions.
Me and hubby have started this new practice of going for a walk after dinner. Its time to unwind and connect with the family.
At my place, it was having your meals together. My brother is specific about this even now.
At my in laws place, they have this tradition of making poricha kuzhambu and keerai masial every Saturday.
Slowly, I find that Fridays are Poricha kootu days for me, because I end up with a little of each vegetable and I find it easier to use it up for a kootu. You can use any vegetable that you use for Avial here.
Check out the recipe and tell me one tradition that your family follows.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more recipes from fellow participants.
Serves : 4-6
- Mixed Vegetables : 2 cups (Carrots, beans, raw banana, potatoes, chow-chow, cucumber, snakegourd etc)
- Moong Dal : 1/4 cup (optional)
- Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
- Curry leaves : 5-6
- Oil : 1 tsp
- Coconut : 1/2 cup
- Green chilies : 1
- Cumin seeds/jeera : 1 tsp
- Black pepper : 2 (optional, it’s usually not used)
- Wash the vegetables, peel and dice them into same sized pieces. Wash the dal. Pressure cook the vegetables and dal together with a pinch of turmeric powder and 1 cup water for about 2 whistles, or until cooked.
- Grind the coconut, chilies and jeera with 2-3 tbsp of water to get a smooth thick paste.
- In a kadai, pour about a tsp of oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once it crackles, add the cooked vegetables along with the water its cooked in. Add the coconut paste and salt. Let it come to a boil.
- Do a taste test and adjust seasonings. This is a mild curry, but still if you want to increase the spice level, add half teaspoon of chili powder. If you want it as a gravy, add some more water and let it come to a boil.
- Serve with rice, pickle and papad.
They say necessity is the mother of invention and so there I was, looking for a gravy dish with all purpose flour. I considered bread koftas, flour koftas and a whole lot of other things. But the drawback was to spot the recipe in a book/cookbook I own. So finally, rememebered the white sauce and checked up by vast resource of cookery books.
I found the recipe for Vegetable Au Gratin in 3 books by Nita Mehta. One had mixed vegetables with plain white sauce, another had a low fat version with corn flour, and the third was babycorn and mushroom with herbed white sauce.
I liked the sound of ‘herbed white sauce’ and decided to give it a try.
Since I was out of corn and mushroom, I decided to use the vegetables I had. I also didn’t have any cheese or bread crumbs, so I skipped the baking part too.
So, in short, this is not quite an Au Gratin (baked dish with cheese or bread crumbs browned on top), just vegetables in white sauce. I still have some of the sauce left, may be I will make some pasta dish with it :-)
Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what the fellow participants are cooking!
Recipe Source: Nita Mehta’s ’Continental Cookery Book’
- Mixed Vegetables : 2 1/2 cups (I used 1 big carrot, handful of beans, 1/4 cauliflower, peas)
- Cheese (or bread crumbs) : 1/2 cup (I skipped the baking part :D)
For the sauce:
- Flour : 3 tbsp
- Milk : 2 cups
- Butter : 2 tbsp
- Chilli flakes : 1 tsp
- Herbs : 3 tbsp (I used dry dill, basil and fresh coriander)
- Salt & Pepper
- Steam or pressure cook the vegetables (with salt).
- For the sauce, in a pan, add the flour and milk until no dry lumps remain. Add salt, pepper, chilli flakes.
- In a heavy bottom pan, melt the butter. Add the herbs and saute for a few seconds. Add the milk-flour mix. Keep stirring until it comes to a boil. Simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes more, stirring all the while.
- Take off the heat and keep aside.
- For assembling, in an over proof dish, add the vegetables in a layer. Tip the sauce on top of this. You maynot need all the sauce, use your discretion.
- Sprinkle cheese or bread crumbs on top and bake in a preheated oven until the top turns brown. Serve with toasted bread.
The wedding scene in hindi movies always leave a strong impression in the mind. The scene when the baraat leaves with the bride, is always sentimental. It’s a moment of realization that your daughter is not going to be part of your everyday life anymore. Everyone cries, especially the mother and the bride.
The father will say things like ‘Please take good care of our daughter. She is very precious’ to the bridegroom. I have seen this in so many movies that the scene is just ingrained in my brain.
So you can’t blame me if I expected an emotional scene when I left home with my husband’s family after my wedding.
There I was - waiting for the train to depart and also waiting for someone to cry – looking at my father, mother and my two brothers expectantly. But they were really merry, they were waving at me happily – that’s the problem of family being adjusted to the girl living away from home for many years before her marriage!
At the last-minute, my father called up my husband. In the hope that he will say things like ‘Take care of my daughter’ and stuff like that, I joined the conversation. And this is what he said :
‘Please take care that my daughter doesn’t eat any more sweets. She is already very fat.’
To add insult to injury, my husband later informed me that my elder brother and mother too had pulled him aside and told him the same thing.
Grrrrrr….I wish I was back in the time when girls got married and they were packed off with a copy of Meenakshi Ammal’s Samaithu paar book and a lot of tears at the time of farewell.
I got the book later, but never got the emotional drama! Sigh…..
Adapted from Meenakshi Ammal’s ’Samaithu paar’
- Dry Vatral (any kind) : 2-3 tbsp, I used ladies finger vatral
- Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds : 1 tsp
- Red chilies : 2
- curry leaves : 1 sprig
- Sambar powder : 3 tsp
- Tamarind paste : 1 tsp
- Rice flour/maida : 2 tsp
- Gingelly oil : 3 – 4 tbsp
- Heat about 3 tbsp gingelly oil in a deep kadai. Deep fry the vatral, drain and keep aside. In the same oil add the mustard seeds, and once it crackles, add the fenugreek seeds and chilies, followed by curry leaves. Be careful, as this will splutter all around, its a good idea to cover the kadai with a lid while tempering.
- Add the fried vatral to the tempering and add the sambar powder. Switch on the chimney while doing this or you might get into a ‘cough fit’. Saute for a minute or two, once the powder changes color (but before it burns totally) add 2-3 cups water and the tamarind paste (or pulp).
- Bring it to a boil, add salt as per taste. Mix rice flour (or maida) to 1/4 cup water and add this to the kuzhambu. You need to ensure that there are no dry lumps else they turn into messy dry pieces in the kuzhambu. Mix immediately after adding the rice flour and let it come to a boil again. The kuzhambu has to be thick and reduced by 3/4 th the original quantity.
- Do a taste test, adjust seasonings per taste. Serve with rice, papad and a side dish. This makes a wonderful side dish for curd rice.
Snake Gourd Side dish
- Snakegourd minced or chopped into tiny pieces : 3 cups
- Moongdal : 1/4 cup
- Coconut : 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp
- Garlic : 4 pods
- Jeera : 1 tsp
- Green chilies : 2-3
- Onion : 1, chopped fine (optional)
- Oil, mustard, salt : 1 tsp each or per taste
- Finely chop the snakegourd and pressure cook along with washed and cleaned moongdal for 2-3 whistles. The dal should be cooked, but not mashed. You dont have to add too much of water while pressure cooking this. Drain and keep aside.
- Grind the coconut, garlic, green chilies and jeera into a coarse paste, without adding water. Keep aside.
- In a kadai, heat 1-2 tsp of oil and add the mustard seeds and a sprig of curry leaves. Once it crackles, add the chopped onions and saute till pink. Add the snakegourd mix, salt, coconut paste and mix everything togather. Check the seasonings, adjust per taste.
- Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring in between. Take off the heat and serve with rice and kuzhambu.
At one point of time, making pizzas was a weekly affair at our place. Fridays meant pizzas or lasagnas. Its been sometime since we made pizza at home, which is funny, considering the fact that I have two different varieties of pizza sauces sitting in the fridge.
I have tried using the readymade pizza sauces available in the market, but I found them too sweet for my taste. So I make them at home. This one of the frequently used recipes for making the sauce.
There is another recipe with ready made puree alone, I will be posting that soon sometime. In the meanwhile, make this at home, spread it over a pizza, bake them and enjoy biting into that hot cheesy bite!
This is my entry for the second day of Blogging Marathon 25, under the theme ‘Cooking from CookBooks’. Check out the page for more recipes and more themes from participating bloggers.
Recipe Source: Nita Mehta’s ‘Pizza and Pasta’ book
Makes: for 3-4 large pizzas
- Tomatoes : 3 big
- Ready made puree : 1/2 cup
- Garlic : 4-5 flakes, crushed
- Oregano : 1 tsp, dried
- Bay leaf : 1
- Vinegar : 1 tsp (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil : 2 tsp
- Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Add all the other ingredients except vinegar. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 7-10 minutes stirring now and then. I do this in a pan with lid, else the tomatoes splutter all over.
- Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Add vinegar. Boil till the sauce becomes thick enough to spread without being runny. Remove from fire. Store in clean glass bottles once cool.