Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Molaga Pitti-Spicy Lentil Powder

This is an easy and simple recipe of roasting lentils and spices to make a versatile chutney powder that can be had in various ways(follow note after the instructions below).I learnt this recipe from my mom who had learnt from my paternal grandmother.I have made minor additions like mustard,dhania and jeera just for that delicate flavour and used dry mango powder instead of tamarind.

Moong daal                                       1/2cup
Urad daal                                          1/2cup
Chana daal                                       1/2 cup
Red chillies(broken)                     1/2cup

(combine a few
byadagi/kashmiri chillies
and guntur/salem)
Mustard seeds                                 a pinch
coriander seeds (dhania)           2 pinches
Cumin seeds (jeera)                     2 pinches
Asafoetida(hing)                           1/4tsp

(adjust according to
the quality and its aroma)
Amchur powder                            1/2tsp

Tamarind(optional)                    size of a chickpea
Salt                                                     to taste(1 tsp apprx)


  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan and roast the daals separately one by one and set aside on a plate.
  • Roast on a low flame till aroma of each daal is felt and colour changes to golden(no over roasting)
  • Roast mustard,dhania,jeera and hing lightly(mustard should pop up)
  • Roast the red chillies for a couple of minutes.
  • Also roast salt and tamarind(if using)lightly and switch off the heat.
  • When the ingredients are a little warm blend to form a nice powdery consistency adding dry mango powder(amchur).
  • Take care by not trying to sniff as it may lead to bouts of sneezes
  • Store in a clean and dry jar when it is completely cooled.
  • Stays good for months.
  • Serve with dosa/neerdosa etc

  • Serve as an accompaniment with dosas instead of chutney by just mixing it with a little oil of your choice(coconut/sesame/olive,etc.,)
  • As soon as you spread a thin dosa sprinkle a little all over it..tastes yum with butter and any chutney.
  • Take a scoop of this chutney powder and mix up with oil.In this, dip idlis to coat all over generously..this way it stays for hours togetehr(best as a travel food)
  • Mix with a little curd and goes as a dip with stuffed parathas,bhakri and rice as well.
  • Ideal for school lunch boxes instead of chutney.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Drumstick Greens/leaves Rasam-Drumstick Greens Spicy and Sour Soup

This rasam is just like any other rasam but has the goodness of fresh drumstick leaves in it with all its nutritious value.Drumstick leaves are a good source of vitamin B,C and K.
This rasam brings back to me my fond memories of childhood and used to call it ooty rasam as we had tasted it for the first time at a restaurant in Ooty.My mom would make this whenever there was a batch of freshly picked drumstick leaves from a tree that we had in our backyard.She would say that she has prepared Ooty rasam/saaru so that me and my sister would eat food with all joy.

Tuvar daal                                                            2 tbsp
Oil                                                                             1/4tsp
Drumstick leaves(packed),
stems/even petioles 
as much possible discarded                           1 cup
Tomato(country variety)                               1  nos(M)
Green chilli(slit)                                                 1 nos
Turmeric powder                                               1/4tsp
Jaggery                                                                  1/4tsp
Rasam Powder                                                    2tsp
Pepper powder                                                   a pinch
Tamarind extract                                              1/2tsp
Asafoetida(hing)                                                a pinch
Salt                                                                          to taste

For seasoning:
Ghee(clarified butter)                                    1tsp
Mustard seeds                                                   1/2tsp
curry leaves                                                        3-4

  • Wash and soak tuvar daal for 30 minutes then pressure cook along with drumstick leaves that are rinsed well.
  • Take soaked daal,drumstick leaves in a pressure cooker.add 2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp oil
  • Cook for 1 whistle,then lowering the flame cook further for 5-7 minutes
  • Slice the tomatoes into chunks and add in a soup pot.
  • Add slit green chilli,haldi,salt,and jaggery and bring to a boil(use the water/stock from the pressure cooked daal,leaves)
  • When tomatoes are halfway cooked add rasam powder,pepper powder,tamarind extract and boil on medium heat for furhter 3-4 minutes
  • Add cooked daal,drumstick greens(churn or whisk it well),more water if needed ,asafoetida and boil for another 5 minutes
  • Heat a small seasoning pan with ghee and toss in mustard,once sizzling stops add curryleaves(torn into pieces for a nice flavour)
  • One thing I noticed while pressure cooking daal along with leaves is that daal wont become mushy and still remains in its shape,so a ladleful of  pre-cooked daal(saved while making other daal preparations)would be more helpful for a tasty rasam.
  • Leaves may be pressure cooked in a small bowl while cooking any other stuff.
  • Any variety of tomato may be used,the country variety is more sour and hence suitable for rasam.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Karathe Podi-Bittergourd/Karela Fries

Phodis are indeed fries that are made with vegetables like bittergourd,breadfruit,raw banana,sweet potato and the list goes endless.These are made by slicing the vegetable in desired shapes and marinating with little salt,then appling a paste(as made below) or just sprinkling chilli powder and other ingredients by one's choice and then rolling them or rather dusting in rice flour and then frying them up to golden and crisp.There is a difference between phodi and bajo in Konkani.Bajo is something that is dipped in batter made of chickpea flour(besan) and then deep fried.These phodis(fries) go good when served with rice and daal.

Bittergourd/karela                         1 nos
salt                                                         to sprinkle for marination

For masala:
Red chilli powder                             2tsp
Kashmiri mirch powder                1/2tsp
Salt                                                         to taste
Ajwain                                                  2 pinches
Haldi                                                     1/4 tsp
Asafoetida(hing)                             a pinch
Dhania powder                                1/2tsp
Urad daal flour(optional)           2tsp
Warm water                                      3tbsp
Oil                                                          for deep frying
Rice flour                                            2tbsp(for the second coat)

  • Wash and slice bittergourd into thin roundels(discs).
  • Take these  in a bowl and sprinkle a little salt and give a nice toss.
  • Place something heavy on this and set aside for 1 hour(i placed my stone mortar)
  • Meawhile in a small bowl make a paste the said ingredients mixing with the help of a spoon  and set aside.
  • Squeeze gourd pieces(handled carefully without breaking)
  • Take the squeezed gourd in a bowl and add the prepared paste and coat using a spoon or by tossing so that the masala gets coated to every single slice.
  • Set this aside for 15mts.
  • In a plate place the rice flour in one corner and dip each roundel individually on both side and dab both sides of the roundels in a corner of the well so that riceflour sticks neatly.
  • Repeat the procedure for every single slice.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan,drop a few carefully,fry on medium heat without disturbing for the first few seconds
  • Later with the help of tongs or a slotted spoon gently turn over each and every slice and fry till a nice golden colour.
  • Take out in a colander then tranfer to a plate lined with a kitchen paper towel.
  • Serve with rice and daal.
Note:Urad (split black lentil)flour:
Dry roast 1/2 cup urad daal on low heat till a nice aroma
cool and blend into a fine powder consistency(mine was slightly coarse,like maize flour)

Use as required