Recipe Index

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vada and Dahi Vada - Vadai and Thir Vadai

1 cup urad dal
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon green chili or to taste
a few curry leaves
1 tablespoon black pepper
Enough water for preparation
Oil for deep frying

Wash and soak the urad dal for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Drain the water and grind it with green chili, curry leaves and black pepper with a about 1/2 cup of water.  If necessary add more water.  Take care while adding water, if the batter becomes too watery the vada will not form.  Check the video to see the consistency of the batter.  As soon as the batter is ready the vadas should me made do not let it ferment.

Heat a pan with enough oil for deep frying.  Let the oil come to medium heat. 
Check to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping a little batter in the hot oil, if it comes up right away the oil is hot enough.  The vadas should be fried on medium heat.

Since the batter is sticky.  Dip you fingers in cold oil take a little batter, shape it and gently drop the batter in the hot oil carefully without touching the oil.
Dipping your hands in cold oil before picking up the batter greases it and the batter come of easily.  Depending on the size of your pan you can fry 5 to 7 vadas at one time.  Do not over crowd.  When the edges turn brown turn the vadas and fry the other side.  Fry until the vadas are golden brown and the oil sizzling has come down.  Remove from frying pan onto a plate.

To make Yogurt Vada:
Dip the fried vada in a bowl of water allow it to soak well, squeeze and remove the water.  Take a bowl with yogurt dilute it with water add some salt and chili powder to taste.  Dip the soaked vadai in the yogurt, the vada will soak in the yogurt and become soft but will retain the shape.

Vadai and payasam are usually make to made to celebrate an occasion, whether a festival or birthday.  Vada is served with chutney or sambar.  Try some vadai dunked in sambar it is out of this world.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Green Beans - Merkuvati

3 cups beans chopped
1 cup peas use fresh snap peas if available or use frozen
4 tablespoon coconut oil or substitute with any good cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of urad dal
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder or to taste
a few curry leaves or substitute with cilantro or parsley leaves
1 tablespoon dry coconut rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Wash and chop the beans.

Heat coconut oil on medium heat when hot add mustard seeds and urad dal.

When mustard seeds pop add curry leaves, beans, turmeric powder and chili powder.  Stir cover and cook.

After five minutes add salt, mix, cover and cook until the beans are done.
When beans are done add the coconut mix and it is ready to serve.

Serves 4.  Serve as a side dish with rice or chapati.

This is a Keralite dish.  Quick, easy and delicious to make.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chakkarai - Sakkarai Pongal recipe

1/4 cup mung dal rinsed in water and drained
3/4 cup rice rinsed in water and drained
1 cup milk or as required to melt the jaggery
3/4 cup jaggery (also called vellum or gud)
4 to 6 tablespoon of clarified butter or ghee
3 tablespoon sliced coconut bits
3 tablespoon broken cashew
3 tablespoon raisin
2 cups water or as needed

Roast the mung dal on medium heat until it is light brown.  Add the rice and water cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the rice is almost cooked but not completely.  Add milk and cook till the rice is completely cooked.

Add the jaggery and continue cooking add a little exta milk if necessary to melt the jaggery.  As the jaggery heats up it starts to melt.  With the aid of the spatula break it up to speed up the jaggery melting.  When the jaggery is all melted add the clarified butter continue to cook until the rice and mung dal leaves the side of the pan and forms a mass in the center.  Turn the heat off add ground cardamom and mix.

Saute the cashew and raisin in a little clarified butter and add to the pongal.
Next, saute the sliced coconut pieces in a little clarified butter and add to the pongal.

Pongal and Sankranti is a festival celebrated in the middle of January in India.
Pongal is celebrated for four days in Tamil Nadu while Sankranti is celebrated all over India.  Pongal is celebrated for thanking The Sun God for the bounties of the harvest.  The first day of the celebration is call "Bhogi" and the second day is called "Thai" which is the 1st day of Tamil calender month "Thai".  For 2013 Thai falls on January 14.  On this day chakkarai(also spelled as sakkarai) pongal is prepared.
Chakkarai pongal is also offered as prasadam any time.  It can also be served as an easy to make dessert at other times.

See also Ven Pongal.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Black bean soup

1 cup black beans rinsed, drained and soaked in water overnight (or substitute with canned black beans)
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water
4 tablespoon oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 green chili or to taste
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
a few parsley leaves chopped
1 cup chopped tomato
salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:  Heat a pan on medium heat with vegetable stock or water, add the soaked black beans to it and cook for 40 to 45 minutes until the beans are cooked, or the beans can be cooked in the pressure cooker or slow cooker.  Once cooked keep it aside.

To a pan on medium heat add 4 tablespoon of oil.  Add chopped onions, saute until brown add minced garlic, saute for a few seconds, add chopped green chilies saute for a few second, add Italian seasoning, parsley saute for a few seconds add tomato, mix and cover and cook for 5 minutes until the tomato is cooked.  After the tomato is cooked add the the cooked black beans add salt and black pepper as per taste cook for 5 minutes mix and turn the heat off.

Serves 4.  Serve with a rice, chapati, tortilla, corn chips and salsa.

This is a very easy recipe.  There are so many good things about black beans.
They are very healthy, tasty and filling.  It is versatile it can be served with so many dishes.