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Thursday, March 28, 2013

spiced buttermilk/chaas/majiga

Summer is here. Thought of posting this simple thirst quencher and effective drink " spiced buttermilk". Making buttermilk on daily basis by just churning the curd/yoghurt and adding salt needs no explanation. But it is a big task to prepare it slightly tangy and flavourful drink, when you become exhausted after making a full course meal. I thought of preparing the spices alone in a liquid form and store it in fridge and use it as flavoring agent in enhancing the taste of the buttermilk in an easy way. I can say this is a recipe for masala/green liquid  for Neer Mor/buttermilk. It is a blend of two recipes ,one is the use of normal ingredients like green chili, ginger, coriander leaves which is visible in the packeted buttermilk drink. The other one is the use of small onions/shallots, which I saw in the tamil  magazine "Mangayar Malar" some years back. The idea of making it as a liquid came to me when each time I had to grind to paste all the ingredients and dilute it and strain. So I used more quantity of each of the ingredients and preserved it in a glass jar/bottle after diluting and straining. This came  handy for several days while making the spicy buttermilk. It was welcomed on daily basis later and it was easy to make children have buttermilk.

Grind to paste

Green chilli
2” piece
Small  onion
6  pearls
few twigs
Curry leaves
few twigs
1 tsp

Lime juice from 1/2 lime
Buttermilk 2 cups
Asafoetida  2 pinch

Clean the ginger and peel the skin.
Peel small onions.
Grind to smooth paste all the ingredients given under "to grind".
Dilute with a glassful of water and strain.
The pulp can once again be ground using little water and the strained liquid can be added to the already
prepared liquid.
Add the lime juice and store the liquid in fridge.
Prepare buttermilk , strain and keep aside.
To make 2 cups of spiced buttermilk add 2-3 tblsp of the green liquid and add asafoetida and more salt if required.
Adjust the spice as per your taste.
To make the butter milk more spicy a pinch of black salt powder, roasted and powdered cumin powder can be added. If dry mint powder is available few pinches can be added.
Buttermilk should be cold  or the prepared buttermilk should be served chilled.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stuffed Bitter gourd/Barwan karela/kakarkaya stuff

Bitter gourd may appear to be an ingredient of lesser use due to its bitter flavor, at the same time various bitter gourd curry recipes are quite popular for their health benefits. Bitter gourd is a significant ingredient in Japanese Okinawa cuisine and its increasing use is considered as the cause of higher life expectancies in the region. The taste enhancers that are usually added to bitter gourd recipes are onion, tomato, fenugreek seeds, coriander powder and mango powder.
Bitter gourd dishes are widely prepared in almost every household in South India in Andhra  region. Stir fry and stuffed bitter gourd dishes are popular. I already posted a recipe in this blog which is from Andhra cuisine. I thought of sharing this north Indian type too, which I viewed in Urdu channel and the ingredients used for stuffing were little different from that of Andhra cuisine. The oblong shape and hollow interior makes bitter gourd an excellent vegetable for stuffing purposes. Though the preparation time is longer as in any stuffed curry preparation, the dish looks and tastes good and it is worth the effort put, to prepare the same.
I am sure all of you will agree if I say "Variety is the spice of life". Trying a new dish has kept be active all these 32 years of cooking and keeps me busy after I started sharing it with my blogger friends.
I used some ten tiny bittergourd, but the ingredients used for stuffing will be enough for the big sized bittergourd. Here is the recipe.


Bittergourd peel
2  tblsp
Saunf/fennel seeds
2 tsp
Coriander seeds/dania
2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/methi seeds
1 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera
1/2 tsp
Dry mango powder/aamchor
1/2 tsp
Chili powder
¼ tsp
Green chili
Gram flour/besan
3 tsp
3 tsp
2 tblsp  +  2 tsp
to taste
Chat masala
¼ tsp
Coriander  leaves

Scrape the  whole karela and apply salt and keep..
Apply salt for scraped peel  and leave for half an hour.
Squeeze the peel and  reserve 2 tablespoon for stuffing.
Slit the karela in the centre and remove the seeds and pulp.
Tender seeds can be left .
Rinse in a bowl of water and squeeze.
Finely chop the onions and keep.
Take saunf/fennel seeds,coriander seeds, methi/fenugreek seeds, salt,red chili powder,
aamchor powder, cumin seeds, chopped green chili and add few drops of water and crush
in a pestle and keep.

Heat 2 teaspoon of oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion and fry till light brown.
Add 2 tablespoon of the peel of karela and fry.
Add the crushed masala and mix.
Add 2 tablespoon of water.
Put off flame and remove.
Stuff the prepared masala in bitter gourd/karela and keep sealed with tooth pick(make 2 pieces of each tooth pick and use) and arrange them in a plate. (since I used tiny ones I did not use tooth pick)
In a bowl take besan/chickpea flour and add salt and mix with curd.
Apply this paste rubbing on the stuffed bitter gourd.
Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan  and spread allover  by rotating the pan.
Place the bitter gourd in the pan. Keep slightly turning and cook.
Then cover with a lid and cook on low fire for 15 minutes.
Check in between to see if the gourd is not burnt.
When brown and cooked remove.
Remove the toothpicks, garnish with coriander leaves.
Sprinkle aamchor or chat masala and serve.
Tasty stuffed bitter gourd can be had with roti or rice.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mangalorean idli/Kodalai/kedige/Kadubu

My recent trip to Mangalore made me prepare this idli recipe. Being a South Indian, Idli is popular in our homes. We make soft idlis regularly for breakfast, and occasionally prepare Kajeevaram idli. Kanjeevaram idli is normally used during travel as it can be consumed  upto to two days from the time it is made. This can be had as a  whole meal for dinner too. These are prepared in moulds. It is  also called as Kodalai idli which is prepared in plantain leaf mould in Dhonnai form. Presently it is difficult to get the leafy mould, so it is made in cups or as a one piece in a flat  greased vessel.
I came to know about the leafy moulds through my mangalorean friend. I was surprised to see the moulds being sold  by the roadside vegetable vendor near the temple in Udipi when I visited the temple last week. When I asked the vendor  about its use, I was told it is kadubu (idli). I bought the moulds and took it all the way to Secunderabad and tried the idli. I prepared the batter similar to that of kanjeevaram idli and steam cooked it.
The idli mould is made with thick leaf called Kedige in Kannada. The tamil name is Thazambu leaf and it is called  Screw Pine in English. There were moulds made of Jackfruit leaf too called as Kottige in Kannada.
The mould made of Kedige ele or Thazambu elai looks like this.

Here is the recipe for Kanjeevaram idli in Mangalorean mould. It tasted good with Molagai podi (Gun powder).


Idli rice1 ½ cup
Raw rice1 cup
Whole urad dal1 cup
Methi seeds/fenugreek1 tsp
Crushed pepper1 tsp
crushed cumin1 tsp
Fried cashew nuts2 tsp
Asafoetida¼ tsp
Green chilli3
Grated ginger2 tsp
Curry leavesfew
saltto taste
Dry ginger powder½ tsp
Sesame oil¼ cup
Melted ghee¼ cup
Curd½ cup

Soak idli rice and raw rice together for 3 hours.
Soak urad dal with methi seeds for 3 hours.
Grind urad dal to smooth batter.
Grind rice coarsely and mix urad dal batter with required salt.
Allow to ferment over night or 8 hours.
Add crushed pepper and cumin.
Add grated ginger, chopped green chilli, curry leaves, asafoetida powder,
fried cashew nuts and mix well.
Add melted ghee, sesame oil and curd and mix well.
Let the batter be kept for half an hour before steaming in the moulds.
Just before pouring the batter into the moulds add dry ginger powder and stir.
Grease the moulds and pour the batter till the 3/4 of the mould is filled.
Steam cook in idli maker or pressure cooker (without the weight) for 10 to 15 minutes.
When done remove from moulds and serve with idli molagai powder.
The leafy moulds I used gave a distinct flavor and the texture of the idli came out
without any moisture in it and at the same time soft.