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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vada Curry/ Fried lentil dumplings in gravy

Vada curry a popular South Indian side dish, is a Chettinadu delicacy generally made for breakfast. After viewing this in a TV programme recently hosted by Mrs. Revathy Shanmugam, I adapted her recipe  and tried this. We had this with Kal dosai as brunch. Though there are many sources to follow this recipe, I decided to make this for the first time, after viewing Mrs. Revathy explaining it meticulously with minute tips, which not only helps beginners, but even experienced to follow for the perfect result.

Channa dal/bengal gram dal
Green chilli
Ginger n garlic paste
1 tblsp
Red chilli powder
1 ½ tsp
cilantro/coriander leaves
Coconut milk
½ + ½ cup
2 pieces
Saunf/fennel seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
Turmeric powder/haldi
½ tsp
To taste
For frying
Hot water
2 ½ cups

Wash and soak channa dal for 2 hours.
Grind coarsely and slightly loose for soft and crispy vadas. 
Chop onions into slices.
Finely chop tomatoes.
wash and cut mint, cilantro and curry leaves ( will be using this in 3 stages)
Slit green chili.
Take thick first milk of coconut ( if making fresh at home) 1/2 cup and keep another 1/2 cup diluted second milk.
Keep other ingredients ready.

Step I

Heat oil for deep frying vada.
Take the ground paste of channa dal in a bowl.
Add salt, ginger garlic paste (1/2 tblsp), half of red chili powder and little of cilantro and mix well.
Take a handful of batter and drop in hot oil pinching them into small portions.
Fry in 2 to 3 batches till golden and remove. (need not strain in colander)
Break the vadas into pieces with your palm when it is not hot. 
Take a few and powder it in mixie jar on whipper mode to add later in curry for binding the gravy.

Step II
Heat oil in a pan , add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
Add sliced onion and a little salt and saute.
Add saunf/fennel seeds and mix,
Add ginger garlic paste (1/2 tblsp) to onion, then add curry leaves, cilantro, slit green chilli and mint and mix.
Add red chilli powder ( the remaining 3/4 tsp), then add tomatoes and little salt again and saute.

 Step III

While the curry is cooking heat  2 1/2 cups water in other stove top.
When tomatoes in curry are done add the hot water.
Then add the broken pieces of vadas and the powdered pieces too.
Mix well and add the balance cilantro, mint and curry leaves.
Finally add the coconut milk ( first and second mixed), stir well and remove.
Serve hot with Dosai or can be had as it is too. 

Note: Salt will be used in vadas and also in different stages. Take care and finally add when the dish is done after checking.
Coutesy: Mrs. Revathy Shanmugam

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mint/Pudina Pulao

Mint pulao can be prepared in very less time with the few ingredients. When made in pressure cook it is still more faster. The paste of mint,cilantro, green chilli and garlic can be made a day before and it will be easy to make it next day for packing lunch. I made this with basmathi rice but even other variety rice can be used.


3 TO 4

Rinse rice, drain and keep ready half an hour before making pulao.
Clean mint and cilantro, peel garlic, slit green chilli and cut onion into slices.
In a mixer jar, take mint, cilantro, green chilli garlic and make paste adding very less water if needed.
Heat oil in pressure cooker, add whole spices, onion and little salt and saute.
Add the paste and saute ,then add the water , salt and rice and mix.
Let this come to boil on very low heat.
After approximately 10 minutes you can see the water fully aborbed and small
craters being formed in between the rice in the cooker.
Now close the lid and place the weight for the cooker.
Wait for one whistle ( approximately 7 to 8 min). Then switch off the flame.
Open the lid when pressure is fully released.
Fluff up the cooked rice with fork. Mix well till the mint paste is uniformly mixed.
Serve hot with any curd raita. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Birthday Party-Lunch menu

It is a Birthday Party Menu this time. There is nothing like hosting and seeing all your friends together in the same place. Birthday parties are a great boast to any child's self esteem. Making them feel like Queen (or king) for the day is one of the best gift you can give them. As a parent I did the best to my children, and now it is nice to once again recall the memories when my grandchild's Birthday was celebrated.
I saw my daughter doing it all to her child and this year I  could participate in the celebration during my visit to US and help her in preparing the food for the guests. It was done with adequate planning, with guests list and few things to do. When deciding what to serve, we saw that we stick to simple dishes that don't necessitate too much last minute work, to avoid getting tired or stressed.
The menu was Indian vegetarian. In terms of finding recipes there was no shortage of food blogs and sites, so thought of centering the menu around a common theme and go with the ones that's tried and true. Our all time favourite was Gujarathi menu. Happy to mention here that we got most of them from one blog "spiceup the curry". 
To make it a full party(lunch) menu (apart from Birthday cake), planned to prepare a Welcome drink, two starters, Rotis (store bought)with two side dishes, kichidi and one kids friendly comfort food (south Indian) curd rice. And finally a dessert "Srikant".
The food related preparation work was spread over and we made most of them ahead of time and made the balance on the day of the party.
Thandi Thandai for welcome drink, Black chena chaat and Dabeli as starters,
Rotis with Panchratan Dal and Beingan palak curry, Kichidi and Curd rice. Shrikhand in canapes for desert.
We prepared Dabeli once again and this time made bite size pieces. (posted earlier in the F/B page).
Followed for Dal.
Followed for beingan palak curry.
Followed  for Kichidi but used green peas in addtion to onion.
Prepared curd rice taking tips from few sites to make it stay in right consistency and not become sour in taste.
Thandi thandai

Black Chena Chaat
Shrikhand served in Canapes for kids

Posting this in my blogspot was not planned, so could not click pictures of each dish and also stepwise preparation pictures. I thought I should share my experience with the available pictures and I am grateful to the bloggers and the authors who inspired and made our job easy to host the party to nearly 35 people. It was a new experience for me preparing most of the dishes at home and witness them being tasted my guests in an open garden area. Many of you would have had this experience back home preparing for kittyparties and such events. Home made food is most welcomed in this place specially when it comes to our Desi food.