Curry Leaf Podi

Curry leaves are a vital part of  Indian cooking and a fully grown curry leaf plant is precious, as it  is very difficult to grow it here in USA. When I harvested my 8 yr old plant getting ready for summer I was happy to a decent basket full leaves!!  Decided to try out the long pending podi with them which is spicy, tangy and couples so well with Dosa or just plain hot rice. Try it with store bought curry leaves and it will just turn out fine. 

Ingredients

  • Curry leaves- 2 cups
  • Channa dal (Bengal gram)--3 Tbsp
  • Jeera or cumin seeds--1 Tbsp
  • Pepper--1 Tsp
  • Dry red Chillies--5-6
  • A fistful of Tamarind

Recipe

Wash the curry leaves throughly and dry them on a clean cloth. Take a pan and heat a tsp of oil, roast all the ingredients except curry leaves until brown. Now add the Curry leaves and keep roasting until the leaves are crisp and change shape. Take the ingredients out on a  plate and let it cool. Grind to a fine powder . Serve with hot rice and ghee !

Store the powder or podi in an airtight jar or refrigerate for a long shelf life.

 

 

 

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Tomato Pickle

All my neighbors  have been best of my friends. They are a call away in time of need and important part of every celebration.

 Our neighborhood is filled with good cooks who surprise me with piping hot pakoras when I crave them during rain, or give me comfort food when I am down and out :) And of course the pickles..I love my neighbors pickles so much that I take all my ingredients to her and get it made the same way to get the authentic South Indian taste. One such recipe is tomato pickle. I loved this pickle as it is very spicy and different from the regular tomato chutney. It is perfect to eat with dosa,idli,paratha or rice. Try this recipe if you love spicy tangy pickles and you sure will love it !

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes--600 gms
  • Tamarind-80 gms
  • Salt-1/2 cup
  • Chilli powder--3/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds--2tbsp
  • Mustards seeds--2 Tbsp
  • Methi seeds--1 Tbsp
  • Oil--1/2 cup
  • For tadka
  • Cumin seeds--1/2 Tbsp
  • Mustard seeds--!/2 Tbsp
  • Methi--1/4 Tbsp
  • Garlic--7-8 pods

Recipe

Grind tomatoes with tamarind pieces in a grinder to a smooth paste. Heat some oil and put this mixture, add garlic pieces and cook for 10-15 minutes till oil separates. Cool the mixture completely.

Take a small pan and dry roast cumin seeds,mustard seeds, Methi seeds till the aroma of the spices fill the air. Grind this into a powder and add salt and chill powder. Add this powder into the cooked tomato and mix thoroughly.

For tadka take come oil and add all the above mentioned ingredients one by one. Pour it into a bowl and let it cool. Add to the tomato paste and mix well. 

This pickle can be stored into an airtight jar for couple of months.


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Spicy Vegetable Chutney

Spring arrived finally and it is a welcome relief from the long lasting winter season. This year  the winter was like a visitor who overstayed his welcome. But come to think of it, if there would be no winter would we value spring as we are right now? Perhaps not!

Spring also means lots of green and fresh produce in the farmers market which was overwhelming after the winter, when we wonder what to cook with the clad produce imported from distant places. All this colorful vegetables made me think of the amazing chutney I ate at my friends party. So shopped everything and made it immediately, the result was a lip smacking tasty chutney that goes well with almost anything. Can also be used as a dip or spread if you like spicy flavor. You can try using any vegetables you have and can alter the quantity of vegetables , it is super simple and takes very little time.

Ingredients

  • Big eggplant--1 (diced into small pieces)
  • Tri colored peppers--3 (diced)
  • Zucchini--1-2 (peeled and diced)
  • Onions--2-3(chopped finely)
  • Tomatoes-4(chopped)
  • Green chillies-4-5 make a paste (according to spice level)
  • Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder--1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder--1/2 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida)--1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind paste--1 tablespoon
  • Oil-1/2 cup
  • Salt-to taste

Procedure

Take a big pan and heat oil in it, add sliced onions followed by ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder,  tomatoes, hing and fry for some time. Add all the diced vegetables and sauté them, do not add water as the vegetables will ooze out lot of it.Add salt, tamarind paste and chili paste. Fry them until all the water is evaporated and it becomes a thick paste. Cool it down and grind it into a paste. For tadka add little oil to pan , add curry leaves (optional) , mustard seeds, hing and add it to the chutney. The chutney will be good for 2-3 weeks when refrigerated.

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Brocolli-mango chutney

Brocolli is considered to be one of the most healthy vegetables . It is a good source of fiber and vitamins--A, C, K. It is also a bland tasting vegetable which is not preferred by many people and so we try to transform it into a tangy and tasty chutney by combining it with tart green mango and spices. The tender stems of brocolli which are discarded otherwise are used here to make chutney. 

 One of my friend told me this recipe over the phone and  I was curious to try it out, and I am certainly glad I did ! The tender stems  of brocolli are combined with green mango and the result is a great tasting chutney . It can be sweet-sour as per your taste and tastes great as a dip with pita bread, Corn chips , samosa or rice. It has no oil and all the goodness of broccoli intact as we dont cook or steam the vegetable, it is as healthy as it can get !

Ingredients

  • Broccoli stems--1 /2 cup (cut the tender stems of broccoli Not the flower)
  • Green mango --1 (buy it from Indian store or American is fine too)
  • Cumin powder--1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder--1/4 tsp
  • Salt and Sugar as per taste
  • Chilli powder--1/2 teaspoon (more or less as per taste)

Recipe

Wash the broccoli throughly and separate the stems from the flower. Cut the stems into small pieces

 . Similarly clean the  green mango and cut it into pieces. Grind them together adding cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder ,salt and sugar . Taste and add more salt or sugar till you are satisfied with the taste. Serve it with chips or eat with like regular chutney with meals.

Note--Select tender stems of broccoli, dont take the thick hard parts as they have very raw flavor.

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Cranberry Cauliflower Pickle

Pickles are an inseperable part of Indian Khana and there are so many types of pickles and recipes for them throughout the country. I am a big fan of pickles and cannot eat my food without it . I am always in search of good old home made pickles for their recipes as store bought ones differ so much in taste due to the amount of preservatives and oil added in them.

Cranberry is a pretty looking fruit with shiny red exterior and soft interior.It is said to be very benificial as it prevents infections and is a good source of fiber and vitamins. It is tart  when eaten raw and hence perfect for making pickle! . I searched for cranberry pickle recipes online and the few recipes which exist call for jalapenos. I tried this recipe with cauliflower as the tartness of cranberry is balanced by the bland tasting cauliflower and both of them make a good combination. Both the vegetables are mixed  with spices and the result is a pretty looking pickle with amazing taste!! 

Ingredients

  • Cranberries--2 cups (cut into havles)
  • Cauliflower florets--1 cup (cut into small pieces )
  • Chilli powder--2 Tablespoon (varies according to spice level)
  • Salt--1 tablespoon (change as per taste)
  • Mustard seed powder-- 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder--1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida--1 pinch
  • Turmeric powder--1/4 teaspoon
  • Garlic--3-4 (cut into thin pieces)
  • Oil--3 tablespoons

Recipe

Wash the cranberries, cauliflower and dry seperately this may take few hours as they have to be completely dry before making pickle. Cut the cranberried into halves with a sharp knife. There are tiny seeds inside it which are okay if left just like that. Take a big bowl and combine cranberries and cauliflower florets in it and mix well. Add salt and chilli powder and mix it together. Heat oil in a pan on low flame till it gets hot. Add mustard seeds, garlic , turmeric powder, Asafoetida , coriander powder at the end and let the oil cool . Make sure you dont burn the spices, add them just before swiching the gas off. After the oil gets cool add this to the cranberry--cauliflower mixture and mix well. Leave it covered overnight and store it in airtight jar. 

Note: This pickle remains good for upto 2 weeks .

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