Thursday, January 31, 2008

Technorati Connections

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Mango Thokku


2 cups grated raw green mangoes
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch Asafetida
2 tsp salt or to taste
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tbspn dried methi leaves (Fenugreek)

1. Heat oil on high.
2. When oil has heated add mustard seeds.
3. When seeds pop, add mangoes, Asafetida, salt and chili powder. Fry for 5 minutes.
4. Add methi leaves. Fry another 5 minutes. Final product is pasty.



2 cups urad dhal
1 cup diced onion
2 green chilies finely chopped
1 tsp pepper powder
10 curry leaves - chopped
10 small cubes of ginger (about 1/8 inch cubes)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (or more as per your taste)
Rice Flour
Vegetable oil for frying


1. Soak urad dhal in 2 times the water for 4-5 hours.
2. Grind the dhal in sparse water after soaking into a fine, silky paste.
3. Put other ingredients into batter except the rice flour and stir

4. Add rice flour until it becomes a thick paste.
5. Form into donut like formations and fry in hot vegetable oil.
6. Taste first one for salt and adjust accordingly.

** Forming into donut formations is challenging. I am yet to perfect this.
One tip I have from a pro in making this is to cool the batter slightly in
fridge. Take batter out to make 5-6 at a time. When batter is slightly
cool it is easier to form into the donut like shape. If you have tips on this
add below in comments.

Indian Steel Tumbler

Idli Cooking Gadget Photo

Kanchipuram Idli


1 cup Idli Rice
1 cup Urad Dhal
10 methi (Fenugreek) seeds.
2-3 tsp salt
10 peppercorns
1 tsp Cumin seeds
10 pieces of cubed ginger (1/4 inch)
Pinch of Asafetida
15 Cashewnuts- chopped or crushed
2 tspns Ghee
1/2 cup Sesame Oil

1. Soak both rice and urad dhal with a pinch of
methi seeds for 3 hours.

2. Grind rice with sparse water into a silky paste.
3. Add required salt and let it fermentation about
8-10 hours.
(If you live in hot climate, you can set
it in the sun. If you live in cold
climate, you have
two choices.

First choice: Heat oven, turn off and cool. Keep the
oven light on and keep
batter in 6-8 hours to ferment.
Second choice: Place the batter near or close as
possible to a heating vent
Fermenting will allow batter to rise and also smell
slightly sour.)

4. After fermenting, add sesame oil, peppercorns,
ginger pieces, and ing
(Asafetida) into the batter
and stir well.

5. Heat 1 tsp ghee. Add cashewnuts and cumin
seeds until the cashewnuts lightly
brown. Add to
mixture, mix well.

6. Take a pressure cooker, without the weight.
There are two choices on how to
in tumbers.

First choice: Place a metal cooking rack on the
bottom of the cooker and take 3-4
Indian steel
tumblers. Tumblers can sit on the rack.

Second choice: If you have a dhokla rack, keep only
the bottom most rack in the
gadget, place the
tumblers on this.

8. Coat tumblers with sesame oil, fill tumber 3/4
full with idli batter. Set
tumblers on your rack.
Close pressure cooker without using weight.

9. Once the steam starts coming from the cooker,
time steaming for 20 minutes.

10. When done, you can take the idlis out easier by
pouring cold water on the
bottom of the tumblers.
A blunt object may help get them out as well.

11. Keep repeating steps 6, 7, and 8 until batter is over
or required amount is
12. Serve with chutney, sambar or dhal powders.

1. After making the first batch note how heavy the idlis
appear. If they seem
heavy or thick, add some water to
the batter and test another few tumblers.
Idlis should be
somewhat light and airy when steamed.

2. Leftover batter can be kept for several days after it is

**This is Kanchipuram style due to being steamed in. You
can also
steam in regular idli pans too.

I will post photos of these gadges in separate posts. (I
tried in this post and
it did not work properly.)
Indian Steel Tumbler
Photo: Idli Cooking Gadget Photo
This recipe is adapted from the recipe posted on

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lemon Rasam


6 Green Chillies
4 small pieces of about 1/8 inch cubes- ginger
Asafoetida (Ing) pinch
1/8 cup juice from fresh lemon
12 curry leaves
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dhal
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
I tsp ghee
Salt to taste


1. Chop ginger and slit green chillies.
2. Boil them in water for 30 minutes with salt and 3 cups of water. Add more water if water evaporates. Boiling for 30 minutes really brings out the ginger and green chilies taste. Water should have a nice aroma from these ingredients, and may slightly yellow from ginger. Then you know it's ready for the seasonings.
3. Add asafotida and lemon juice when you turn off the heat.
4. While #2 is getting ready, heat ghee in another pan, when ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Add this to the water pan when it has completed it's boil.

Another version of Lemon Rasam.
Tasty Tidbits: Rasam (Cultural Facts about this tasty broth!)

Karela (Bitter Gourd) Curry


2-3 Karelas (Bitter Gourd)
2-3 tablespoons oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dhal pieces
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp corriander powder
pinch haldi (turmeric)
2-3 broken dried red chillies
4-5 curry leaves


1. Slice Karela into thin slices (the outer covering does not need to be removed), layer on a plate, salt each layer of karela with about 1/2 tsp salt. Let sit 15-20 minutes or longer.

2. Heat Oil with mustard seeds and dhal. When mustard seeds pop add Karela slices, lower heat to low to medium. Karela treated with salt have water and high heat will burn them quickly, though burning does not mean they are done.

3. Add all spices. Fry for 15-20 minutes stirring occassionaly.

Eat small amounts with curd rice (yogurt rice). It will be very bitter still after cooking and yogurt makes a good combination to release the bitterness yet taste the karela.

Vatthal Kozhumbu

1. Imli (tamarind)
2. Tablespoon oil
3. Pinch Mustard seeds
4. Pinch chenna (or toor) dhal
5. 2-4 red dried crushed chilies
6. 2-4 green chilies cut lengthwise
7. Pinch ING (Asafetida)
8. 4-6 curry leaves (or more as per your taste)
9. Pinch vendhyam (Fenugreek seeds)
10. 4 cups water
11. 2 tsp sambar powder
12. Pinch turmeric
13. Salt to taste
14. 20-30 sundakkai vathals (or as per your taste)
15. 1 to 4 tsp rice flour


Step 1:
If you have block Imli (ingredient #1) soak a golf ball size of this in warm water (1 cup) until soft. This can be done while doing other steps.

Step 2.
For ingredients 2-9. Heat oil and add mustard seeds (ingredients 2 and 3), when they pop, add ingredients 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Fry till they are browned. Put to the side.

Step 3:
Strain and squeeze the water out of the soaked imli pieces out and put he 'imli water' in a sauce pan. Heat it adding 3 more cups water (adding four for #10) sambar powder (#11), turmeric (#12) and salt (#13). Also add all the fried spices at this time (from step 2.) Heat till a rolling boil for 5-10 minutes. More salt may also be added at the end as per your taste.

Step 4:
Dry fry the vatthals till a smell comes. Add the vatthals to the liquid and continue boiling.

Step 5:
This will be liquidy, whereas kozhumbu should be thick. To thicken we add rice flour (#15). Leaving the heat on, while boiling, add one teaspoon, and stir, wait a few minutes, stir it. Keep adding one more teaspoon of the rice flour and stirring until it is slightly thick. Four teaspoons should be enough.

**Kozhumbus com in different varieties. Kozhumbu is a thicker sambar. The closest translation for Kozumbu in English is gravy.

Keep this sitting for some time before eating. It is really good if you eat it later in the day or the next day, the flavor will be very nice.

Eat in small quantities with plain rice or curd (yogurt) rice.

There are also various kinds of vatthals. It may be possible to substitute another variety of vatthal in this recipe for another.

This recipe was originally posted in my yahoo group.
Photo in post taken by Jennifer Kumar.

Other Vatthal Kozhumbu Recipes
Vatral Kuzhambu - Sriranjini

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Aloo (Potato Curry)

This dish, eaten for breakfast, is eaten with poori- a deep fried puffy bread.

3 tbspn oil
pinch mustard seeds
1/4 cup diced onions
10 curry leaves
3-4 green chilies cut in half (add as many as per taste)
1 cup water
2 tbspn chenna dhal
2 cups cubed potatoes about 1/2 inch cubes, doesn't have to be uniform
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
salt per taste
3 chunks ginger (about 1/8 inch chunks)

1. Heat oil in pan with mustard seeds.
2. When seeds pop add the diced onions on medium heat. Add curry leaves and green chilies. Sweat onions, do not brown or burn.
3. Add 2 cups water and chenna dhal with potatoes.
4. Add turmeric, salt, and ginger pieces. Boil until potatoes are fully cooked and can be mashed.
When it is done, potatoes will become mushy and pasty. It can be considered like a thick gravy. Not all potatoes should be mashed. You will be able to see potato chunks.

Variation 1:
Do not add mustard seeds, curry leaves or onions, instead temper 1/2 cup finely diced tomatoes in step 2. All other steps remain the same. This version can be eaten with pooris.
Variation 2:
Do not add mustard seeds, curry leaves or turmeric. Instead of boiling in water, boil in 1/2 water 1/2 milk. (This variety is more or less the Kerala potato stew.) This version is known to be eaten with appams or iddiappams.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Vegan Rye Bread Muffins

I had quite a time finding this recipe. Most rye breads you buy in the store have wheat flour in the ingredients list above rye flour, so it is more wheat bread than rye! Are you shocked as I was? Plus, it's hard to find the bread (rye or otherwise) without high fructose corn syrup and unhealthy oils, so I wanted to make our own.

The other shocker for me in finding such this recipe was finding a rye recipe without yeast, eggs or milk. This recipe tastes wonderful with fresh organic butter spread on with fruit or fruit spread.

I am reprinting this recipe from

Rye Muffins

We serve these at dinner time in place of bread, biscuits or dinner rolls. Milk, wheat & egg free.

1 1/4 c. rye flour

1/2 c. rice flour (use the kind from the Asian market--its cheaper & less gritty)

4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 c. sugar

1 c. water

1/4 c.oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If desired, line muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix rye flour, rice flour, baking powder, and salt together. Mix water, oil & sugar separately and add to the dry mixture. Blend well. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for about 25 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.