Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kadlekai Unde - Peanut and Jaggery Balls

KADLEKAI UNDE 
That was the time in my life when I was totally engrossed in books regarding Mahatma Gandhi's life and the freedom movement of India. I often shared few mini Gandhi Thata stories with my two year old talkative daughter. After the story session I made it a point to make her answer a few questions to test her comprehension. When she was posed with a question as to what Gandhi Thata ate, pat came the reply: "Kadlekai!"  "Aattu Paal (goat's milk)!" she reverted with great enthusiasm even before I could finish my next question regarding his drink! She had to repeat her performance many times when the circle of audience started growing!  Kadlekai/Peanuts was my little tot's favourite snack especially when it was made into undes. Roasted or boiled Kadlekai/Peanuts (also known as Badavara Badami, meaning poor man's almonds) are nutritious snacks by themselves. It is also savoured in Sambars, Sundals and chutneys. Starting from Super Markets, the local grocery stores to the small Petti Angadis (Miscellaneous shops) the ubiquitous Kadlekai Unde (Peanut Laddus) are sold everywhere.
Kadlekai Unde is a healthy sweet which can be savoured as a snack or as a dessert or even in between meals!


INGREDIENTS
Peanuts/Kadlekai - 1 glass
Powdered jaggery - 1 glass
METHOD
1. Roast the peanuts in a heavy bottomed kadai on medium flame till the skins are loosened.
2. Allow to cool and rub the nuts in between your palms to separate the husk.


3. Clean the peanuts and break them into chunks using a mixer.


4. Dissolve jaggery in one cup of warm water and filter.
5. Boil the filtered jaggery water in a thick bottomed kadai till it becomes thick and sticky.

 

(Drop little of the syrup in cold water. If the drop does not disintegrate, and if you are able to roll it into a ball using your thumb and forefinger the syrup is ready.)


 6. Switch off flame and blend the prepared kadlekai/ peanuts into the syrup.


7. When it cools down a little and is comfortable to touch, it is ready to be shaped into undes/balls.
8. Grease your palms, scoop out a small portion of the mixture and shape it into an unde/ball.
9. Similarly shape more undes/balls using up the entire mixture. Place them apart till they are thoroughly cooled so that they do not stick together


10. The mixture might harden and lose stickiness towards the end. In that case heat the remaining mixture on low flame till the jaggery starts melting. Switch off flame and then shape the remaining undes/balls.


Allow the Kadlekai Undes / Peanut Balls to cool and then store them in a clean dry jar.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pottu Kadalai Laddurundai - Roasted Gram Laddus - Sattu Laddus

POTTU KADALAI  LADDURUNDAI
Our family had the opportunity to enjoy the delicious Sattu Laddus from Kolkatta recently. When I took a bite of the sweet I realized that it was the very same Pottukadalai laddu/Maa Laadu, a traditional sweet prepared in South Indian homes.The beautifully packaged Sattu Laddus with Silver Vark makeover have now become one of my  family's favourite sweets.


Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Gram) known as Hurigadale or Putani in Kannada is a healthy snack by itself since it is rich in protein and dietary fiber. Those were the days when we siblings were a bunch of hyper active kids who loved to loot the garden or store room to find some nibbles all the time.We did not even spare the drums in which the Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Gram) husk was stocked for feeding our cows! We literally dived into the drums and foraged for the meager Pottu Kadalais which still stuck to some of the husks! We enjoyed munching the handful of  Pottu Kadalais thus collected as we played in the garden!
Pottu Kadalai Urundai can be prepared in two methods. Roasted gram can be mixed with sticky jaggery syrup and then shaped into delicious balls / laddus. The second method of making the Pottukadalai Laddurundai is by using the Pottu Kadalai in its flour form. This is also known as Maa or Maavu Laadoo (Flour Laddu) in Tamil. I have used organic jaggery powder for its blood purifying properties and its mineral content which in turn enhances the nutritional value of the Pottu Kadalai Laddurundai.
INGREDIENTS

Roasted Gram / Pottu Kadalai - 1 glass
Organic jaggery powder - 1 glass
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Edible camphor - 1/2 a pinch
Ghee or Olive oil - 1 cup
METHOD
1. Grind the roasted gram (Pottu Kadalai) into a fine and smooth powder.


2. Add cardamom, jaggery powder and edible camphor and blend them together once again.


3. Take the ground mixture in a bowl and add hot ghee/olive oil to it and mix thoroughly.


4.  Take a scoop of the warm mixture and shape it into a Laddurundai (laddu balls).
5. Make Laddus similarly using all the flour and jaggery mixture while still warm.


6. If the mixture cools down or does not hold the shape, mix in little more hot ghee or olive oil and continue shaping the laddus.


Enjoy the nutritious Pottu Kadalai Laddurundai as when you crave for a sweet!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Vegetable Ragi Soup - Finger Millet Soup with Vegetables

VEGETABLE RAGI SOUP
Restaurants serving millet based food are on the rise today.  Most of the eateries in Karnataka have always been serving Ragi Muddae Oota since a long time. After the rise of the millets in the urban scene Ragi Soup has become the in- thing in food courts of corporate offices. Traditional Ragi Kanji turns into a nutritious Ragi Soup with the addition of vegetables! 

INGREDIENTS
Ragi flour - 2 tbsps
Finely chopped vegetables - 1/2 cup
Onion (Slivered) - 1 tbsp
Crushed ginger and garlic - 1 tsp
Crushed pepper - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil or sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 2 glasses 
METHOD
1. Steam cook the finely chopped vegetables till al dante.
2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion slivers till they turn golden brown.
3. Add crushed ginger and garlic and fry till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
4. Add the steamed vegetables and saute for two minutes.


5. Pour the two glasses of water into the pan and bring it to a boil.


6. Mix Ragi flour with little water to make a paste and stir it into the boiling water.
7. Stir and cook till it turns shiny and reaches a thin soup consistency.
8. Mix in salt and turn off flame.
 Garnish with crushed pepper and enjoy the Vegetable Ragi Soup while it is hot. 


You may add a dash of Tomato Sauce or Chilly Sauce if you wish to. Thin Vegetable Ragi Soup with the crunch of crushed pepper is a healthy and appetizing starter.Where as a thick soup becomes a healthy meal in itself.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Godambi Tondekai Palya - Cashew and Ivy Gourd Dry Curry

GODAMBI TONDEKAI PALYA
Ever since the Portuguese brought Cashew to Goa, cashew nuts  have become an integral part of the traditional recipes of the Konkan Coast. Godambi Tondekai Palya (Cashew nut and Ivy gourd Curry) is my family's favourite after tasting it at a Mangaluru wedding lunch. There is always a rush to procure tender raw cashew nuts which are available only during the season. Since I prepare this curry often I use the normal cashew nuts which are readily available in the market. A tender texture can be obtained by soaking the cashew nuts in warm water for at least half an hour before making the curry.


INGREDIENTS

Ivy gourd/ Tondekai ( Chopped) - 1 cup
Cashew nuts - 1 cup  
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sesame oil or coconut oil - 1 1/2 tsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies (broken) - 2
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Crry leaves - a few
Fresh coconut gratings - 1/4 cup
METHOD
1. Soak cashew nuts in warm water.
2. Wash and slit the Ivy gourds/Tondekai length wise into 4 or 6 pieces. Cut them across if the gourds are too big.
3. Cover the chopped Ivy gourd/Tondekai in water, add salt and cook till just done without allowing it to become mushy. Drain if there is excess water.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard splutters add split black gram dal and fry till it turns golden brown in colour.
6. Decrease heat and add the broken red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves and stir well.
7. Add the cooked Ivy gourd/Tondekai and mix well with the seasoning.
8. Drain and add the softened cashew nuts and stir together till the curry becomes dry.
9. Mix in the fresh coconut gratings and switch off flame.


Enjoy the Mangaluru special Godambi Tondekai Palya with any meal.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Parangi Pinju Chutney - Baby Pumpkin Relish

 PARANGI PINJU CHUTNEY
 Mami (my maternal aunt) comes up with enthralling facts and stories behind the traditional and rural recipes she shares with me. Since Mama (maternal uncle) was a Sugar Technologist  she lived with him in serene villages surrounded by paddy, sugarcane fields and sugar factories until Mama's retirement. They lived in a traditional home with a 'mutram' (central courtyard open to the sky) surrounded by sturdy pillars. The backyard sprawling with lush green plants and vines yielded fresh organic vegetables for daily consumption. Mami utilized the produce to the maximum by cooking delicious traditional dishes. Some times pumpkins the size of oranges dropped off the vine well before reaching maturity. When I was under the impression that they would land up in the compost pit, Mami  cooked them (tender peels included) into a delicious finger licking Parangi Pinju Chutney. She smiled at the surprised look on my face and said ' Nothing goes to waste! This is the done thing here!'

Baby pumpkins in a Pumpkin Patch near Portland.


Due to the nonavailability of a backyard garden or a pumpkin vine which dropped off Parangi Pinjus, I have used a piece of the store bought Pumpkin to make the chutney for this post!

INGREDIENTS


Pumpkin (Peeled and chopped) - 1 bowl
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 4
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Tamarind - the size of a small marble
METHOD
1. Heat one tsp of oil and splutter mustard seeds.
2. Add the split black gram dal and roast till it becomes golden in colour.
3. Add the red chillies and fry till they become crisp.
4. Add asafoetida and remove the seasoning into a plate when it emanates a very pleasant aroma.
5. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add the chopped pumpkin pieces.
6. Saute for a few minutes, sprinkle little water and cover and cook on low flame stirring now and then.
7. Switch off flame when the vegetable is cooked and allow to cool.
8. Grind the cooked pumpkin with salt, tamarind and the fried red chillies into a smooth paste.


9. Add the remaining seasoning and blend coarsely.
Parangi Pinju Chutney is ready to be savoured with hot rice.


 It can be used as a dip for various snacks. It also makes a delicious bread spread.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Split Moong Adai - Split Green gram Savoury Pancake

SPLIT MOONG ADAI
Once upon a time Adai with vella sakkarai (brown sugar) used to be one of  my  favourite after-school 'tiffins'. Traditionally Adais are prepared using various combinations of one or more lentils with rice, broken wheat or millets. Plain lentil Adais without cereals are also delicious. Split Moong Adai is one such variation. Rich in protein and fiber content it can be considered as one of the ideal breakfast dishes.


INGREDIENTS


Split green gram  - 1 glass
Green chilly - 1
Fresh ginger (Peeled) - 1'' piece
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves - lots
Finely chopped onion - 1 cup
Sesame oil for roasting
METHOD
1. Wash and soak split green gram for one hour.
2. Drain and grind the soaked split green gram coarsely along with the green husk, salt, green chilly, asafoetida and ginger, without adding too much water.
3. Keep the batter thick and coarse and mix in the cumin seeds, minced onion and chopped coriander.


4. Heat a greased tava, place a ball of Adai batter in the center and pat it into a 1/4 inch thick Adai using your wet fingers.
5. Make a hole in the middle and dribble oil into it and all around the Adai and cover with a lid.


6. Cook on medium flame for two or three minutes and check if the batter is cooked on top.
7. Check the bottom of the Adai to see if it has turned golden brown in colour.
8. Flip the Adai, dribble few more drops of oil around it and cook for one more minute.


Remove onto a plate and enjoy the Split Moong Adai while it is hot and crisp.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mavina Hannina Rasayana - Mango Coconut Milk Smoothie

MAVINA HANNINA RASAYANA
A menu for a festive occasion at home was planned taking our Chef Bhattru's suggestions into consideration. Bhattru's idea of serving Mavina Hannina Rasayana as a dip for the gorgeous Obbattus was a great hit among the invitees. An additional serving of the ambrosial Rasayana was also served for dessert on demand! Bhattru gave me the know how of the recipe and added that the delicious Mavina Hannina Rasayana could be served with Dosas and Shyavige too. Here is Bhattru's recipe for the mouth watering Mavina Hannina Rasayana.


INGREDIENTS
Ripe and sweet mangoes - 3
Coconut - 1
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Sugar/ Powdered jaggery - to taste
Saffron strands  - a few
METHOD
1. Wash, cut and scoop out the mango pulp into a bowl.
2. Squeeze out the juice from the seeds and save it along with the pulp.


3. Break and grate the fresh coconut and allow it to soak in a sprinkle of warm water for ten minutes.
4. Grind the soaked coconut gratings very smoothly adding little water.
5. Pass the ground coconut paste through a sieve which has fine mesh and collect the thick milk. Squeeze out all the coconut milk by pressing it with the back of a ladle or by using your clean hand.


6. Blend the mango pulp, coconut milk, sugar/powdered jaggery and cardamom powder together into a smooth and thick  Rasayana.


7. Top it with a few pre soaked saffron strands.
I excluded sugar/ powdered jaggery because the Raspuri mangoes I used were very sweet.

 

 Enjoy the Mavina Hannina Rasayana  chilled.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Terrific Trio Potato Saagu - Lemony Potato Gravy

TERRIFIC TRIO POTATO SAAGU
Terrific Trio! Yes! That is what the colourful little potatoes are known as! A pack of tender and soft, tricoloured potatoes not only added  colour to the normal Potato Saagu but also imparted a unique flavour to the dish.


Here is how I prepared the picturesque Terrific Trio Potato Saagu for my son's family at Portland.

INGREDIENTS
Terrific Trio Potatoes - 1 pack
Onion - 1 big
Cashew nuts - a few
Fresh ginger and green chillies (Chopped) - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Gram flour/Besan - 1 tbsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Salt - 11/2 tsps 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Juice of one big lime
Coriander leaves for garnishing
METHOD
1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cook them till they are just done with the peels intact.
2. Cool the potatoes and cut them into half.


3. Peel and chop onion into thin slices.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard splutters add the Bengal gram dal and roast till it turns golden in colour.
6. Add cashew nuts and roast them till they change colour.
7. Add chopped ginger, green chillies and onion slices and saute till the onion becomes pink in colour.


8. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and  gram flour/ besan and fry till it emanates a pleasant aroma.


9. Add salt and about three cups of water and keep stirring so that no lumps are formed.


10. When it starts to boil add the cut Terrific Trio Potatoes to the gravy and cook for a few more minutes stirring very gently.
11. When the Saagu is ready mix in the lime juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


Enjoy the colourful and flavoursome Terrific Trio Potato Saagu with Poories, chapaties or dosas.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chitra Amma's Kitchen in Top 100 Indian Food Blogs

THANK YOU



Dear followers and inspirers,
Chitra Amma's Kitchen has secured a place in the list of
Top 100 Indian Food Blogs
Thank you for making this possible!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mango Fried Rice

MANGO FRIED RICE


Mango season always brings in festivity and cheer along with it. Chefs come up with new lip smacking mango recipes while there are umpteen mango oriented snacks dished out by proficient bakers. How can one resist the magnificent mouth watering mango dessert spreads at restaurants? On the home front it is chutney and pickles galore where mothers and grand mothers are busy preserving them to last till the next season. Just when I was yearning to post a mango recipe for this season, my sister mentioned about the Thai Mango Fried Rice which she happened to relish recently. I used mango sauce (my own concoction) for my experiment, and my Mango Fried Rice turned out delicious!
INGREDIENTS FOR MANGO SAUCE
Peeled and cubed half ripe mango - 1 cup
Green chilly - 1
Fresh ginger (peeled) - a fat 1'' piece
Garlic - 6 cloves
Powdered jaggery - 1tsp
Salt - 1tsp
Blend all the above ingredients together into a smooth sauce without adding water.
INGREDIENTS FOR FRIED MANGO RICE
Rice - 1 cup
Peeled and cubed half ripe mango - 1 cup
Finely minced beans and carrot - 1 cup
Onion ( slivered ) - 1/2 cup
Sesame oil - 4 tbsps
Red chillies - 4
Coriander seeds - 1 tbp
Mango sauce - 1 cup
METHOD
1. Wash and pressure cook rice with two cups of water and allow to cool.
2. Dry roast red chillies and coriander seeds and grind them into a coarse powder.
3. Heat two table spoons of oil and fry onion till it becomes golden brown.
4. Add the minced beans and carrot and stir fry till they are al dente.
5. Add half of the prepared mango sauce and keep frying till the vegetables become dry emanating a very pleasant aroma.


5. Add the half ripe mango cubes and fry for two or three more minutes.


6. Remove the cooked vegetables on to a plate.


7. Wash the same kadai and heat the remaining oil in it.
8. Break the lumps in the cooled rice and stir into hot oil.
9. Keep stirring till it is dry and each grain stands separate.
10. Add the remaining mango sauce and cook till it emanates a pleasant aroma.


11. Mix in the stir fried vegetables and cook on low flame till all the flavours blend well.
12. Blend in one table spoon of the ground chilly and coriander mixture.


 Piping hot sweet and sour MANGO FRIED RICE is ready.


 Enjoy with cucumber slices and fryums.