Friday, November 13, 2009

Mint Chutney

Pudina chutney , with it's distinctive taste & smell is an all time favorite.
This refreshing , green chutney is a good dipping sauce as well as a spread.
It is customary to serve snacks like samosas & kachories with this spicy dip.
Pudina is better known as a digestive & After Eight Mints are well known.
It makes a delicious spread for sandwiches. Addition of tomato slices, cucumber slices & cheese to this sandwich make a filling, tasty meal. It is very easy to grow this herb in pots as they grow wildly & does not call for any care.
This chutney can be stored in the fridge for a week.


Mint leaves - 1 fistful
Coriander leaves - 1 fistful
Green chillies- 8
Salt - to taste
Peanuts - 1 fistful, toasted
Tamarind - 2'', soaked
Jaggery - 1 tbsp


Wash the leaves well.
Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste, using water if required.


Coconut / garlic / onion / lemon instead of tamarind can be used for the chutney if preferred.

Gimme RED .....tomato thokku

A Vibrant , Spicy ,Tangy Thokku.
It can be made in a jiffy & the burst of flavors from this thokku rejuvenates the bored taste buds .If you are looking for a quick - fix solution to meal time blues , such thokkus come in handy , as they serve as a good accompaniment with not only with hot rice , but also go well with dosa & roti varieties.
My Co-sister, Rajini, who is from Bellary , Karnataka, introduced us to this recipe. Ever since , I even make Tomato Rice using the same recipe.
For the flavoring , temper the oil with aromatic spices like Cinnamon , cloves , elichi, Bay leaf. Then drop some of this thokku & stir, add in cooked & cooled rice with peas , a dash of salt & Viola! you have a tasty mixed rice ready.


Ripe Tomatoes - 7 medium size, diced into chunks
Red chilly Powder - 2 tsps
Rasam Powder - 2 tsps
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Tamarind - 2 '' soaked
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard, Jeera , Curry leaves , Hing - For Tempering


Puree the tomatoes with minimum water.
  • Heat the oil in a kadai & do the tempering.
  • Pour in the puree & cook stirring in between till some of the water has evaporated.
  • When half thick, add the tamarind Extract , salt, jaggery , turmeric powder & cook to the required consistency.
  • Cover the kadai & cook , if there is splattering.
  • Add the spice powders, stir & put off the flame.
  • Taste & adjust the flavors.
  • Store in a dry container in the fridge.

Use more tamarind if the tomatoes are not sour.
The spice powders, salt & jaggery has to be increased accordingly.
Crush a couple of garlic cloves into the thokku in the final stages , if you like.

I'm sending this recipe to the Pickles 'N Chutneys event , hosted by Sireesha of Mom's Recipes.

Spicy Curry Leaves Powder

Murraya Koenigi, that is the botanical name for curry leaves.
Curry leaf is native to India & is a important flavoring ingredient in the south Indian cuisine.
It is used as a tempering ingredient & it's delicate aromatic flavor is infused into most of the sambars, rasams, chutneys & curries & other savory dishes. It is also widely used in the traditional system of medicine to treat nausea & digestive disorders. It is rich in micro nutrients & also a antioxidant & high in fibre.It is common to find this in every Indian kitchen.

It is used as a main ingredient in the preparation of spice powders & also chutney. So when there was surplus of curry leaves in the house , the first thing that came to my mind was Karepaku pudi ie Curry leaves spice powder. Pudis are relished with hot steaming rice & ghee.
Pickles & pudis kind of creates appetite & sets the tone for a hearty meal. It is a combination of lentils & spices & balanced with the tanginess of tamarind & sweet from the jaggery.

First the curry leaves have to be washed & wiped dry or spread on a cloth for the moisture to dry. Either these leaves can be made crisp in the sun or for quicker crisping use the microwave.To proceed with the recipe ,

You will need,

Curry leaves- 2 cups packed, wash & measure & made crisp.
Bengal gram dal- 4 tbsps
Urad dal- 2 tbsps
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsps
jeera ( cumin )- 2 tbsps
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 12
Tamarind - 3" piece
Salt - to taste
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Dry Copra, grated - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tsp
For Tempering - Mustard, jeera & hing

  • Toast the dals with few drops of oil till it changes color on low flame.
  • Add the the other spices also to the dals when almost done & toast lightly.
  • Cool & dry grind them with the curry leaves , salt .
  • Add the tamarind, jaggery & run the blender.
  • Finally add the copra & whizz again.
  • Take a tsp of oil in a pan & temper the mustard, jeera & hing. Add the spice powder , stir a couple of times & put off flame.
  • Transfer to a air tight bottle when cool.

Goes well with hot rice & ghee.
Fenugreek seeds & garlic can also be used if preffered.
It keeps good for more than 2 weeks. But longer storage reduces the flavor.

Sending this to the CWS Event , hosted by RV , Started by Priya.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spicy Tangy Amruthpala

Amruthapala is a traditional dish made in the rice growing belt of South India. The month of Sraavana hosts a string of festivals , & the use of rice & coconuts are a part of the puja ceremonies. This dish was innovated to use up the rice & coconut used as offerings for the puja , or so it is said.

This savory dish is also made using Rice flour. A sweet version is also prepared using jaggery. And sometimes this is also known as Halbai, in kannada. I shall share these recipes in my future posts. Now to the Divine preparation,

Ingredients :

Rice - 1 cup, soaked for 3 hrs
Green chillies - 8 nos / as required
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Sour buttermilk - 2 cups

For Tempering

Oil - 3 tbsps
mustard, cumin seeds, urad dhal, chopped curry leaves, Hing

Onion - 1 large , chopped
Coriander - 2 tbsps , chopped

What you can do now
  • Rice can be soaked for 3 hrs or overnight.
  • Grind rice to a smooth paste, with green chillies & coconut, salt.
  • The funda is to use 3 cups of ( water , buttermilk ) for 1 cup of rice.The proportion of water & buttermilk can be adjusted according to availability . Use the measured water for grinding also. Then mix in the balance of the liquid to the batter & keep aside.
  • In a thick bottom pan , heat the oil & temper . Saute the onions till done.
  • Pour in the batter & stir continuously to avoid lump formation, till it all comes together as a mass. At this stage , cover & let cook for brief intervals , stirring between.
  • If the mixture does not stick to the wet hands when touched , it can be considered done.
  • Mix in the coriander & put off the heat.
  • Grease trays & level this mixture with wet / greased palms. Cut into pieces when cool / warm.
  • Tamarind extract / citric acid can used , if the buttermilk is not sour enough.
  • Chopped greens like Methi / dill can be sauteed along with onions , according to preference.
  • Tastes good even at room temperature.
  • Can be used as a snack or breakfast dish.