Vegetarian Concoctions

September 24, 2007

Chitranna – White, Yellow and Brown!!!

Filed under: Karnataka, Kootu, Lemon, RCI, Rice, Tamarind, White pumpkin (Pooshinikkai) — Hema @ 11:59 am

Rice, Chawal, Arissi, Bhiyam, Ari or Akki, once boiled, has the greatest ability to look elegent in any combination of flavor or color. With little effort, the plain white grains can be transformed into a colorful explosion of reds and yellows and browns and greens. A staple diet in South India and many other regions across the world, the rice has endless ways of pleasing the most refined palate. Keeping in mind the theme for the month dedicated to Karnataka cuisine, here are my entries served with pooshinikkai morkootu.

Nimbehannu Chitranna:

Long-grained Rice)- 3 cups cooked

Turmeric – 1 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Chana dal – 2 tsp

Udad dal – 1 tsp

Peanuts – a handfull

Methi powder – 1/2 tsp

Hing – 1/4 tsp

Lemon – 1 1/2 tbsp or to taste

Salt – to taste

Green chillies – 4 or 5

Curry leaves – 6 or 7

oil – 1 tbsp

til/gingerly oil – 1 tbsp

lime zest – 1 tsp

Red chillies – 1 or 2

Boil rice and let it cool down for a while, add the til oil and mix it with the rice so that all the grains seperate easily. Make a small pit in the center and spoon in the turmeric and the zest. Heat up half the oil and roast the peanuts well. Set aside. To the other half add mustard seeds, chana dal, udad dal, hing, methi pwd, red chillies and let it roast up. Then add the green chillies and curry leaves. Pour this directly into the pit on the turmeric and add required salt. Once cool, add peanuts and lemon juice and mix well. The lemon zest gives it an extra flavor (a tip from my aunt).

Kayi-Sasive chitranna:

Rice – 3 cups

Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup fresh or shredded

Red chillies – 2 + 1

Tamarind – 1 tsp

Jaggery(optional) – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp

Chana dal – 2 tsp

Udad dal – 1 tsp

Hing – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 6 or 7

Grind the coconut, 1 tsp mustard seeds, tamarind, turmeric, jaggery and red chillies with minimum water. Spread the cooked rice and mix it with the coconut oil. Heat up the oil and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, chana dal, udad dal, 1 red chilli, hing and curry leaves. Add the ground paste and roast till the raw smell of tamarind goes. Add salt and mix this with the rice. I like my rice white and not-sweet, so left out the jaggery and turmeric.

Puliyogare:

This is my aunt’s innovation for making instant puliyagare. It tastes just as good without the hardwork of making the pulikachal / gojju.

Tamarind concentrate – 1 medium heaped spoon

Cooked rice – 3 cups

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Chana dal – 1 tbsp

Udad dal – 1 tsp

Peanuts – a handful

Methi kuria – 2 tsp

Gingerlly oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp

Red Chillies – 4

hing – 1/4 tsp

Black pepper pwd – 1 tsp

Dhania pwd – 2 tsp

Turmeric – a pinch

Jaggery – 1 tsp (optional)

Curry leaves – 7-8

Salt to taste

Prepare the rice and mix it with 1 tbsp of til oil and methi kuria. Methi kuria is a spice powder prepared in Gujarat using fenugreek that is coarsely ground, red chilli powder and til oil. In the USA, it is available in Indian stores and in India, you may find it in khadi udyog. If, unavailable, roast 2 tsp of fenugreek seeds and dry grind into a fine pwd. This can be substituted for the same amount of methi kuria. Heat up the rest of the oil and first roast the peanuts and set aside. Then to the same oil add mustard seeds, chana dal, udad dal, hing, red chillies and curry leaves. Once the dals have browned, dissolve the tamarind paste in very little water and add it to the spices. add turmeric, roasted peanuts, jaggery and salt and let this boil till the raw smell goes and the paste has thickened up. Now add the dhania and pepper powder and pour into the prepared rice. Mix well and enjoy!

I am packing these off to Asha for RCI-Karnataka!

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July 26, 2007

Red Cabbage Morkootu

Filed under: Curd/Yogurt, Kootu, Red cabbage, Salads and Raita, South Indian, Tamilnadu — Hema @ 11:41 am

I am not an adventurous shopper when it comes to vegetables. My grocery list never features vegetables that I have not tasted. Bad! you may say for a food blogger…and I agree. I had not tried a new vegetable for almost 2 years after coming to the US and my husband on the other hand had stories to tell me on his cooking adventures as a bachelor. Anyone who knows him would have definitely heard this story least a few times.

During his first few weeks in the US, hubby spots Brussels sprouts in the grocrey store and they look like miniature cabbages. He buys a few, gets them home, steams them, adds salt and pepper and tastes. They are good! He loves them. So, now on he decides they will be a regular in his grocery list. Now, the story gets exciting. The next visit to the store, he spots Habanero peppers. Ah! cute little bell peppers, he thinks, ‘will be great for sambhar’. He buys about 30 and heads home to concoct the sambhar he will remember for a lifetime! And the fact that surprised me most was that he made it a point to finish all that sambhar in the next 4-5 days. I have to mention this here….he makes the best sambhar and he was my sambhar guru after we got married. But this definitely does not justify his courageous act.

I guess I just play it safe when it comes to food:) Anyway, I had been eyeing the red cabbage for a while and never actually bought them. Reason – hubby tried them once and said they tasted bitter to him. From a few shows on food network and a few recipies blogged by friends here I gathered enough courage to get a veggie-never-tried-before. What’s the big deal, you may think, but you see…I hate wasting or thowing away food in any form. So, I like to make sure we consume what we buy. This is what I ended up making with it two times within a week. It just tasted so good!

img_0569.jpg

Red cabbage – 1/2

Curd – 2 cups

Turmeric – a pinch

Salt to taste

For Grinding:

Black pepper – 1/2 tsp

Dry red chilli – 1

Green chillies – 2

Jeera / cumin – 1 tsp

Coconut (shredded) – 2 tbsp

Curry leaves – 6-7

Tur dal soaked for 1/2 hr (optional) – 1 tsp

For garnishing:

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Tur dal – 1 tsp

Hing – a pinch

Curry leaves – a few

Oil – 2 tsp

Shread the cabbage and boil it with salt, in enough water to cover it. Grind the ‘for grinding’ ingredients above with minimum water. Once the cabbage is cooked, add the ground paste. Cook for a few minutes and reduce the heat. Beat the curds with the turmeric and add it to the pot. Let this heat through, but do not let it boil. Garnish.
Mor kootu is almost like avial. It goes very well with kalanda sadam (mixed rice like pulihorai, mint rice, coconut rice, lemon rice etc)

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