Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mor Keerai (Greens in Buttermilk Gravy)

Mor kozhambu is one of my all time favorite gravy/curry. I just love the smell and the taste of coconut, cumin and the tangy taste of the buttermilk in the dish. The dish can be made with a variety of vegetables like okra, white pumpkin, drumstick,chayote squash and most of the green leafy vegetables. Among the green leafy vegetables,I have not personally tried using spinach but have prepared it with most other green leaves.This mor keerai post is the first post on my blog that contains a pictured step-by-step description of the dish. Hope you all enjoy making this dish.

Ingredients:

Collard Greens - 1 bunch
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - According to taste
Asafoetida - A pinch
Buttermilk - 2 cups (Preferably a little sour)

For Grinding:


Green chillies - 2
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup


For seasoning:

Oil - 1 table spoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Method:


  • Cut and wash the collard greens and strain it and keep it aside.

  • Grind the coconut, green chillies and the cumin seeds to a coarse paste and set it aside.

  • In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow the mustard seeds to pop up.

  • To this add the ground paste and fry till the raw smell from the masala goes away.

  • Add salt according to your own taste.

  • Add turmeric powder and Asafoetida.

  • Now add the collard greens and cover it and cook for about 10 mins until the greens are cooked well and shrink in size.




  • Now add the buttermilk and mix well and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.








  • Mor keerai is ready to be served hot with rice.


Notes:


  • Do not cook the dish on high heat after adding the buttermilk as it tends to curdle.
  • If there is no sour buttermilk available, you can add 2 tablespoons of sour cream to the buttermilk and add it.

How to make Khoya/ Mawa

Diwali is around the corner and I guess all of you will be very busy making a variety of sweets and savories at home. I am also looking forward to a fun-filled evening of lights and celebrate it with my family. There has been constant experimentation going on in my kitchen for making a variety of dishes. I was trying to make Khoya with evaporated milk and I got it right.Khoya is used to make several desserts like Peda, Gujiya and Kalakand. I am planning to make Peda's for Diwali and will be using the same recipe to make Khoya. Hope you all will try this and enjoy the dish.I am sharing the same recipe here.

Ingredients:

Milk powder - 1 1/2 cups
Evaporated milk - 1 small can - 5 oz (147 ml)
Ghee - 4 tablespoons

Method:


  • In a bowl, add the milk powder and loosen it up using a fork.
  • Add the can of evaporated milk and mix it well. Knead it to form a soft dough.
  • Add the ghee and knead it well till the dough binds together well and is formed into a nice ball.
  • Refrigerate the ball of dough as it is and later grate it and use it as required.
  • Else, you can knead the dough and put it in the refrigerator.Later remove it and crumple it into crumbs and store it in a air-tight container and again refrigerate it.This will be easier as you can use the quantity required easily than breaking the dough ball every time you want to use it.
  • Enjoy making the khoya and many more desserts for Diwali.




Monday, October 18, 2010

Back to The US- My Home Sweet Home

I just got back Home in the US and I am missing my family (Especially my Mommy dearest and my cute little sister)so very much. I am just not able to concentrate well on any work here at home. I have had a wonderful stay back in India and enjoyed lots of good yummy food prepared by my Mom. I enjoyed all the pamper that I got from my Mom during my stay there.I have to get accustomed to the usual routine here now. I hope to be back with some nice dishes soon on my space.Hope everyone had a wonderful time during Navratri and looking forward eagerly to celebrate Diwali.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beetroot Kootu

Beetroot is one of the most colorful vegetables.It has a bright red hue.It is a very powerful antioxidant and is known to purify the blood.This vegetable is also rich in many vitamins and minerals.Beetroot juice is known to reduce Hypertension(Blood Pressure). Its leaves are used to make curries and salads.

Beetroot Kootu is an all time favorite in my family. We relish it a lot and like to eat it with Chapathi.Today I prepared Beetroot Kootu for dinner and I am sharing the same recipe here.

Ingredients:

Beetroot - Chopped into small cubes - 1 cup
Moong Dal - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Black Peppercorns - A few
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Cilantro - For Garnishing
Curry leaves - One sprig
Salt - To Taste

Method:

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil and add the cumin seeds and black peppercorns. Then add the grated coconut and roast it for 2-3 minutes.
  • Then grind this roasted mixture till it becomes a coarse paste.
  • Pressure cook the Moong dal and Beetroot along with some salt for about 3 whistles.
  • Take a wok/Kadai and add 1 tbsp oil and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard crackles, add the curry leaves and the ground paste and stir well.
  • Add the cooked dal and beetroot and cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve hot with Roti or Rice.

Notes:
  • You can even use green chillies instead of black peppercorns.
  • You can substitute Masoor Dal in place of Moong Dal.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Murungai Elai Poriyal/Drumstick leaves Curry

Drumstick is a well known vegetable in Southern part of India. It is grown in many homes in South India.The leaves of the same tree are also used in making curries and gravies. The leaves of drumstick are small and oval-round in shape.

My granny has mainly lived on natural products and uses natural methods to treat minor health ailments.Since we had a drumstick tree at home, we had very easy access to drumstick. And through my Granny, I have got to know many benefits of Drumstick.They are very rich in calcium and phosphorus.It also acts as a cleanser of the intestinal tract as it is known to have some antibacterial properties .It is also rich in Vitamin C and is responsible for developing good immunity and purifying the blood.

Drumstick and its leaves are known for their curative properties. They can be used for people of all age groups. Infants and children can also consume drumstick and its leaves as it is known to strengthen bones and develop immunity.It is also used as a natural cure for respiratory infections, Digestive disorders and also used to cure urinary tract infections. The leaves are crushed and applied on the face to get rid of pimples too.

{Extras:It is also said that while seperating the leaves from the main stalk, we should not allow the leaves to come in contact with the ground or the floor(In older days cutting of vegetables was done by a special gadget/cutting knife known as "Aruvamanai" which had to be put to use for cutting vegetables by sitting on the floor only). It is said that doing such thing would increase the bitterness of the leaves.}


Murungai elai poriyal/Drumstick leaves curry is a dry curry made of Drumstick leaves and coconut.Here is the recipe to make this.

Ingredients:

Drumstick leaves - 2 cups (seperated from stalk)
Coconut - 1 cup - grated
Dry red chillies - 4-5 (or According to taste)
Salt - According to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - A sprig of leaves


Method:

  • Take a vessel and boil water by adding salt to it.Once water is boiled remove from heat and add the drumstick leaves to it and let it wilt.
  • Put the grated coconut and the dry red chillies and blend it into a coarse paste.
  • Take a kadai/pan and add oil. Once the oil is heated add the mustard seeds,urad dal and curry leaves.
  • Once the mustard crackles, add the coarsely grated paste and fry till the raw smell is gone.
  • Strain the water and add the wilted drumstick leaves to the pan.
  • Saute well for a few minutes and cover and cook on low flame for 5-6 minutes.
  • Serve with rice or roti.