January 27, 2016

Chutney Pudi Using Leftover Ellu Bella

We enjoy eating Ellu Bella for several days after Sankranti. It is quite a tasty snack & we love eating handfuls every now and then until the stock gets over.

Incase, you are left with too much Ellu Bella & don't know what to do with it, I have an easy Chutney Pudi recipe made using leftover Ellu 

Ellu Chutney Pudi2

My Grandmother has been turning Ellu Bella into this yummy Pudi since several years now. This is a brilliant way to use leftover Ellu Bella & the Chutney Pudi has good flavours since it has roasted groundnuts & sesame seeds.

It is also very easy to put together & will take about 15 minutes of effort.

Ellu Chutney Pudi

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups Ellu
  • 12 - 15 Dry Red Chilies *
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida/Hing
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Salt as per taste
  • A lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
How To:

In a mixer grinder, coarsely grind the Ellu mixture & set aside. In a small pan, heat a tsp of oil. Add Asafoetida, curry leaves & turmeric powder. Next, Add the red chilies & roast on low flame for 3-4 minutes until it slightly changes colour. set aside to cool

In the same pan, fry roast tamarind until it turns crisp. Add the red chilies, curry leaves & tamarind into the mixer & make a fine powder. Add this to the coarsely ground Ellu mixture & add salt as per taste.

Run in the mixer for 1-2 rounds until it gets mixed well. The powder should have a slightly coarse texture. Do not grind it into a smooth powder

Store in an airtight jar & use as needed. It stays fresh for about 3-4 months

* I used Byadagi Chilies. You can replace half of the chilies with Kashmir Red Chilies 

January 18, 2016

The Fiery Chettinad Biryani

Here is a revamped post on Chettinad Biryani. The first time, I made this recipe was way back in 2009. I made it several times after that  And, somehow I never went back to making this version again. in a long time. Although, I have a few favourites, I keep trying new versions of to improvise. 

This recipe has been well received by my readers. A few of them wrote back to me mentioning that it turned out very well for them. So, do give it a try
You will love this version of Biryani, if you have a thing for Spicy Biryani. Chettinad Cuisine is known for its Spice after all 

Chettinad Biryani


The very first time I tried this Biryani was in Goa. We were away on a little getaway & it had been a couple of days since I had eaten rice & I was really craving for a big bowl of Rice & Dal. It was late in the night & a small eat out that we went to didn't have much rice options. Chettinad Biryani was on the list & I placed an order without expecting much. Goa isn't a place for Chettinad Cuisine anyway.

I had never tried Chettinad Biryani before & this one was one of the good Biryanis I had tasted. I came back home & did my  little research  to recreate the recipe. And, this is quite close


You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 Big Onion - sliced lengthwise
  • 2 carrots - cleaned & diced
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 big potato - peeled & diced
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • A handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt as per taste

To Roast & Grind:
  • 1 big onion 
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5-6 cloves
  • A small stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 7-8 Dry Red chilies - I used Byadagi Chilies 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4th tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut

How To:

Clean Basmati Rice under running water until the water runs clear. Soak in ample water & set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Immerse diced potatoes in water until put to use.

In a small pan, dry roast all the ingredients mentioned in the list, except Onios, tomatoes & garlic. Once the spices are aromatic & transfer into a mixie jar. In the same pan, heat a tsp of oil & add Garlic. Add onions & tomatoes & fry until they are well cooked. Allow it to cool a bit. transfer into the mixie jar & grind into a smooth paste along with ginger. Do not add any water.

In a Pressure cooker, heat Ghee. Add bay leaves. Now add sliced onions & fry till they turn pink. Now add the ground paste & give it a mix. Fry for a couple of minutes.

Now add all the vegetables one by one. Add Garam Masala, turmeric powder & mix well. Drain Basmati rice & add.

Now, add about 1 1/2 cups of water & add the salt. mix well with the spatula. Pressure cook for 1 whistle

Once the pressure drops, allow it to cool & bit. Add lime juice & garnish with coriander before serving. Fluff gently with a fork to avoid breakage.

Serve with slices of Onion & diced cucumber & a Raita of your choice.


NOTE:

Use good quality Basmati Rice. There are many brands available. I mostly use Daawat

You can make your own Biryani spice mix by dry roasting & powdering all the dry ingredients mentioned in the list. Store it in an airtight jar for later use. 

Not everyone loves a lot of spices in their Biryani. Reduce the amount of spices, if its not your liking



January 13, 2016

Sesame Laddoo | Til Laddoo | Ellu Unde

The earliest memories of Sankranti was probably when I was a Five year old girl & I remember being all excited about the whole Ellu Bella distribution. 

It would take almost a week for my mom & my grandmother to make Ellu Bella & a couple of days before Sankranti they would spend atleast half a day  making Sakkara Achchu /Sugar Candies & safely stored them away so that we kids wouldn't eat them before the festival

As kids, we loved eating Sakkare Achchu/Sugar Candies & there would be quite a bit of leftover Sakkare Achchu / Sugar Candies  post the festival, & I would carry one sugar candy in my snack box each day until the stock got over


Sesame Laddoo 

During my early School Days, we moved to Mumbai & the concept of Sankranti was a little different there. Instead of Ellu Bella Mixture,  Maharashtrians make Sesame Laddoos/Ellu Unde known as Tilgul.

'Tilgul Ghya & Goad Goad Bola' is what say while sharing these Laddoos with near & dear ones.

I love Sesame Laddoos or Ellu Unde as they are known in Kannada. Sesame is loaded with Vitamin C & since these Laddoos are jaggery based, & has no fat in them, it makes an almost guilt free indulgence. 

I have a post dinner Sweet craving these days, so instead of diving into a jar of chocolate cookies, I am going to eat these 


SESAME LADDOO


You Will Need:
  • 2 cup White Sesame Seeds
  • 1 cup Chikki Jaggery / Antu Bella in Kannada
  • 1/4th cup of Water
  • Oil to Grease your palms

How To:

In a heay bottomed pan, dry roast Sesame seeds on low flame until it turns slightly golden & is aromatic. It should take about 3-4 minutes

Sesame Seeds tend to burn quite quickly & if they are over toasted, they turn very bitter so make sure the heat is low. 
Once the Sesame seeds are toasted, transfer it to a wide plate & set aside 

In the same pan, heat about 1/4th cup of water. Bring it to a boil & add Jaggery. Once the Jaggery melts, strain for any impurities.

Add the syrup back to the the pan, once it starts boiling. Keep a bowl of water handy. To test the syrup for the right consistency, Add a drop of the syrup into the water filled bowl. It should form a solid mass & once you take it in your palms & roll it, it should form a round ball. 

Now add the toasted Sesame seeds immediately & mix well. Turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool just a little & while it is still warm but cool enough to handle, Grease your palms, quickly take a spoonful of mixture with the help of a spoon & roll them into balls.

Once you are done working with the mixture, arrange on a tray & Air them for about 4-5 hours & store them in airtight jars. 

NOTE:

You can use regular Jaggery too, But Chikki Jaggery or Antu Bella works very well. I don't know what it is known in other languages.

Make sure you work with the Laddoos while the mixture is still warm. Do not allow it to cool down completely & it will harden. You will need some practice to roll them fast. 

If making large quantities, it is always better to work in batches.

Sesame is known to increase body heat & that is the exact reason why Ellu Bella,  Sesame Laddoos  & other Sesame based goodies like Gajak  are made during winter. But too much sesame can induce a lot of body heat so be careful while you indulge in them

January 11, 2016

Fusion Food: Puliyogare Pasta

Don't have a weird look on your face as soon as you read this. I promise, this taste just awesome. I have always loved adding a little bit of Indian flavours to other cuisines. When the Brits can invent Curry Powder then Why can't we make Puliyogare Pasta 

I happened to come across this recipe on an Online Foodie Group & the picture looked really good. I made a mental note to try it out & it did turn out very well.

Puliyogare Pasta

My Little Boy loves Puliyogare, so I always save some cooked Pasta for later use & make this super easy dish. I even sent this in his snack box a couple of times & it was polished clean. The Roasted & crushed Peanuts add a nice nutty flavour to the dish which we totally love.

It makes for a great party starter & your guests will love this unique flavour. By the way, I also make a mean, Pav Bhaji flavoured pasta, & it is always a hit with kids. Will share the recipe sometime.

Now over to Puliyogare flavoured Pasta

Puliyogare Pasta
  

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup cooked Pasta - I used Macaroni
  • 1 1/2 tsp Puliyogare Powder 
  • 2 tsp edible Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp split peanuts
  • 1 tbsp Roasted & Coarsely Crushed Peanuts
  • A sprig of curry leaves

How To:

Cook Pasta according to package instructions. Drain & set aside. In a small Pan, Heat Sesame Oil. Splutter Mustard seeds. Add curry leaves & Peanuts. Fry until the peanuts are crunchy. It should take a couple of minutes.

Add Pasta & immediately add Puliyogare Powder & gently give it a mix. You can use any Home made or Store Bought Puliyogare Powder. There are many good brands available off the shelf. I mostly use MTR. Add the Roasted & crushed Peanuts. Let it stand on low heat for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat & transfer to a bowl & Serve Warm

NOTE:

You can drizzle some more sesame oil before serving.

The flavour of Puliyogare Powder is quite strong. Use only a little amount at first. You can add more later if needed


January 7, 2016

Mixed Vegetable & Coconut Milk Stew

Alright, My first post for the year 2016. We got back from our Vacation during the beginning of the week. We had a great time & we are back refreshed and ready to take on what the year has to offer

I had to do a mandatory fridge cleaning before we headed off on a break. A quick stew that I made using the bits & odds from the fridge. A few unused Veggies & a can of partially used Coconut Milk. And this stew was made. Leftovers always lead to something tasty .. Everytime 

Babycorn Curry4 

  You Will Need:

  • 10-12 Baby Corn - Cut into Rounds of 2'inch thickness
  • 1 large Potato
  • 1 large Carrot 
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Zucchini
  • 100 ml Thick Coconut Milk
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • 2 tsp cooking oil

To Grind:
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 10 Cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 5 cloves of Garlic
  • A small piece of Ginger

How To:

Dice Potato into cubes & immerse in cold water until you put it to use. Dice Carrots, Bell Pepper & Zucchini & set aside

Parboil Babycorn, Potatoes & Carrots to fasten the cooking process. I usually microwave them for about 6-8 minutes in salted water.

Roughly chop the onion & tomato. In a mixer, add all the ingredients listed under 'To Grind' list & add a tablespoon of water & grind into a smooth paste

In a cooking pan, heat oil. Add Bell Peppers & Zucchini. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the ground paste & a cup of water. Add the parboiled Babycorn, Potatoes & Carrots. Add half a teaspoon of kitchen king masala & stir. Let it come to a boil.  Add Coconut Milk & some salt. Add some water if you feel that the gravy is too thick. It will mostly likely need more water.  Gently simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Keep Stirring at regular intervals. 

Turn off the heat & serve warm with Roti/Phulka/Jeera Rice or Peas Pulao. It goes well with plain Basmati Rice too

NOTE:

You can pretty much use any vegetables that are available. Some of my other favourites that would probably go into the stew would be

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Peas - Fresh/Frozen
  • Chayote