Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Varutharaicha murungakai pulikuzhambu / Drumstick in fried coconut based tamarind gravy

Here is one more pulikuzhambu version which I like very much. This is a kerala style theeyal recipe. The smell of drumstick and the smell of golden fried coconut gives a unique taste and aroma to this dish.

The scientific name of drumstick tree is Moringa oleifera. The leaves, flowers and immature pods of drumstick tree are used as food. Leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant. They are  rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium , Pottasium, Iron and protein.  Different parts of drumstick plant is used to cure respiratory disorders, infections, digestive disorders, urinary disorders and sexual disorders ('Mundhanai mudichu' Bhagyaraj seems to be correct ;). 

Ingredients :

Drumstick- 2 nos
Coconut scrappings- 3 tbspns (fresh or dried)
Onion- 1 no
Tomato- 1 no
Curry leaves- a handful
Green chillies- 3 nos
Whole black pepper- 1 tspn
Coriander powder- 1 tbspn
Red chilli powder- 2 tspns
Tamarind- size of a small lemon
Turmeric- a pinch
Asafoetida- a pinch
Fenugreek, Mustard and urid dhal- 1/2 tspn for tempering
Salt to taste
Oil- 3 tbspn

Method :

Wash and cut the drumsticks into 2 inch pieces. Soak the tamarind in luke warm water. Take a pan and fry the coconut scrappings until they become deep brown in colour. Grind the fried coconut and one teaspoon of pepper into a smooth paste. Cut onions and tomatoes into small pieces. Slit the green chillies. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil gets heated add fenugreek seeds and urid dhal. When it browns add mustard seeds. When they splutter add the onions, curry leaves, green chillies, a pinch of asafoetida and a pinch of turmeric. Saute well until the onions become soft. Now add some salt and tomato pieces and saute until the tomato pieces are cooked well. To this mixture add coriander powder, chilli powder and ground coconut and pepper paste. Mix well. Saute for a minute until the raw smell of the masala goes away. Now add the extracted tamarind juice and enough water. Boil the mixture well until the drumstick is cooked. Allow the gravy to thicken. Add salt as per your taste.  A very tasty kuzhambu will be ready to be served with hot rice and papads.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Sourness, spiciness and salt should balance well to get the best pulikuzhambu. Thick gravy is more tastier than the watery ones. Black pepper gives a very nice taste and aroma to this dish. Take care not to burn the coconut scrappings but it should be browned nicely. Add lots of curry leaves. When prepared with gingelly oil it has an unique taste. Happy cooking !!!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Happy weekend !!!

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Monday, 19 July 2010

Oyster mushroom fry / Sippi kaalaan varuval

When rainy season comes and when there are a few days of thunder and lightning, these beautiful delicacies grow on plantain stems. In my village, our neighborhood boys go to the plantain farms early in the morning and collect these mushrooms for us. As I have already said, naturally growing oyster mushrooms (Sippi kaalaan) are several times tastier than the store bought, commercially grown ones. Here in Germany, I get them rarely in supermarkets like Edeka or Tegut. They are a bit costly but I buy them whenever I see them because once you get hooked up in their taste its hard to give up. Select mushrooms with stems intact as the crunchy stem gives this fry a wonderful taste. Aren"t you tempted by the way this fry looks? Just try it you will love it and they are very healthy too. This simple fry I learned from my mom and I am happy to share this recipe with you all.

Ingredients :

Oyster mushrooms (Sippi kaalaan)- 250 gms
Onion- 1 no or 6 shallots (use shallots if possible for a better taste)
Green chillies- 5 nos
Curry leaves- handful
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Chilli powder- 1 tspn or any garam masala
Mustard and urid dhal- 1/2 tspn (for tempering)
Salt to taste
Oil- 3 tbspns

Method :

Wash and tear mushrooms into small pieces using your hand. Do not discard the stem. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot do the tempering using mustard and uri dhal. When the mustard seeds splutter and the urid dhal turns brown add the sliced onions, cut green chillies, curry leaves, a pinch of turmeric and enough salt. Saute well until the onions acquire a golden colour. At this stage add chilli powder  or garam masala and  oyster mushrooms. Saute them well.  Do not add water. Oyster mushrooms have enough water content. Simmer the flame and fry until they become golden and crispy. A very attractive, tasty fry will be ready in minutes. 

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Make it as simple as possible to relish the real mushroom taste. If you have chicken 65 masala you can use it for getting that unique colour, taste and flavour, you can also name it as mushroom 65 :). Happy cooking !!!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Monday, 12 July 2010

Spring onions and egg curry / Ulli aaku, kodi guddu koora

Dear friends, I am back after a long break. Thanks to everyone who remembered me during my absence :).  I learned this egg curry  from my sister-in-law. In my home my mom never used spring onions. At those times we rarely get these leaves in market. But in my in-laws place they get lots of ulli aaku  (spring onions) from their farm. They use spring onions regularly in their cooking and it tastes awesome. Egg and spring onions make a very healthy and tasty combination.

Spring onions or scallions are appreciated for their medicinal properties. They contain a compound called quercitin which is proved to halt the growth of certain tumours. They are also rich in vitamin C. Quercitin and  vitamin C provide spring onions their anti-bacterial activity. It is an excellent food for people suffering with cold and flu. They are also rich in vitamin K, A and folate.

Ingredients :

Spring onions- 1 bunch
Egg- 2 nos
Ginger- 1/2 inch piece
Garlic- 2 pods
Green chilli- 3 nos
Jeera seeds- 1/2 tspn
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tspn
Turmeric- 1/4 tspn
Mustard and jeera seeds- 1/2 tspn for tempering
Oil- 3 tbspns
Salt to taste

Method :

Mince the spring onions. Grind the ginger, garlic into a smooth paste. Coarsely grind together green chilli, jeera and turmeric powder.  Heat oil in a pan. When the oil gets heated add mustard and jeera seeds. When they splutter add the  ground ginger, garlic paste and minced spring onions. Saute them well until the raw smell of ginger, garlic paste dispappears. Now add the coarsely ground green chilli, jeera, turmeric mixture. Saute well for few minutes. At this stage add salt and red chilli powder. Saute for a few seconds. Now break the egg and pour it on top of the spring onion mixture. Simmer flame and cover the pan. After few minutes open the pan and slowly  turn the egg upside down so that the top layer gets cooked. When the egg is done switch off the stove. A very tasty side-dish for chappathi will be ready to be served.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Use fresh spring onions. Ginger, garlic paste adds a lot of flavour to this dish Take care not to burn the ingredients. Happy cooking !!!