Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Pesarattu – Spiced Mung Dal Dosa(Crêpes)


2010
08.25

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These specialty crêpes of the Andhra Cuisine can be made of either yellow mung dal or from whole green gram.If you use the former you get a golden yellow crêpe and if you use the latter you’ll have yourself a green crêpe. Both taste great. Personally I prefer using the yellow dal vs the green, purely for aesthetics. Hey, after all your eyes do most of the eating don’t they?

Unlike the traditional dosas these are relatively faster to make for the obvious fact that they don’t have to go through the long hours of fermentation. And since they are not sour, in my opinion you need to complement them with sour chutneys like the tomato, gongura or tamarind to excite you palates.

Ingredients

2 cups mung dal soaked in water for about 4 –5 hours, if you are using whole green gram, soak overnight 
1 tsp roasted cumin
1/2 tsp chopped ginger 
6 sprigs of cilantro 
1/2 cup raw rice soak along with dal
3 green chilies
1 big pinch of asafoetida
1 medium sized onion chopped
salt to taste

Directions

  • Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Add more water if the batter is too thick. It should have the consistency of ordinary dosa batter. 
  • Heat a skillet at low flame and smear it with 1/2 a tsp of sesame oil or ghee (I use an onion cut horizontally into half, to smear oil on the skillet. This tends to give a nice aroma to the dosas).
  • Pour batter on to the center of the hot skillet, and gently spread towards the outside in concentric circular movement using the base of the ladle to form a circular thin crêpe.
  •  Increase the flame to high.
  • When you start noticing a golden brown color on the sides and the top surface has the lost the wet look, Turn the dosa over.
  • Allow to roast for half a minute or so on this side.
  • Fold and take of the flame.
  • Reduce the flame and repeat the process to make the next dosa
  • Serve hot with sambar or tomato chutney.
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    Pottukadalai (Roasted gram) Chutney


    2010
    08.25

    The nice part about a chutney recipe is that no ingredient or their amounts are set in stone. You can mix match and omit. And each time you would have created a novelty. Just go with what your taste buds desire. If you like cilantro, throw in some of it. If you don’t do mint, omit it. If you think coconut is unhealthy, replace it with peanuts. If you want a raw bite, use roasted gram.  If you are into ginger-garlic, a dash of it will do the trick. If you want a tang there is curd, tamarind or lemon. If you are looking for a spicy tone,  green or red chilies should work. And most important of all, if you can’t hold back your imagination, let it flow!   

    I’ve got myself a lean mean wet grinding machine earlier this month and there has been plenty of idlis, dosas and adais happening at home. So don’t be taken aback by the sudden surge of chutney recipes on this blog. Trust me it doesn’t take long before I’m bored. You might have to put up with it for only a few days or maybe if your planets are not playing it right, the days might slightly stretch to a couple of weeks ;). In any case chutneys are fun and I’ll make certain it is worth your while. 

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    Ingredients

    For Grinding 
    3 fresh green chilies ( base it on your spice tolerance) 
    1 big clove of garlic
    5 –6  tbsp of chopped cilantro
    1 cup pottukadalai/ roasted chickpeas/ split dalia/ kadale pappu 
    salt to taste
    1 cup sour curd
    1/4 tsp tamarind paste

    For Seasoning
    2 dried red chili torn into 1 inch pieces
    2 tsp of cold pressed sesame oil
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1 sprig of curry leaves

    Directions

  • Blend all the ingredients for grinding into a slightly smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add all the ingredients for seasoning.
  • When the mustard pops, turn off the flame and pour into the ground mixture.
  • Mix the seasoning well into the chutney and serve with idlis, dosas or other crêpes
  • Chenda Kappa and Mulagu Chammanthi/ Boiled Tapioca with Green Chili Chutney – Kerala Style


    2010
    07.28

    IMG_7666

    Whoever said life’s finer pleasures are in simple things couldn’t be more right. And when the adage is applied to food I would bold, underline and increase it to the biggest font possible. There are foods that I could eat anytime of the day and everyday if it were allowed.  And this, is one of them. The green chili chutney is what does it for me. As a child my mother served this chutney with all forms of boiled or steamed roots and tubers like sweet potatoes, yams, tapioca etc. And that was when I think I inherited my love for the sweet tangy and spicy combos.

    Note: You cannot replace shallots with onions in this recipe as it takes the taste to a whole different direction.

    Green chili Chutney

    Ingredients

    10 shallots roughly chopped
    10 hot green chilies roughly chopped
    1/4 tsp of tamarind paste
    1 tbsp coconut oil
    salt to taste
    1  curry leaf

    Directions

  • Grind shallots, green chilies, tamarind and curry leaf to a coarse mixture with a chunky texture.
  • Drizzle with coconut oil and mix well.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Serve with hot kappa or yams.

    Cooking Instructions for Tapioca

    Depending on the quality of the tapioca the cooking time varies. So it is safer to cook this in an open pan with salted boiling water rather than a pressure cooker. This allows you to check on it with a fork in regular intervals. Cooked tapioca should be soft and tender right through.

  • Chenda Kappa and Mulagu Chammanthi/ Boiled Tapioca with Green Chili Chutney – Kerala Style


    2010
    07.28

    IMG_7666

    Whoever said life’s finer pleasures are in simple things couldn’t be more right. And when the adage is applied to food I would bold, underline and increase it to the biggest font possible. There are foods that I could eat anytime of the day and everyday if it were allowed.  And this, is one of them. The green chili chutney is what does it for me. As a child my mother served this chutney with all forms of boiled or steamed roots and tubers like sweet potatoes, yams, tapioca etc. And that was when I think I inherited my love for the sweet tangy and spicy combos.

    Note: You cannot replace shallots with onions in this recipe as it takes the taste to a whole different direction.

    Green chili Chutney

    Ingredients

    10 shallots roughly chopped
    10 hot green chilies roughly chopped
    1/4 tsp of tamarind paste
    1 tbsp coconut oil
    salt to taste
    1  curry leaf

    Directions

  • Grind shallots, green chilies, tamarind and curry leaf to a coarse mixture with a chunky texture.
  • Drizzle with coconut oil and mix well.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Serve with hot kappa or yams.

    Cooking Instructions for Tapioca

    Depending on the quality of the tapioca the cooking time varies. So it is safer to cook this in an open pan with salted boiling water rather than a pressure cooker. This allows you to check on it with a fork in regular intervals. Cooked tapioca should be soft and tender right through.

  • Puttu and Kadala Curry (Black Channa Masala)


    2010
    06.14

    Puttu and Kadala or Puttu with banana and sugar is one of the most popular Kerala breakfasts. I hated it as a child. I found it insipid, dry and boring then and wondered how my folks ate it with such relish every other day. Today, the subtle aroma of Puttu steaming in the wee hours at my sister Sophie’s place gets me so hungry that I doubt if the soul that lives in me now, is the same one that dwelt in me as a child. If it is, I have no idea what brought about this 180 degree change.

    Though traditionally it is made with rice flour, my health freak sister, Sony, makes it with Millet (raagi) and sometimes Rava(semolina) too. And I must say it tastes great as well. If you don’t have the customary device called Puttu Kudam to make this, don’t fret.  You can use any possible steaming device, like even an idli pan to make it. No biggie. At Sophie’s, her help, Thangamma, smoothened out a coconut shell, drilled a hole into one of the three indentations or eyes (as they are called) and voila  – they had a puttu making device. They simply fill up each chiratta or coconut shell with the puttu mixture, place the hole on the shell onto a steaming nozzle of a pressure cooker, cover it with a plate and a mound of chiratta puttu is done in less than 5 minutes. I found this idea to be really neat and got Thagamma to  ready a few shells for me to carry back home. How much of Puttu I’m going to make, I don’t know. But I sure like to have all the right devices around ;)!

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    Chiratta Puttu

    Ingredients

    2 cups rice flour
    1 cup fresh grated coconut
    1/3 –1/2 cup hot water
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Add salt and 1/2 the amount of coconut  into the flour and mix well. 
  • Sprinkle water little by little to the rice flour and mix it. The flour should be just wet enough for steaming,  it should remain as a coarse mixture and not come together like dough.
  •   Loosely fill rice and and remaining coconut in layers into the puttu making coconut shell or the puttu kutti.
  • Steam on top of a cooker nozzel if using coconut shell, closing it with a lid on top or in a puttu kudam or in a idli maker for 4-5 minutes.
  • Serve hot with kadala curry or with bananas and sugar.
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    Kadala Curry or Black Channa Masala

    Ingredients for Kadala Curry

    1 cup Black Channa (black chickpea) – 1 cup
    1 cup finely sliced shallots
    1 cup fresh grated coconut
    2 tsp coriander powder
    1 tsp red chili powder
    ½ tsp turmeric powder – ½ tsp
    ½ tsp kerala garam masala
    ¼ cup coconut kothu (diced)
    ½ cup chopped tomatoes
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    salt to taste
    2 tsp coconut oil
    ½ tsp mustard seeds
    2- 3 green chilies
    1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

    Directions

  • Soak the channa in the water over night.
  • Cook the black channa well and keep it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of oil in a pan. Add the grated coconut and sauté until it turns brown.
  • Add coriander, turmeric, chili powder and garam masala.
  • Stir all the ingredients in until it becomes brown. Make a paste of this and keep it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of oil in the same pan. Add mustard and when it pops add curry leaves, green chilies and the diced coconut and sauté for 30 secs.
  • Add shallots sauté until translucent, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
  • Add tomatoes and sauté until it forms a mush.
  • Add the cooked channa, pour sufficient water and mix well.
  • Add the coconut paste and bring to boil.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
  • Carrot Sandwiches – Bangalore Style


    2010
    05.20

     

    IMG_3049

    Anyone growing up in Bangalore in the 80s  would have eaten or seen these sandwiches in any of the Iyengar bakeries found in every nook of the city.  Though I love most of the stuff from these bakeries, the sandwiches were probably the only healthy food you could find in these places then. My sister Sophie, takes it up a notch by using whole wheat bread and adding a few other vegetables. And I must say, I love these more than the authentic ones.

    Ingredients

    whole wheat or white bread
    2 tsp refined oil 1/4 tsp black mustard seeds 
    1 cup finely chopped onions
    1 finely chopped tomato 
    2 cups grated  carrots
    1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper(optional)
    1/4 cup finely chopped broccoli (optional) 
    1 tbsp chopped green chili
    1/4 tsp 3Cs spice mix
    1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 
    a pinch of turmeric powder
    1 tsp chopped mint
    1 tsp finely chopped curry leaves
    2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
    2 tsp (or to taste) sugar

    butter for toasting the bread
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add green chilies, curry leaves, onions and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, spice mix, mint and sauté until the tomatoes turn soft.
  • Add the carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, cilantro and sauté for a few minutes until the veggies turn tender, take care not to over cook them.   
  • Add sugar, mix well and and turn off the stove.
  • Apply a little butter on slice of bread, spread some carrot filling and top it off with another slice of bread.
  • Toast it in a sandwich maker or toast for minute on both sides in a pan while pressing down the sandwich using a spatula.
  • Serve for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Carrot Sandwiches – Bangalore Style


    2010
    05.20

     

    IMG_3049

    Anyone growing up in Bangalore in the 80s  would have eaten or seen these sandwiches in any of the Iyengar bakeries found in every nook of the city.  Though I love most of the stuff from these bakeries, the sandwiches were probably the only healthy food you could find in these places then. My sister Sophie, takes it up a notch by using whole wheat bread and adding a few other vegetables. And I must say, I love these more than the authentic ones.

    Ingredients

    whole wheat or white bread
    2 tsp refined oil 1/4 tsp black mustard seeds 
    1 cup finely chopped onions
    1 finely chopped tomato 
    2 cups grated  carrots
    1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper(optional)
    1/4 cup finely chopped broccoli (optional) 
    1 tbsp chopped green chili
    1/4 tsp 3Cs spice mix
    1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 
    a pinch of turmeric powder
    1 tsp chopped mint
    1 tsp finely chopped curry leaves
    2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
    2 tsp (or to taste) sugar

    butter for toasting the bread
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add green chilies, curry leaves, onions and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, spice mix, mint and sauté until the tomatoes turn soft.
  • Add the carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, cilantro and sauté for a few minutes until the veggies turn tender, take care not to over cook them.   
  • Add sugar, mix well and and turn off the stove.
  • Apply a little butter on slice of bread, spread some carrot filling and top it off with another slice of bread.
  • Toast it in a sandwich maker or toast for minute on both sides in a pan while pressing down the sandwich using a spatula.
  • Serve for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Red Coconut Chutney – Kerala Style


    2010
    05.18

    One of the most commonly made chutney or chammanthi, as they are popularly called in Kerala, is the Red Coconut Chutney. Served often with idlis and set dosas, this is super simple to make and lip-smacking in taste.

    IMG_2918

    Ingredients
    1 cup grated fresh coconut
    6-7 shallots finely sliced
    1 tsp red chili powder
    salt to taste
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    3 dried red chilies torn into 2 pieces each
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    2-3 tsp of coconut oil or refined vegetable oil

    Directions

  • Grind together coconut, red chili powder, 1 tbsp of shallots and salt along with 1 cup of water. Add more water after grinding to get desired consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chilies
  • When the mustard pops add the remaining shallots and sauté until they are caramelized and crisp
  • Add broken red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a second.
  • Pour the seasoning over the ground mixture and mix well. Adjust the salt.
  • Serve with dosas or idlis.
     
  • Red Coconut Chutney – Kerala Style


    2010
    05.18

    One of the most commonly made chutney or chammanthi, as they are popularly called in Kerala, is the Red Coconut Chutney. Served often with idlis and set dosas, this is super simple to make and lip-smacking in taste.

    IMG_2918

    Ingredients
    1 cup grated fresh coconut
    6-7 shallots finely sliced
    1 tsp red chili powder
    salt to taste
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    3 dried red chilies torn into 2 pieces each
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    2-3 tsp of coconut oil or refined vegetable oil

    Directions

  • Grind together coconut, red chili powder, 1 tbsp of shallots and salt along with 1 cup of water. Add more water after grinding to get desired consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chilies
  • When the mustard pops add the remaining shallots and sauté until they are caramelized and crisp
  • Add broken red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a second.
  • Pour the seasoning over the ground mixture and mix well. Adjust the salt.
  • Serve with dosas or idlis.
     
  • A Birdie’s Nest


    2010
    04.26

    Idiyappams or little pockets of steamed rice noodles that Nish often refers to as birdie’s nest, is one of Roy’s favorites :D. Yes, I can’t suppress a grin (smirk?) when I refer to the favorites of a person, who eats almost everything and anything with the same gusto like he were eating the best meal of his life! Here’s what I mean- Idlis and Dosas he hates. But, can/will eat about 8-10 of them. Idiyappams and Paalappams he loves and can/will eat about 10 – 12 of them. So, would you call me a nag if I said to him, Kanna do you really think you need to go for that 12th appam?  My sister Sonia, thinks so. According to her, even though there is the term of endearment ‘Kanna‘ in the sentence, my voice modulation and pitch decibel makes it sound more like – you jerk, you really think you can afford another of those onto to your ever growing waistline?

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    OMG you are going to drive him crazy just like Mummy did Papa., OMG leave the poor guy alone., OMG I wonder how he still continues to live with you., OMG you’ve really lost it., ….*eyes rolling*, is all  I’ve heard, ever since I unloaded my bags in Bangalore, 3 weeks back having just arrived from SFO. Any accusations I can bear. But telling a girl that she is turning into her mother is gut wrenching and the worst kind of name-calling in my opinion. I know my sister means well and however convoluted and twisted like Idiyappams, her logic might sound, I’ve decided to try and not become my mother.

    So, as I served Roy, this morning, his nth idiyappam that Mini chechi, my sister-in-law, made for breakfast, and as usual,  when Roy pretended to refuse, in the typical Indian style with his hand on his tummy indicating he was full, but his plate evidently thrust forward to be served more, I sweetly chimed, Go ahead Kanna it is not everyday that you get to eat Mini chehi’s Idiyappams, I’m sure you could find a tinsy bit more space for just another one. Now, how is that for NICE, Sony???

    Idiyappam/Steamed Rice Noodles

    IMG_7056I like these best when served with lamb/chicken stew or boiled eggs in coconut gravy. But if you are a thorough vegetarian and don’t do even eggs, then, the best alternative would be to eat these with some Kerala style Kadala Curry… [read more]

     

     

     

     

     

     Motta Curry / Eggs in Coconut Gravy

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    This easy to make dish is a variation of my kerala chicken curry. I’ve simply replaced chicken with eggs here… [read more]