Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Idli Podi Upma

What better way to use leftover idlis than making a classic, simple yet delicious upma with it. Almost everyone from Tamil Nadu would have tasted this upma atleast once. This used to be our evening snack during school days. The boring, white round idlis can take this magical transformation with a little seasoning.

I almost forgot the exixtence of such a simple dish until I saw this in the menu of an Indian Restaurant here. It said Madurai Special Idli Podi Upma and I ordered it thinking it is going to be something different than the regular idli upma. But it was just our same old idli upma with a hint of idli podi and a nice aroma of ghee. So I recreated it at home, and for sure it tasted better than the restaurant version.

  1. Idli -6 to 8
  2. Oil - 2 teaspoons
  3. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Urad dhal - 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Curry leaves - few
  6. Cilantro - 2 tablespoons (chopped finely)
  7. Onion - 1 sliced thin
  8. Idli Podi - 3 tablespoons(my idli podi is mild, so adjust the quantity accordingly)
  9. Ghee - 2 teaspoons.
  1. Crumble the idlis with clean hands and keep it aside.
  2. In a wide pan, add oil and when it gets hot add mustard seeds. After it splutters, add urad dhal and curry leaves.
  3. Saute till the urad dhal get a golden brown color.
  4. Now add onion and saute till it becomes translucent.
  5. Add the crumbled idlis along with idli podi.
  6. Give it a good stir so that the podi can combine with the crumbled idlis.
  7. Add chopped cilantro and ghee.
Serve it hot with your favourite side dish.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chakkarai Pongal/ Sweet Pongal

Wish you all a very happy Pongal!
Hope you all had a wonderful Pongal. As a girl from a very small town, and my dad being an agriculturalist, I should have known better about this harvest festival. But unfortunately, I did not get to celebrate pongal the traditional way before marriage. Mom always, cooked pongal in a pressure cooker. Pongal was just like any other day with an exception of having sweet pongal along with breakfast. But never the less, mom's pongal was out of the world. She makes it with milk and a lot of ghee.

Pongal is celebrated more traditionally in my in-laws place and I really like the whole arrangement. My Mother-in-law makes pongal in a traditional way, outside the house using a brick stove. So, after marriage, I started celebrating pongal more traditionally. Though I do not get to use a brick stove to make pongal, I do not use pressure cooker to make pongal.

  1. Raw Rice- 2 cups
  2. Moon Dhal - 3/4 th cup
  3. Water - 7 cups + more if needed
  4. Powdered Cradamom - 1 teaspoon
  5. Jaggery - 2 cups packed
  6. Ghee - 3 tablespoons
  7. Edible Camphor - a pinch
  8. Cashew + Dried Grapes - 1 tablespoon
  1. Wash the rice and moong dhal once and drain the water. Wash it again with 7 cups and save the water.
  2.  Heat the saved water in a cooking pot. You will start seeing a frothy portion in the top. Wait till it starts coming out of the pot. (This is when we say Pongalo pongal)
  3. Now, add the rice and moong dhal. and let it cook till they cook well.
  4. Meanwhile have additional hot water ready and add it to the rice and dhal mixture as and when needed to cook it well and mushy.
  5. Once it becomes mushy add Jaggery.
  6. Mix well, add cardamon, edible camphor and give it a good mix.
  7. Pongal, at this point will look a little watery. But will thicken up once cooled down.
  8. Garnish with ghee roasted cashews and raisins.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Carrot Ginger Juice

I am sorry, I am a little too late. But wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year. Things have been rather hectic here. I have been missing in this space for a couple of weeks now. I might have many reasons for not posting any recipe. But the underlying reason is pretty simple. I just wanted a break from my routine. No fancy cooking in the kitchen. Took things easy and spent a good chunk of time with family during the holiday season. So today's recipe is a very simple fresh juice to start your day.
Bright carrots, juicy lemon and fresh ginger. Does it get any better than that. There is no better way to kick start your day than having a fresh vegetable juice with a touch of fruit and a tinge of ginger spice. This juice is an excellent source of Vitamin A and Beta Carotene. Ginger in the juice helps in digestion and lemon acts as a blood purifier. You can also add an apple while juicing and you get a boost of Vitamin A when you do so.
  1. Carrots - 3 medium sized
  2. Lemon - 1/2
  3. Ginger - 1 inch
  4. Honey - as needed
  1. Wash and cube the carrots. If you are not using organic carrots, scrap the skin of the carrots and cut it into cubes.
  2. Clean the ginger and pass the carrots and ginger through juicer. If you do not have a juicer, grind it using a mixie/ blender and sieve it.
  3. To the juice, add juice of half a lemon and desired amount of honey. 
Serve immediately with crushed ice on top.