Friday, 2 December 2016

Ragi Kanji for infants | Ragi Porridge | Muthari Kurukku | Fingermillet Porridge


It's been a long time since I'm thinking to post the recipes of food that I feed DD. Being a first time mom, I was at a very great dilemma of what to feed and what not to feed, advises pouring in from all sides. I'm sure many of you would have been or are now or are going to be in that situation :) As they say in an ad, there is no right way or wrong way ofparenting, there is only your way. You are the best person to decide what is best for your child :) But having said all that, it's always best to consult your child's pediatrician to guide you for do's and don'ts.

I wanted to start the baby food recipe series with DD's first food. Yes, this was what he had first. Ragi kanji or ragi paal koozh. It is also called as kooravu or muthari in Malayalam. I started this after he turned 5 months old. He liked it and was very enthusiastic to have it then. Now he gets bored at times. After a week of having this for his morning brunch he would need a break of another week ;) Some say that ragi can cause cold and is not suitable to be had in the evening or night. I give DD kooravu only during daytime and that too before 11 am and I avoid it when he has cold. Again it is a personal choice :)

This way of making ragi kanji by extracting milk was taught to me by my mom. My mil also does in the same way but she has another method too. She extracts the milk out of ragi in bulk (say around 500g to 1 kg). Then she dries them in sun for 2-3 days and then makes powder which can be used to make instant ragi kanji. Then you need not soak the ragi overnight. The process is tedious but it will save you if you forget to soak ragi overnight and making porridge daily out of that powder is also a breeze. No grinding and no soaking ! Maybe some other time I shall post that way too !


Recipe Source: Ma


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


I Used:


Ragi/Muthari/Finger millet - 2 tbsp
Water - As Needed
Salt - As Needed
Ghee - As Needed


The Way:


1. Rinse ragi in water for 3-4 times. Then soak it in water overnight. In the morning before using, again rinse for 2-3 times in water.


2. Take the soaked and rinsed ragi in a mixer. Add some water and grind it. I add quarter cup of water. 

3. Transfer the ground ragi into a sieve and extract the milk using a spoon. You can use a muslin cloth as well. Both would work. 




4. Add little more water to the ground ragi and grind again. Extract the milk again.


5. If the milk is too thick add little more water. I add around half to three-fourth cup of water as DD likes it to be a little thick than very watery. So adjust water according to your needs. 

6. If you are using salt then add at this point. If you like to make it sweet, then add when the porridge starts to get thick.

7. Mix well and on the flame.

8. Keep stirring with a spoon, else they will form lumps as shown in the second pic below. Keep cooking in a low flame.

9. It will start getting thick. If you want to add sweetener (like jaggery syrup or palm sugar candy) add when it becomes slightly thick. You can add ghee also if you prefer. 

10. Once it becomes thick and starts to leave the sides of the pan, it is done. Switch off the flame.

Allow to cool for a few minutes. And feed warm. 

As the porridge sits, it thickens. So adjust water and cooling time according to your baby's preferences :)

Cheers,
Chitz

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Kerala Style Vendakka Gravy | Vendakka Mappas | Vendakka Thengapaal Curry

Okra in Coconut Milk - the best gravy for Kerala Appam


I like to experiment with new veg gravies for my lunch. I make them, eat them and then ask Deeps to taste them when he is back home for the day. If he likes them, then the dish features in our regular menu. If he doesn't like it and it's only me who has fallen for the recipe, then it is made for my lunch at times. This is one such dish which I found while googling, from a dear blogger buddy Julie at 'Erivum Puliyum'. And the best part is I finished the whole gravy at lunch itself not leaving anything for Deeps to taste even ;) 

I love coconut milk in my gravies. They have a mild taste yet feels so rich and tasty and they are very light on the tummy as well. It is much easier to prepare also, if you are using coconut milk powder. The curry will be ready in a jiffy. But if you are extracting milk from freshly grated coconut, then it is a slightly different story. It may take an extra 15 minutes. But I always vouch for homemade dishes from scratch. There is an un-doubting taste and freshness and authenticity in those dishes that can never be replaced with short cuts. 

And although I had this gravy with rice, with every mouth that I took, I had that inner voice telling me at the back of my head that this is going to taste just awesome with Appam, as this curry tastes like a cousin of our regular Vegetable Stew. I have that in mind, sometime soon I am going to try that combo :) If you are looking for some easy fast recipes for lunch at home or for your lunch dabba to office, do try this out. I am sure you will not regret :)




Recipe Source: Adapted from here


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


Serves : 2-3 persons


I Used:


Vendakka/Ladies Finger - 10 nos
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon - An inch piece
Cloves - 2 nos
Green Chilly - 2 nos - slited
Ginger - 1 tsp - chopped
Onion - 1 no - medium sized - sliced
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - A sprig
Coconut Milk - Thick - 1 cup
Coconut Milk - Thin - 1.5 cups
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

To Temper:

Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - ¼ tsp
Shallots - 4-5 nos - sliced
Curry Leaves - A sprig


The Way:


1. Rinse and clean the ladies finger in water. Chop off the edges and cut them into 2 inch length pieces or bite sized pieces as per your preference.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the cut ladies finger pieces and saute them for about 3-4 minutes till the stickiness of the ladies finger goes away.Once done transfer to another plate/bowl and keep them aside.

3. If preparing coconut milk from fresh coconut, grind coconut with water (as required) and extract the thick and thin coconut milk and keep aside. If using instant coconut milk powder, add the powder in warm water (as mentioned in the packet), prepare the thin and thick milk and keep aside.















4. Heat oil in a pan/kadai. Add the whole spices - cinnamon and cloves. Keep the flame in low or medium. After about a minute add the chopped ginger and green chillies. Saute for about half a minute.

















5. Add the sliced onions and saute till it turns translucent. No need to make it brown.

6. Now add curry leaves, salt, turmeric powder and red chilly powder and saute well for about 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes off.

7. Now add the sauteed ladies finger and give a nice stir.
















8. Add the thin coconut milk and give a stir. Cover and cook till the ladies finger is cooked. This may take abut 6-7 minutes.

9. Now add the lemon juice (is optional) and adjust salt if needed.

10. Once the ladies finger is cooked, add in the thick coconut milk. Give a quick and nice stir. Switch off flame.

















11. In another pan (tadka pan) heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Add in the chopped shallots and curry leaves. Saute till the shallots turn light brown in colour. Take care not to burn them. Add the tempering to the gravy and give a nice stir.
















Serve hot with Appam / Idiyappam / Steamed Rice & Fish Fry :)

Cheers,
Chitz

Monday, 21 November 2016

Chembu Kumbalanga Moru Curry | Kerala Style Chembu Kumbalanga Moru Kootan | Kerala Style Chembu Kumbalanga Pulissery

Taro & Ash Gourd in a coconut based yogurt gravy



In my last post, I talked so much about keeping up on your resolutions and chasing dreams and pursuing passions and what not (Though I didn't talk that much, that was what I had in mind while I was writing that post) And the foremost on them was to be a regular here and I had all things necessary for that too.. Like draft posts, step-by-step pics of recipes, edited photos... But, but, but.. My laptop went into a hibernation mode and would not connect to the internet.. All my other devices would but not my laptop :( Something or the other to deter you, right?? Sigh !! So you are asking me how it is working now? I don't know, seriously I don't :) As I mentioned before, it went on hibernation on it's own and when it felt the time was right, it again was up and running :D Maybe it's way of detox week ;)

And so what am I back with? It is a very regular kootan that is made at Deeps' place. Kootan is nothing but a gravy based dish that is had along with rice. Some call it curry, some gravy, some kuzhambu, some pulusu, some charu and so on. You must have got me now, right? So all gravy based recipes are called as Kootan at Deeps' place. And generally they have a kootan, kuthari choru (rice), upperi (dry sabzi or stirfry), meen varuthathu (fish fry), pappadam and kondattam molagu (deep fried sun-dried green chillies) for lunch. This is mostly a normal everyday menu there :) 

And this yogurt based moru kootan is made mostly twice a week and is a family favorite too.. We usually play with different combo of veggies here. Here today I have made with Chembu (Colocassia) & Kumbalanga (Ash Gourd). You can also use Vellarikka (Cucumber), Kaya (Raw Plantain), Chena (Elephant Yam), Manga (Mango) etc to make this. This can be made with a single veggie alone or a combo of two as well. Usually we do not use chembu alone as it is of sticky nature and can make the gravy very dense or thick. Hence usually when using chembu pair it up with kumbalanga or vellarikka. So do try out this easy recipe (Only the prep part takes lil time, I assure ;)) which will taste awesome with rice and a chicken varatiyathu (or any non veg dry side dish) and let me know how you liked it !






Recipe Source: Amma


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


Serves : 3-4 persons


I Used:


Chembu/Taro/Colocassia/Arbi - 4-5 nos
Kumbalanga/Ash Gourd/White Gourd/Winter Melon - 200 gm piece (1 cup after cutting to pieces)
Red Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt - As Needed
Curd - 1.5 cups

To Grind:
Coconut - ½ cup
Green Chilly - 2-3 nos
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp

To Temper:
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard - ½ tsp
Fenugreek/Uluva - ½ tsp
Red Chilly - 2 nos
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs

The Way:


1. Soak the chembu/colocassia in water for 10-15 minutes. After that peel the skin off using a scraper/knife. Cut them into small bite sized pieces.

2. Clean the kumbalanga/ash gourd by peeling/cutting off the skin and then discarding the middle portion (with seeds) as well. Then cut them also into bite sized pieces. 

















3. Grind together the items under 'To Grind' by adding a little (about 2 -3 tbsp) water and keep aside.


4. Then whisk the curd nicely using a whisk so that it becomes loose and no lumps are present. Alternately, you can take the curd in a mixer and give a quick pulse also.


5. Now in a pressure cooker, add the chembu/colocassia pieces along with salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and water (around 1 - 1.5 cups) and cook them for 2 whistles in medium flame or till they are half - cooked.

















6. Once they are cooked, add the ash gourd/kumbalanga pieces and cook till done. This may take about another 2-3 whistles in medium flame.


7. Now heat oil in a kadai. Splutter the mustard seeds and fenugreek. Then add red chilly and curry leaves and saute for a minute.

















8. Add the ground coconut paste and stir well for about 3-4 minutes till the raw smell goes off and moisture starts leaving the pan.


9. Add the boiled chembu-kumbalanga pieces along with the water and give a nice stir.

















10. Now switch off the stove. Immediately add the whisked/beaten curd and give a nice stir. Take care that the curd does not curdle. You may have to remove it from stove after stirring for this. Serve with rice, upperi or a non-veg dry side dish of your choice :)

















Cheers,

Chitz

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Udaitha Muttai Gravy | Udacha Mutta Curry | Egg Drop Gravy | South Indian Style Poached Egg Gravy


Does the name of this dish intrigue you? Or is this your family favorite, a quick fix recipe at your place? Many might not know or would not have heard of this recipe. At least, Deeps does not know. It was a surprise for him that eggs can be cooked this way. Actually it was a surprise for me too, that Deeps did not know this way of preparing eggs as he is an avid egg eater :D So all egg lovers and eggetarians' out there, here is an easy quick recipe with eggs for you. Instead of adding boiled eggs to the gravy, we break and drop the eggs as such into the gravy and allow them to cook in the gravy and thereby slowly infusing the heat, salt and tart from the gravy into the eggs :) Sounds nice??

My mom used to make this dish regularly at our home before. Actually this was one of the dishes that she learnt to cook during her initial days after marriage. She learnt this recipe from one of my dad's buddy as this was one of my dad's favorite way of having eggs back then :) So you can call this a bachelor special recipe as well as it is easy to make and tastes great and is a non-veg dish as well. So let's see step by step how this is made..


Recipe Source: Ma


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


Serves : 2 persons


I Used:


Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Egg - 2 nos
Mustard - ½ tsp
Onion - 1 medium sized - chopped
Tomato - 2 medium sized - chopped
Green Chilly - 1 no - slited
Tamarind - A small goosberry sized
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - ½ tsp
Salt - As needed
Curry leaves - To garnish
Coriander leaves - To garnish



The Way:


1. Soak tamarind in ¼ cup of water (preferably warm) for 10-15 minutes. Then extract the pulp and keep aside.

2. Heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds.















3, Add onion, green chilly and salt. Saute well. The onion should turn slightly brown in colour.

4. Now add all the masala powders - turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Saute well for 2-3 minutes till the masala blends nicely with the onion and the raw smell goes off.

5. Now add the tomatoes and saute. 















6. The tomatoes should become soft and mushy. Saute occasionally till then. Take care that they do not stick to the bottom of the pan or get burnt.

7. Now when the tomatoes have mashed down well, add the extracted tamarind juice.

8. Also add sufficient quantity of water. You can add water suitable for your gravy needs. I added 1.5 cups of water.















9. Allow the water to come to a boil. Check the salt at this point and add if required.

10. Now break the eggs and drop them gently into the gravy.

11. If you like, you can gently break the yolk as shown in the pic below so that they cook well and also faster.















12. Allow the eggs to cook well. You can close the pan and also cook. This may take about 3-4 minutes. 

13. Once the eggs are cooked, garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves and serve hot with phulkas/rice.















Notes:

  • Instead of chopped tomatoes, you can add tomato puree as well. Just grind two tomatoes in mixie and add them instead of the chopped ones
  • You can add ginger-garlic paste if you like, Without them also, the gravy tastes awesome :)
  • Add little tamarind only as specified in the ingredients list. Else both the tomatoes and tamarind can contribute and make the gravy extra sour
  • You can use tamarind paste also instead of extracting juice from fresh tamarind. Use ½ tsp then

Cheers,
Chitz

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Cauliflower Poriyal | South Indian style Gobi ki sabzi | Gobi ki Sabji

Cauliflower cooked in onions, tomatoes and Indian spices


Hi folks, so November is here and even before you realise it is going to be the next new year soon ;) So today I woke up to a message from a dear friend in one of my Whatsapp group, that you still have two more months to achieve those resolutions that you promised yourselves ten months back :) So keep pushing yourselves or for those lazy bums like me, start doing them soon :) :) I do not want to preach here ;) but just sharing what I have experienced personally or learned over the years is that 'Keep trying, be sincere in what you do, coz the results are just around the corner and you will surely be rewarded, sometimes in forms that you do not even anticipate or expect'.

So enough of my midnight musings, let's see what I have for you today. It's an easy cauliflower sabzi that tastes good with sambar rice, curd rice, rasam sadam and even your phulkas.. This is another veggie that Deeps is not fond of, but if I make this sabzi he eats atleast 2 spoons. Something is better than nothing right ;) The right blend of that red chilly powder and ginger-garlic paste along with that tartness from the tomatoes makes the otherwise boring cauli to a delectable dish. Try this and I'm sure it will not disappoint you :)



Recipe Source: Ma


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Serves : 2-3 persons


I Used:


Cauliflower - 200 gm - a small sized 
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt - As needed

Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Onion - 1 medium sized - chopped
Tomato - 1 medium sized - chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 nos
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Salt - As needed
Curry leaves - To garnish
Coriander leaves - To garnish


The Way:


1. Clean the cauliflower by removing the stalks and leaves. Separate the florets and cut them if required to bite sized pieces. If there are black discolorations on top of the florets scrape them off with the tip of the knife. Rinse the cleaned florets once or twice in water.

2. Heat water with salt and turmeric powder. When it starts to boil, add the cleaned florets to it and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes. 

3. Then drain the florets and keep them aside.  















4. Heat oil in a kadai/pan. Splutter mustard. Then add onions and salt and saute well. They should start to turn slight brown in colour

5. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 3-4 minutes till the raw smell goes off.



















6. Now add in the powders - red chilly powder, coriander powder & turmeric powder. Saute well for 2-3 minutes. It should blend nicely and evenly with the onions.

7. Add in the chopped tomatoes and saute well. The tomatoes should turn mushy.















8. Once they become mushy add in the par-boiled cauliflower and mix well.















9. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp water and cover and cook them till the cauliflower is done

10. Garnish with curry leaves and serve with phulkas/steamed rice















Notes:


  • If you wish, instead of par-boiling you can cook the cauliflower initially itself. Totally your convenience :)
  • For garnish, you can use coriander leaves as well

Cheers,
Chitz