Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Instant Gooseberry Pickle | Instant Nellikai Pickle | Amla Pickle | Easy Nellikka Achar


Is Amla something that you would like to eat raw? I don't.. I like it when brined or made into a pickle or maybe a chutney or something.. I think it's coz of it's bitter taste and many would agree with me on that.. But it's a very healthy berry loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants and many other minerals and vitamins. I don't have to elaborate that it's widely used in Ayurvedic medicines and treatments.. They are also low in calories and fat and cholesterol free. 

I have heard that it doesn't lose it's medicinal properties much even after cooked or pickled.. Not sure if it's true.. But believe me when I say that this recipe is one of the best and can make any gooseberry hate eat some ;) There is jaggery added to balance the bitterness and that gives a lift to this pickle :) We love this pickle and make it whenever I find some gooseberries :) So let's see how to make this lip-smacking pickle!



 

Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cooking Time : 30 minutes


Recipe source : Ma


Makes : A 300 gm bottle 


I Used:


Gooseberry/Nellikka - 8 nos (1 cup after de-seeding)
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt - As Needed
Gingelly Oil - ¼ - ½ cup
Asafoetida - 2 tsp
Red Chilly Powder - 1 tbsp
Jaggery - ½ cup
Lemon jucie/Vinegar - Juice of ½ a big lemon/ 3 tbsp vinegar
Mustard  - 2 tsp
Fenugreek - 2 tsp
Mustard-Fenugreek powder - ½ tbsp


The Way:


1. In a pan dry roast the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds for 4-5 minutes on low flame. Take care not to burn them. It starts giving a nice aroma and also the mustard will start spluttering. Then off the flame. Allow it to cool and powder them in a clean and dry mixer jar. You can grind this powder in bulk and use it for all of your pickles

2. Boil the gooseberries with salt and turmeric powder for 10-12 minutes or until cooked. Alternately you can pressure cook for 1 whistle

3. Once cooked, remove the seeds. The gooseberry will have natural cut marks on it. Gently use a knife to remove one wedge and then the remaining wedges can be removed gently using hands. Then remove the seeds and keep aside. If you want to make even smaller pieces, then go ahead and chop them


4. Now take a pan and heat the gingelly oil (nallennai). Now reduce the flame. Then add asaoetida, don't go stingy here :) Add it liberally


5. Then add red chilly powder and saute for a minute. Then add the boiled gooseberries

6. Now add the jaggery. I have used powdered organic jaggery. So added it directly. If using normal big roundels of jaggery, then scrape and take the required amount of jaggery in a pan. Add 2 tbsp water and heat it so that it dissolves completely. Allow it to cool and then filter off the impurities. Do not add more water as it can spoil the pickle. Now add the filtered jaggery syrup to the gooseberries


7. Give a nice mix and then bring it to a boil. Now switch off the flame and add the mustard-fenugreek powder and give a gentle nice stir

8. Then add lemon juice or vinegar. Not both, either one and mix gently

9. Store the pickle in a clean, dry, glass container. You should be able to see oil floating on the top of the container else chances of the pickle getting spoilt are very high. Leave in a clean place for a day or two for the flavours to soak in and then refrigerate it


Notes:

  • If you do not like gooseberry bites in your pickle or want to mask it all together, after cooking the berries, mash them into a smooth paste 
  • Add either lemon juice or vinegar. Don't add both. I would suggest to go for lemon juice
  • Store in a clean and dry glass container for longer shelf life
  • Refrigerate if possible after a day of making the pickle for longer life
  • Always use a clean dry spoon to take the pickle from the bottle
  • Allow a layer of oil on top of the container for longer life and it prevents from mold formation on top of the pickle

Cheers,
Chitz

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Koorka Thoran | Kerala Style Kurka Thoran | Chinese Potato Stir Fry


Many of you might not know this veggie or tuber vegetable 'Koorka'. This is a well know veggie in Kerala and is a winter vegetable. You find it mostly during the months of November, December. The best translation that Google could find me was 'Chinese potatoes'.. Don't ask me why or how, I just don't know :D All I know is that it's a very tasty veggie and is a family favourite and slightly difficult to clean ;) But don't lose heart. It's worth the effort as it tastes really yum :) 

It looks very similar to Arbi (taro root) but not slimy like it.. Since it's small and has different small twists and turns like ginger and hence cleaning or scraping it's skin is a little tedious. You can make a thoran (stir fry with coconut) or a upperi/mezhukkupuratti (stir fry without coconut). Both tastes awesome but we are slightly partial to thoran.. I will post both recipes here.. And today I'm posting the thoran, as you guessed it right :D


Preparation Time : 25 minutes

Cooking Time : 25 minutes


Recipe source : Ma


Serves : 4 persons



I Used:


Koorka - 250 gm (around 2 cups after slicing)
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp
Mustard  - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprig
Grated Coconut - ¼ cup
Shallots/Small Onions - 10 nos
Red Chilly - 2 nos
Garlic - 5 nos 


The Way:


1. Soak the koorka/chinese potato in water for half an hour to one hour. Then scrape the skin off it using a knife. Alternately you can pressure cook the koorka for 1 whistle and then peel the skin off like you do for a potato. Or there is a third method that is predominantly followed in many Kerala families, you take the koorka in a jute or sack or a gunny bag and hit the bag gently on the floor repeatedly. After a while you can see that the koorka skin comes off easily

2. Once the skin is removed completely, rinse them again in water. Then chop them or slice them, as you prefer, to bite sized pieces


3. Take the sliced koorka in a kadai or pan. Add salt and turmeric powder along with 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water and cook them till done. It takes about 10-12 minutes. You can touch and see to see if it's cooked. You should get a similar feel like that of cooked potato. Once done, drain off the excess water and keep the koorka aside. If you had pressure cooked the koorka in the first step then omit this step

4. While the koorka is cooking, take grated coconut, shallots, red chilly and garlic in a mixer jar and give a coarse blend. 3-4 pulses is sufficient. Do not grind to a smooth paste


5. Now take coconut oil in a kadai/pan. Splutter mustard. Then add curry leaves

6. Then add the coarsely ground coconut - shallot paste. Saute for 3-4 minutes till it's cooked and the raw smell of the garlic and shallots goes off

7. Now add the cooked koorka and give a gentle stir. Allow it to simmer for another 3-4 minutes till it's mixed well. Then remove from fire and serve


Serve with red rice, moru curry and pappad!

Notes:

  • There are a few ways in which you can clean koorka like
    • Soak the koorka/chinese potato in water for half an hour to one hour. Then scrape the skin off it using a knife. 
    • Pressure cook the koorka for 1 whistle and then peel the skin off like you do for a potato
    • This method is predominantly followed in many Kerala families, you take the koorka in a jute or sack or a gunny bag and hit the bag gently on the floor repeatedly. After a while you can see that the koorka skin comes off easily
  • Always if possible, parboil the koorka, drain off the excess water and use it. Also pressure cooking the koorka reduces it's taste. It tastes much better while cooked normally 
  • I have used lesser quantity of garlic here as my family prefers it that way. If you like the flavour more then you can add more
Cheers,
Chitz

Friday, 2 February 2018

Carrot Custard | Carrot Custard Pudding | Carrot Custard Kheer


This recipe screams childhood memories in my head.. I was very much averse to sweets till my little one was born. There were very few sweets or sweet dishes that I liked. If I remember correctly all that I liked was my amma's gulab jamun and this carrot custard and my ammooma's (grand ma's) occasional pineapple kesari and athirasam.. That too once in a blue moon and not regularly. This carrot custard was my fav.. And actually there is a funny story to this custard.. 

Once during my exam days (I think during 7th grade) my mom made Carrot Pongal (will try to post this recipe too soon) and Carrot Custard for lunch. That day I had my exam in the afternoon. I had a hearty meal and went to the exam and passed with flying colours. In fact I was the school topper (all divisions of that grade put together) that time. Somehow it stuck in my mind that it was the good omen of this carrot custard (good faith you see ;)) and used to bug my mom to make it at least once during each exam. Now that i think about it, I feel so embarrassed and funny. But my mom used to oblige :D , she's a gem you know... So I make it once in a while now to reminisce those days and again in the good faith that I can sneak some milk into my little one's diet.. But no, he doesn't seem to enjoy this as I do.. But that doesn't stop me from making them you know.. So for all those sweet lovers out there and for those who want to try a different kinda dessert, here comes the recipe.



Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cooking Time : 20 minutes


Recipe source : Ma's Ole Cookbook


Serves : 6-8 servings



I Used:


Boiled Carrot paste - 100 gm (about 2 big long carrots)
Milk - 500 ml
Sugar - 4 tbsp
Custard powder - 3 tbsp
Cream - 1 tbsp


The Way:


1. Peel the skin of the carrot. Rinse it well and chop them into small pieces. Now pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles or till cooked


2. Allow them to cool. Then take the boiled carrots in a mixer jar and grind them to a smooth paste and keep aside

3. Mix the custard powder in a little milk (about a tbsp) and make a smooth paste

4. Boil the milk with sugar


5. Add the carrot paste and stir nicely. Allow it to cook well for about 5-6 minutes. Keep stirring in between so that it doesn't get burnt


6. Add the prepared custard to the carrot-milk mixture and boil for 2 minutes stirring continuously. Else lumps will be formed

7. Now add the cream and mix well. Switch off the flame

8. Remove from fire and allow it to cool. Then refrigerate it or an hour or more and then serve chilled and garnished with nuts of your choice


Notes:


  • Instead of pressure cooking the carrots, you can grate them and saute in ghee and then add boiled milk and sugar to it and then continue from step 5. In that case cook a little longer for the carrots to get cooked well. This will be more of a kheer kind than pudding
  • I made these with the Delhi carrots as I get them more than the normal carrots nowadays but I like it better with normal carrots
  • If the carrots are not very sweet, then add little more sugar to balance the taste
  • If the pith of the carrots are that green or light yellow in colour, it can ruin the tatse of this dessert. So either discard them or make this pudding with nice sweet carrots

Cheers,
Chitz

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Methi Matar Malai | Punjabi Methi Mutter Malai Recipe | Restaurant style methi mattar malai recipe


Blame it on the Instagram.. I had been drooling on the pics of the 'Methi Malai Matar' posted by many of the friends and so when I got hold of some fresh methi leaves and fresh green peas, I too set about to make some.. I always have a stock of malai in my fridge coz I make ghee at home from them. And I paired the yummy tasty methi malai matar with some hot phulkas and my lunch was done. Even Dhruv was licking off the gravy and had an extra chapathi that day ;) That's how this dish is.. creamy, sweet and mild even for a toddler. It's full of the fresh flavours of winter and gives you a rich yummy side dish for those soft phulkas and leaves your tummy full and content.. So why don't you too make use of the winter produce an make some of this yummy gravy?



Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cooking Time : 30-40 minutes


Serves : 3



I Used:


Methi/Fenugreek leaves - 1 cup chopped leaves (refer notes)
Matar/Green peas - ½ cup
Fresh Cream - 4 tbsp
Oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp (refer notes)
Salt - As Needed
Water - As Needed


To Saute & Grind:

Oil
Cumin seeds
-
-
1 tbsp
1 tsp
Onion - 1 big sized sliced
Ginger - Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Green Chilly - 1 no
Cashews - 2 tbsp
Khus Khus/Poppy seeds - 2 tsp

The Way:


1. Pluck the fenugreek leaves and discard the stem. Rinse the leaves in water nicely for 2-3 times so that all the mud and dirt sticking onto the leaves get removed

2. Then soak the leaves in salt water for 10 minutes to remove the bitterness of methi. This step is optional. You can omit this step if you do not want. After 10 minutes, squeeze the leaves in your palm to remove water. Then chop them finely and keep aside

3. In a pan take the fresh green peas. Add little water and salt and boil them for 10 minutes. If using frozen green peas you can skip this step. If using dried peas, then pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles or till cooked


4. In a pan, heat oil. Splutter cumin seeds

5. Add the sliced/chopped onions and green chilly and saute till they turn translucent. Don't brown them much as the gravy will turn deeper in colour

6. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for another 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes away. Now switch off the flame and allow them to cool


7. In a mixer jar, take the sauteed mix, add the cashews and poppy seeds (khus khus) and grind them to a smooth paste. If you are not able to grind, add little water and grind

8. In a non stick pan/kadai heat oil. Add the ground paste and salt and saute. Keep the flame on low and saute for 2-3 minutes

9. Then add the chopped methi leaves and give a nice stir. Add little water (around 1/2 cup) and mix well. Simmer and allow to cook or 3-4 minutes


10. Then add the boiled peas and cream. Mix well. And allow it to cook in low flame for another 5 minutes. I used homemade malai (collected from boiled milk). If using homemade malai, freeze it and then whip it nicely before adding to the gravy. If using store bought cream add it as such without whipping

11. Now add sugar (optional) and mix well. Remove from flame. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot phulkas



Notes:


  • To reduce the bitterness of the methi leaves, soak the leaves in salt water for 10 minutes. But if you can, omit this step as the nutrients will be lost by soaking the leaves in salt water
  • You can skip sauteeing the onions if you want. Just grind all the ingredients under 'To Saute & Grind' without sauteeing and then cook the ground paste for about 10-15 minutes till the raw smell and taste of the onions are gone
  • If using homemade malai, freeze it and then whip it nicely before adding to the gravy. Using fresh malai from milk or using homemade malai whithout whipping will not give you that creamy texture
Cheers,
Chitz

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Instant Jowar Dosa | Cholam Dosai | Jowar Dosa Recipe | Sorghum Dosa Recipe


I am a breakfast lover.. Are you? I wasn't one until a few years ago. But slowly as I started experimenting many food and started understanding and liking food, I understood the importance of having a full tummy breakfast and the variety of option that we can have and make for a good brekkie ! There used be a whole year and a half in my life where I constantly had toasted bread with honey and nutella for breakfast ! I myself am surprised now at how I managed to have that same breakfast without getting bored :D 

Now with my little one at my heels, I am in constant search for healthy, wholesome and quick to make breakfasts which is good and tastes great for both me and my little one's taste buds :) This is one such option. I bought the Jowar flour from Big Basket when they had put up an organic products sale. It is very easy to make them and very healthy too and my little one loves it (for now ;)). He has it as such without any sides but I like to spice them up with a gravy and this time I paired it up with some leftover Kohlapuri chicken from the previous day's dinner ;) So if you are like me and would like to try new healthy breakfast options, here is the recipe for you :)


Recipe Source: Here


Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cooking Time : 10-15 minutes


Makes : 5-6 dosas


I Used:


Jowar Flour/Cholam Maavu - 1 cup
Rice Flour
Cumin Seeds
-
-
½ cup
¼ tsp
Onion - 1 medium sized chopped
Green Chilly - 1-2 nos
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Salt - As Needed
Oil - As Needed
Water - As Needed


The Way:


1. In a bowl add Jowar flour, rice flour, cumin seeds, chopped onions, chopped green chillies, torn curry leaves and salt and mix well

2. Add water and make a thin batter. The batter should be watery like that for rava dosa or neer dosa

3. Heat a dosa griddle or pan. Smear a tsp oil and pour the batter. Add little oil along the sides and on top of the dosa. Allow it to cook

4. Then flip over the dosa and allow it to cook. Once cooked, transfer to a plate and serve hot 


Notes:

  • The batter should be runny and watery
  • You can also add some chopped coriander leaves and cashews as well in the batter if you like

Cheers,
Chitz

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Uppilitta Nellikka| Uppu Nellikka | Nellikka Uppilittathu | Gooseberries in Brine | Brined Gooseberry


Visit to Deepak's hometown Calicut is never complete without a visit to the kozhikode beach and the visit to Kozhikode beach is never complete without having the uppilitta maanga and uppilitta nelikka. Now some may argue that it's not hygienic to have them from the street side vendors but... I myself think about it every time I buy from them, but the sight of it just makes you crave them so much that you will be able to forgo the hygienic thought for a minute ;) It's not just gooseberries and raw mangoes that are brined there. Almost any possible veggie and fruit is brined in those big jars.. Gauva, Pineapple, Cucumber and so on.. Maybe next time I will take a pic and upload here ;)

So what do you do when you do not have the luxury of having them as often as you would like them to? You re-create them at home ! This is very easy to make. Just make sure that you take care of some things like using a glass container to store them and never to use your hands and instead take the brined gooseberries out from the container using spoon or fork. You can also use up the brine once the gooseberries are over. Take about half glass of the brine, add some lemon juice and another half a glass of soda. Mix well and tada, as Deeps says, it's divine :) Can quench you in an instant after that long run or heavy workout.. 

And you know what? I had kept this in the fridge and forgot to click the pics. Was thinking that I will click them after a few days once they swell up. After a few days Deeps and Dhruv ate one and warned me 'Take the pics fast and don't blame us if they get over'. Two days later, i found the bottle half empty. It was almost in the evening and light was low. I was thinking should i click now? Will I get decent pics? Then I thought it's better to get at least pics with half the bottle of gooseberries than to get none at all. So went ahead and clicked them ;) So what you waiting for? Go brine those gooseberries that are in season now :)


Recipe Source: Mil

Serves: 2 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes


I Used:


Gooseberry - 7-8 nos
Green Chilly - 2 nos
Salt - As needed
Water - 1 ½ cup

The Way:


1. Rinse the gooseberries well and allow them to dry. you can pat them dry using a kitchen towel

2. Then using a fork make small prick marks all over the gooseberry. This is for the salt to sink in well in the gooseberry

3. Rub salt all over the gooseberry


4. Heat water in a saucepan. Allow it to come to boil and then cool it to room temperature

5. Now take the prepped gooseberries in a glass bottle or container. Add slit green chillies and salt. Then pour the water into it. The water level should be above the gooseberries. Check for salt. The water should be salty (slightly more than normal salty taste). If not sufficient add acoordingly

6. Rest it for a day or two and then you can refrigerate it. leave it for about a week before having it


Notes:

  • Some use vinegar or lime juice also. But we do not prefer it to be too sour, so we skip it. If you want to add, remove 1/4 part water and add vinegar instead or juice of 1 lime
  • I allowed the gooseberries to rest for a day in room temperature and then refrigerated it for a month and then used it
  • Avoid using plastic containers to preserve this. I did once and also did not refrigerate them and they developed mold and had to discard them
  • You can also use up the brine once the gooseberries are over. Take about half glass of the brine, add some lemon juice and another half a glass of soda. Mix well and serve

Cheers,
Chitz

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Ulli Sammanthi | Ulli Chammanthi | Easy Onion Chutney


 Are you a chutney person or a sambar lover when it comes to having idly and dosa? I'm definitely a sambar gal.. I have to have lots of sambar and the idly or dosa has to be nicely dunked in and soaked and made moist for me to devour.. ahh, the thought itself makes me crave for some sambar idly now :D But Deeps and my little one are more of chutney lovers. Even if sambar is there, they would need some chutney for their soul ;) So coming to today's recipe, it is a simple humble Onion chutney with the bare minimal ingredients that you can ever imagine to make a dish :D 

This chutney is a regular at my mil's place whenever idly or dosa is made. And that would be in addition to a red or white coconut chutney and sambar. I make this with big onions but if you have a stock of shallots you can make it with them too or you can make half and half of onions and shallots. And if you are conscious about using oil, then no need to saute onions. Instead directly grind them with red chilly and add coconut oil. That also tastes yum. This chutney is really a time saver recipe and can be made very fast. And if this chutney is there I really don't mind even if sambar is missing from the menu :) 


Recipe Source: Mil

Serves: 2 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


I Used:

Onion/Savala - 2 nos (medium sized - chopped)
Red Chilly Powder  - 1.5 tsp
Salt - As Needed
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp

The Way:


1. Clean the onions and chop them. In a kadai/pan heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Toss in the onions and add required salt and saute them

2. The onions should turn colour and become slight golden. Take care not to burn them. Now add the red chilly powder and saute for another 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes off. Now switch off the flame


3. Allow it to cool. Once cool, grind them to a smooth (or rough depending on your preference) paste, preferably without water. If the quantity of onions is too less it will be difficult to grind, in that case add very little water 

4. Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil and mix


Serve with hot idlis and dosas !

Cheers,
Chitz