Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Peanut Podi (Palleela Podi)

Flavorful and spicy, peanut podi is a neat alternative to chutneys. Sprinkle few teaspoons of podi on breakfast items like upma, pongal, idly and dosa. Or, apply it on warm chapati or mix with rice. With Peanut podi ready on hand, it is easy to have decent meals during time-starved days. I used to live on jars of peanut podi during college days. Whenever busy days are ahead I make it at home too.

Peanuts, Chilli and Cumin
Peanuts, Chilli and Cumin

2 cups shelled peanuts
12- finger length dried red chilli (from Indian grocery)
1-teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Roast peanuts to pale brown color. Cool. Rub to remove peanut skins.
Dry roast red chilli and cumin to fragrance. Cool.

Take peanuts, red chilli and cumin in a Sumeet style mixer or in a food processor. Add salt. Pulse few times to fine sand like consistency. Store the podi in a clean, dry jar. Stays fresh for about at least a month or two.

Sometimes I also add garlic. Tastes excellent but garlic moisture reduces the shelf life of podi to a week.

Peanut Podi
Peanut Podi

From Telugu to English:
Podi = Powder

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Dried Red Chillies (Friday January 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Karam Jeedipappu (Masala Cashews)

Jeedipappu (Cashews, Kaju)
Cashews ~ Imported from India

I feel like I am also an expert in cooking. But I rarely get a chance to make something and post on this website. I have few favorites, and karam jeedipappu (can also be called masala cashews) is one of them. The process seems simple, but one has to do it a few times to get perfection.

Needed ingredients:
1. 1 lb cashews
2. 1/2 cup ghee
3. 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
6. 1 pinch powdered pepper

Needed utensils:
1 thick bottom skillet
1 vessel to mix masala
1 wide plate to spread cashews and sprinkle masala

Take cashews in a clean, wide plate.
Remove any small pieces or broken bits of cashews.
Heat the ghee in a wide, thick bottom skillet to medium-high heat.
Take half of the cashews and roast by continuously stirring to pale red.
Remove the cashews immediately from the skillet into a wide vessel.
Sprinkle a quarter of the masala powder on the hot cashews and shake the vessel well to spread the masala evenly on all the cashews.
Next, spread the cashews into a wide plate and sprinkle another quarter of the masala evenly on the cashews.
Repeat the process for the other half of the cashews.
Let the masala cashews cool for about an hour. Enjoy!

Frying of cashews in ghee must be done in two batches, as the ghee would not be sufficient to roast all cashews. Care must be taken not to burn/black the cashews.
The reason why I have added masala in two stages:
When masala powder is sprinkled and tossed in the vessel first time, masala powder and all excess ghee sticks to the surface of the vessel. When cashews are spread in a wide plate and masala is sprinkled on them, masala gets coated well to the cashews.

Masala Jeedipappu (Masala Cashews)
Masala Cashew ~ A Portrait

~ By Vijay Singari

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Cashews, Vijay Singari (Wednesday June 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Gongura Pappu (Gongura Dal)

Fresh Gongura

These fresh gongura leaves came all the way from Houston, Texas. Lovingly picked and packed from their backyard garden by our dear friends. I have been longing to get such fresh gongura for a while now and I felt like my prayers were answered. Yes, I love the tangy taste of gongura that much.

The following is one of my favorite gongura preparations. Gongura, toor dal and green chilli, my mother’s recipe, pure gongura love.

Gongura Pappu
(for two or four people, for four to two meals)

Toor dal -3/4 cup
Fresh gongura leaves - about 4 cups, tightly packed
Indian variety, small green chillies - 8 to 10
Shallot or red onion - cut to big chunks, about half cup
Turmeric - ½ teaspoon

Rinse toor dal. Take them in a vessel or pressure-cooker. Add gongura, green chilli and shallot. Also turmeric and two cups of water. Close the lid. Cook the dal, until it reaches fall-apart stage. Add about half teaspoon of salt and gently mash the cooked ingredients together to smooth consistency. Now, infuse the dal with tarka or talimpu, where natural ingredients that are good for well-being are added in small quantity. Daily vitamin dose, Indian way.

1-tablespoon ghee
2 sprigs curry leaves, 2 garlic cloves, slivered,
4 dried red chilli pieces, ½ teaspoon chana dal and urad dal each
¼ teaspoon each - cumin and mustard seeds

Heat ghee in a vessel until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves, garlic, dried red chilli, chana dal and urad dal, in the order listed. Toast to pale brown. Then add the cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the gongura dal. Mix. Serve hot. Great on its own, and also with rice or roti for anytime of the day.

Gongura Pappu and Mango
Andhra Love ~ Gongura Pappu and Mango

Gongura is available at Indian grocery shops during summer season.
This dal doesn’t need tamarind or lemon because of gongura’s potent tangy taste.
If you try this recipe, join and share your photos of gongura pappu at Mahanandi Flickr Pool.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Gongura(Sour Greens), Amma & Authentic Andhra (Monday June 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm- permalink)
Comments (29)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Party Snacks ~ Masala Peanuts

Masala Peanuts ( Stealing is not nice. Please do not use any images or content from this site without my permission. Thanks.)
వేయించిన మసాలా వేరుశనగపప్పు(Masala Peanuts, Sing Bhujia)

Party food should be fun and something special. Masala peanuts fit the profile. This is a retro recipe resuscitated to celebrate a special occasion. Roasted peanuts are dipped in besan-masala batter and deep-fried. 15 minutes in front of the stove or a trip to favorite Indian snack shop, whatever method one prefers, the unique spice and sour glazed peanuts are worth the effort.

Masala Peanuts:

Roast: Heat a cast-iron skillet. Add shelled peanuts. On medium heat, roast the nuts until lightly colored with a distinct aroma. Remove immediately, and take them in a wide plate. Wait until they are cool. Rub and remove the skins.

Batter: In a bowl, take gram flour and rice flour in 4:1 quantity. Add amchur, cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Also a pinch of baking soda. Whisk and prepare batter in medium thick consistency by adding water as necessary to the flour such that the batter puts a coat on peanuts that is not too thin it drips or too thick like facemask. Add the peanuts to the batter.

Prepare: Heat oil in a heavy pan for deep-frying. When oil starts smoking, lower the heat. Wait for few seconds and then drop the batter-coated peanuts. Fry until golden, drain and place them on a paper-covered plate. Once they are cool, store them in a clean container. Stays fresh for two weeks to a month.

Amchur is optional. Adds a nice tangy touch.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Monday June 16, 2008 at 9:51 pm- permalink)
Comments (17)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Mango Manthram: Food Art Gallery

Kondapalli Bomma Decorated with Mango Motifs ~ Illustration by Indira
Kondapalli Bomma in Mango Motif ~ for Mango Manthram
(Color Pencils on Paper)

For Food Art: Mango Manthram, I chose to illustrate mango through India’s rich textile heritage. Sarees, shawls and spreads adorned with vividly decorated mango motifs are a sight to behold, and they make a treasured collection. I tried to decorate the Andhraite’s ultimate toast to feminine beauty, my childhood favorite figurine “Kondapalli Bomma” in mango motif. I have limited talent in art, so be kind, people!

There are many ways for us to become a link in the chain of memory. Like cookery, art provides a way to explore and continue the traditions. I thank my blogger friends for enthusiastically participating in “Food Art: Mango Manthram” with such great imagination.

Here is mango manthram art collection. Click on the images to read the wonderful stories behind the art.

“Dear Mango, Do you Love me as much as I do thee
Do you look forward to summer, to be in your element or are you just sick and bored with all the hype
And what about all the competition, the Langda, the Himsagar, the Hapoos, running the rat race, do you really want to be there
Do you want to be the chosen one to be sent overseas or you would rather get your guts sucked out by the little boy on the dusty road
Do we even care what you think, no wonder you are sour at times but then your sunny soul takes over and you spread your warm yellow sweetness
But Mango, we really love thee.”

- from Sandeepa of Bong Mom’s Cookbook

ink, oil, pencil and watercolor:

Mango Curlicue by Rajalekshmy Usha Juicy Mangoes: Watercolor by Rajalekshmy Usha

Mango Ganapathi by Anjali Damerla of Supreme SpiceMango Maama from Siri of Siri's CornerMango Ballerina from Siri of Siri's Corner

Chotumotu Mango Bhayya from Siri of Siri's CornerMango Juggler from Siri of Siri's CornerMr. Mango Mermaid from Siri of Siri's Corner

Mango by Srimathi's 4-year old daughter Moodi and Masti ~ The Lovely Mango Couple from Roma of Roma's Space

Mango Delivery Man from Srivalli of Cooking for 4 Seasons Mango Basket in Watercolor by Miel of Food and Watercolor

gardenofhues - watercolor on paper by Sree of Sree's Canvas Mango Motif - Indian Ink on Paper by Sree of Sree's Canvas

henna (mehandi, gorintaaku):

Mango Mehendi from EC of Easy Crafts Mango Mehendi from Pooja of My Creative Ideas Mango Mehendi from Asankhana

Mango Mehendi from Shubha of Chutki Bhar Pyar Mango Mehendi from Shubha of Chutki Bhar Pyar

beads and stitch:

Jewelled Mango Art from Nirmala of Amma's Special Mango Bead Work from Uma of Essence of Andhra

Mango Embroidery from Bonita of Curry Campaign

Mango Kutch Work from Kamala Block Painting on White T Shirt from Asankhana

Mango Embroidery from Rathna of Asvadha


Mango Dream from Suman of Heaven's GardenMango Art from Jayashree of Spice and CurryGift Box Decorated with Mango Art from Asankhana

Mango Potholder from Priya of Live to Cook Mango Face from Sandeepa of Bong Mom's Cookbook

Mango Art with Mung Beans from DeebaMango Fruit Basket from Uma

Handmade invitation card from Veda of Kai Kriye Mango Motif on a Paper Plate from Lavi of Homecook's Recipes

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Mango, Food Art (Saturday May 31, 2008 at 1:20 am- permalink)
Comments (36)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Flavors I love ~ Peppers with Potatoes

Peppers with Potatoes
Green, Yellow and Red ~ For Jihva Bell Pepper Celebration

This is what I used to prepare and take in a lunch box during my 8 to ? job days. The ingredients are common and the cooking process is basic. But the taste somehow exceeds the expectations. I used to like it a lot and still do, though I rarely prepare this “curry in a hurry” now. See if this is per your taste.

Peppers with Potatoes
(makes 2 to 4 meals for 4 to 2 people)

3 bell peppers (green or any color)
8 small, new crop potatoes or 3 regular sized ones
4 tomatoes
1 onion
1-tablespoon ginger-garlic-cilantro paste
1-tablespoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon each - chilli powder and salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
oil or ghee to taste and tadka ingredients

Coarsely chop the listed vegetable to chunks. When I say coarsely, I mean really coarse, about one-inch sized pieces. Onions, tomatoes everything. The size matters here in this dish and adds extra special flavor.

Add oil to a kadai or wide skillet and heat. Add and toast cumin and mustard seeds. Add onion and sauté them to translucent. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook for about five minutes. Moisture from tomatoes creates steamy environment for potatoes to become tender. When they are halfway done, add the bell peppers. Also the listed seasoning. Mix and cover the skillet with a tight lid. Keep the heat medium and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Do not add water. When you lift the lid, what you see is soft vegetables in semi-moist consistency. (nothing should be in puddles of water). At this point you are ready to serve.

Tastes wonderful with warm chapatis or rotis and also with steamed rice.

Matta Rice with Pepper and Potatoes

Peppers and Potatoes with Rosematta Rice ~ Meal Today and for Pooja’s Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Bell Pepper, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Peppers, Baby Potatoes, Jihva For Ingredients (Wednesday May 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Lassi Lullabies ~ Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi
Sweet Mango and a Glass of Mango Lassi ~ for WBB Mango Event

Lassies are soothing lullabies of my home, India. Mango lassi is a manthram like magic melody and I love it.

Mango Lassi Lullaby
(to fill two small glasses)

Mango, ripe - one
Yogurt, homemade - half cup
Sugar - 1 tablespoon (I added maple syrup)
Cardamom powder - a pinch

Peel and cut mango to small pieces. Take them in a blender. Add maple syrup and cardamom. Puree to smooth. Add yogurt and about half glass of water. Blend until well mixed. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Pour into two glasses. Enjoy the soothing mango lassi lullaby.

More with Mango from Mahanandi:
Burger and Fries with Sweet Mango
Mango Fruit Tart
Mango Halwa (Mango Ravakesari)
Mango Jam
Mango Jihva
Mango Salsa
Mango Shirkhand (Aamrakhand)
Mango Strawberry Scones
Mango Strawberry Popsicles
Pancake Ponganalu with Mango Sauce
Yogurt Rice with Sweet Mango

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Mango, Yogurt (Tuesday May 13, 2008 at 8:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (19)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Artisan Food with Daikon Radish

Daikon and Chana Dal (Mullangi mariyu Sanaga pappu)

A tablespoon of grated radish eaten daily for several weeks has long been recommended by traditional healers in the East as treatment for Kidney and bladder stones, and for sinusitis. Low in calories and an all around detoxifier, radishes are excellent for us health wise.

The following is my mother’s recipe in which the white radish also known as Daikon, Mooli or Mullangi, is cooked with chana dal and potatoes, and seasoned with dahi mirchi tadka. The recipe is easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. Great when eaten with rice, roti, pasta or with millet.

White Radish Subzi with Pita Bread and Aachar Avocado ~ Brunch Today

Recipe Details:

Artisan Food: Daikon Subzi (Mullangi Kura)
Ingredients: Daikon, Potato, Chana Dal and Tadka Ingredients
Skill level: Easy. From Novice to Expert
Labels: Traditional-India, Vegan, And Wholesome Food
Price: $2.00
Format: PDF

Artisan Food with Daikon Radish Recipe PDF

Buy Now

How it Works: After payment via Paypal, PDF will be emailed to you to download the recipe. For any questions about the recipe or the download process, please email me at .


Artisan Food Aim and Purpose:

“Artisan Food ~ Revenue through Recipes” program aims to raise money, however small the amount, to support the children at Swami School at Nandyala. This will also lend a sense of purpose to my food blogging, and help me feel like I am accomplishing something through my activity in this Web world.

Previously in Artisan Food:

Artisan Photo Gallery

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Radish, Chana Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Artisan Food (Monday May 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm- permalink)
Comments (3)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Maroon Carrots

Peeled Maroon Carrots
Maroon Carrots (skins peeled)

Deep earthy maroon on the exterior and a brilliant red in the interior with an orangish-white center. Subdued sweetness, and lots of crunch.

That is how I would describe maroon carrots. In addition to looking unique, maroon carrots also have nutritional benefits - more beta-carotene than their orange counterparts, and they have antioxidants known as anthocyanins, according to Wise Geek.

This old-time variety is popular in north-Indian farmers markets and usually appears during winter and early spring seasons. They have also started to appear locally here in Seattle, thanks to the rejuvenated interest in all things ancient and natural. At Pike Place Market, they were priced at one dollar a bunch, and I bought one bunch. They still have roots attached, so I peeled the skin and cut with mandoline to thin rounds. They looked so pretty and fresh, within minutes half were gone. Crunch, crunch…

With the remaining half, I have prepared pappuchaaru for our meal today. Toor dal protein, maroon carrots and vine-ripe tomato, soured with tamarind, sweetened with jaggery and seasoned with hing tadka, the pappuchaaru had enough flavor to permit omission of rasam powder. Very mild, soothing to the stomach, chaaru tasted delicious.

Pappuchaaru with Maroon Carrots, Garnished with Haldiram’s Boondi

Pappuchaaru with Maroon Carrots:

Half cup - Toor dal (kandi pappu)
Half cup - Carrots, sliced to thin rounds
One - Ripe tomato, finely chopped
One - Onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon each - tamarind pulp and crushed jaggery
½ teaspoon each - Turmeric and salt
¼ teaspoon - Red chilli powder

Hing tadka:
1 teaspoon - peanut oil
6 curry leaves
Pinch each- cumin and mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon- hing (asafoetida/inguva)

Rinse toordal and take them in a pressure-cooker. Add about two cups of water. Cook to soft. With a wood masher, gently mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Once you are ready with the dal, start the chaaru preparation. In a vessel, heat peanut oil. Add and sauté curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds to fragrance. Add hing and toast for couple of seconds. Add onion, tomato and carrot. Sauté for about five minutes. Add the cooked toor dal, also tamarind, jaggery, turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Add about a cup of water. Mix. Partially cover with a lid, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes to wonderful aroma. (The carrots bleed and color the preparation to reddish-brown, but not too much like beetroots.)

To serve, add a spoonful of cooked rice to a cup. Pour about three to four ladlefuls of pappuchaaru. Mix with a spoon or your right hand. For a tasty crunch, add a papad, few chips or boondi. Enjoy.

(NP: Carbohydrates from rice, quality protein from toor dal, vegetable goodness from carrot and tomato, spices like turmeric and hing for well being.)


A question for you, dear readers

I am more likely to prepare this recipe, if it has

Soup in title, because I think of only Soups as healthy.
Chaaru in title, because I value traditional goodness and age-old wisdom.
Good nutritional profile (NP). I pay more attention to the ingredients list than titles.


Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Carrots, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Tuesday May 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (42)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Brinjal with Blackeyed Beans ~ for Jihva

Pedatha Avva (My grandmother)
Jigyasa and Pratibha’s Pedatha …………… My Avva (Grandmother)

In my unremarkable childhood, the only remarkable thing was the summer holidays I used to spend at my grandmother’s home at Nandikotkur every year. My grandmother, a mother of four daughters and four sons is a ritubidda (farmer’s daughter), and a saint like person. She was my guru and a friend growing up, and I learned devotion from her.

Like Jigyasa and Pratibha’s Pedatha, my grandmother is also from a “do one thing at a time” generation. This philosophy was more evident in the kitchen than anywhere else. Cooking was an unconsciously clever and creative act, and done in a unhurried manner to everyone’s satisfaction. One of my favorite recipes from my grandmother is brinjal with black-eyed peas. Seasoned with ginger and green chillies, and served with sorghum roti, this simple preparation with heavenly aroma was a daily breakfast for us. Science has shown that our sense of smell is the first one to be associated with memory. I have to agree, and I still associate ginger flavored brinjal smell to my grandmother’s kitchen. The same recipe has also been featured in the award winning Pedatha’s cookbook.

I prepared this dish with reverence to my beloved avva and in memory of Pedatha.

“From food all creatures are produced. And all creatures that dwell on earth, by food they live and into food they finally pass. Food is the chief among being. Verily he obtains all good who worships the Divine as food.”
-from Upanishads

Brinjal and Blackeyed Beans (Vankaya , Alasanda) Vankaya Alasanda Kura, Photo Taken Before our Lunch today

Alasanda Vankaya (Brinjal with Black-eyed Beans)
(for Jihva Love ~ A Tribute to Tradition)

10 -12 round variety green or purple brinjals, cut to thin pieces lengthwise
Half cup black-eyed peas. Soaked in water overnight, and cooked to tender
4 small variety Indian green chillies and one inch piece of ginger - coarsely grind
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon peanut oil and tadka ingredients

Place a wide skillet on stovetop. Add and heat peanut oil. Add and toast tadka ingredients (garlic, cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves) to golden. Add the brinjal pieces to skillet. Cover the skillet. The round variety brinjals cook to tender within minutes. After about five minutes of cooking time, remove the lid. Add the black-eyed peas and green chilli-ginger paste. Also turmeric and salt. Mix. Sauté on medium heat for another five to ten minutes. Serve hot with sorghum roti or chapati, for a filling meal.

Busy days. See you again on Sunday.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Blackeye Beans, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Vankaya (Brinjal), Ginger & Sonti, Jihva For Ingredients (Monday April 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm- permalink)
Comments (35)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Vadapappu Kosambari

Vadapappu Kosambari

This kosambari with yellow moong dal (Vadapappu) is an ideal Upavaasa food. They would take a while to eat, giving the body a chance to register its satisfaction and that in turn would prevent hunger pangs and overeating. Completely raw, this traditional kosambari makes a decent, light meal for health and weight-conscious people.

(for two, for one meal)

Half cup yellow moong dal - Soaked in water for about 4 hours.
1 palm-length cucumber
1 green chilli, Indian or Thai variety
2 sprigs of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon - fresh coconut gratings
Pinch of salt, or to taste

Drain and rinse moong dal. Take them in a bowl.
Finely chop cucumber, chilli and coriander leaves. Add them to moong dal.
Sprinkle salt and coconut gratings.
I also added fresh juice from a small mandarin orange for the sweet note.
Combine and serve. Enjoy with a glass of buttermilk for a light meal.

Recipe Notes:
Traditional India - Vegan, Raw and Upavaasa Food
Diet-friendly and protein rich.
Upavaasa = Fasting

If anyone decides to make this Upavaasa food, I would love to hear how you like it taste/flavorwise.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Moong Dal (Washed), Cucumbers (Wednesday April 16, 2008 at 5:32 pm- permalink)
Comments (24)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Vadapappu (వడపప్పు)

Ethereal Vadapappu

With only one ingredient, this has to be the easiest neivedyam one could prepare on a festival day. A Sri Rama Navami original classic, rehydrated yellow moong dal is a delight and goes by a special name Vadapappu.

The surprising good taste comes from the simplicity of the preparation. No cooking involved. No spices, no oil and not even salt or sugar. Just soak the moong dal in water overnight. Half cup would be enough for two people. Drain. Rinse once, and consume. The taste will be extra good when prepared with split moong dal. Follow the same principle. Soak overnight, rinse the dal in several changes of water to remove the green coverings. Like mini yellow roses peeking from a rose bush, the revealed moong dal in pale yellow color will take the breath away with simple beauty.

Vadapappu may look innocent and inconspicuous but it’s a protein powerhouse, easily digestible, and nourishing to human body.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Naivedyam(Festival Sweets), Moong Dal (Split), Moong Dal (Washed), Traditions (Tuesday April 15, 2008 at 7:48 pm- permalink)
Comments (10)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Bhakthi~Bhukthi: Mantralayam and Parimala Prasadam

Mantralayam Temple on Thungabadra Teeram- Photo souce:
Bhakthi ~ Mantralayam on Thungabadra Teeram

Parimala Prasadam
Bhukthi ~ Parimala Prasadam from Mantralayam

Sri Sarvadhari naama Ugadi/Gudi Padwa Shubhakankshalu!

(I thank my father-in-law for the beautiful picture of Parimala Prasadam.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal), Amma & Authentic Andhra, Bhakthi~Bhukthi (Sunday April 6, 2008 at 10:37 am- permalink)
Comments (21)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Maamidi Thurumu Pacchadi

Grated, Green Mango Pacchadi

Ugadi is just around the corner. So, it’s mango time at my home and I made thurumu pacchadi in advance for festival day meal on Ugadi. The preparation took about 20 minutes. Very easy, a delight to the senses, I like this pacchadi very much.

Mango Thurumu (Grated Unripe Mango)
Maamidi Thurumu (Maamidi = Mango, Thurumu = Grate)

(makes about two cups of pacchadi)

Green, Unripe Mango:
Take one extremely firm, unripe mango of medium size. Wash. Lightly peel and remove the skin. Using a grater, grate the mango until you reach the seed on all sides, like shown in the photo above. Mango gratings came about two cups for me.

Methi - Mustard Seasoning:
Heat a cast-iron skillet. Add and dry-roast without oil:
one teaspoon each - methi seeds and mustard seeds to two minutes.
4 Indian variety, dried red chillies to pale brown.
Take them all in a mixer or spice grinder. Add half-teaspoon salt. Grind to fine powder.

Popu or Tadka:
In a tiny pan, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. When oil is hot, add and toast in this order, constantly stirring:
6 half-inch pieces of dried red chillies to pale brown
8 curry leaves to golden
¼ teaspoon of urad dal to red color,
A pinch each - cumin and mustard seeds
When seeds start to pop, add a pinch of asafetida (hing, inguva)

Putting Together the Mango Turumu Pacchadi:

1. Take mango gratings in a vessel. Add the methi-mustard seasoning. Combine well.

2. Add the toasted tadka ingredients to the mango gratings. Mix thoroughly.

3. Store the pacchadi in a clean jar. Stays fresh for two to three days upto a week, and traditionally we do not refrigerate. Just don’t use wet spoons.

Mango turumu pacchadi tastes wonderful when mixed and eaten with rice and dal or sambar.

Mango Pacchadi
Mango Thurumu Pacchadi for Ugadi

Recipe Labels:
Amma, Traditional India-Vegan, Vitamin and Mineral Rich food

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Mamidikaya (Green Mango), Mustard Seeds (Aavalu), Methi, Kasuri Methi (Friday April 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Ragi Kudumulu with Garlic Ghee

Ragi kudumulu is an old classic from Andhra Pradesh, India. Dumplings like kudumulu are prepared with ragi flour and steam-cooked in flavorful kura (curry). The main ingredient of kura in which ragi kudumulu are steamed changes with the seasons. Sometimes the kura is prepared with vegetables, sometimes with meat or a combination. Depends on the cook’s mood and the market prices. Popular in agricultural community, this protein powerhouse is a build or nourish the muscle-on-the-bone kind of one-pot meal.

For Mathy’s Jihva, I have been thinking about a new recipe using garlic-ghee. Then I thought, why not incorporate garlic-ghee into ragi dough and make kudumulu with it. When people say developing new things or techniques is like constantly rediscovering the wheel, it’s very true, indeed. Years of nutritional strategies and accumulated wisdom among cooks throughout the world before us are right to benefit us all through good times and hard times.

Ragi kudumulu is one such nutritional strategy, and here it is in a new avatar. An acquired taste, but a delight to an adventurous palate. Give it a try.

Ridge gourd and Ragi Dough
Ridge Gourd and Ragi Dough (Beerakaya mariyu Raagi Mudda)

(for two adults, for two meals)

Recipe happens in three steps. 1. Prepare Ragi dough for Kudumulu.
2. Prepare kura (curry or kurma) for Kudumulu. 3. Prepare kudumulu and steam-cook.

Step 1:

Take one-cup ragi flour in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of garlic-ghee puree and quarter teaspoon salt. Stir in a tablespoon of garlic infused ghee. Sprinkling few tablespoons of hot water, make soft dough. Cover and keep it aside for about 15 to 30 minutes. The dough firms up on resting.

Step 2:

While the ragi dough is resting, prepare kura for ragi kudumulu. It can be with either vegetables, (traditional choice: Indian broad beans, silk squash and ridge gourd), or meat (chicken or mutton). For my meal today, I have prepared Ridge gourd curry (beerakaya kura) for ragi kudumulu.

- - 2 ridge gourds: peel, rinse and cut into ½ inch, big pieces
- - 2 tomatoes and one onion - finely chop to small pieces

Heat a tablespoon of garlic infused ghee in a wide, deep-bottomed skillet. Add and toast a pinch each - cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onion. Sauté to soft. Then tomatoes. Add about a cup of water and cook the tomatoes to mush on high heat.

While tomatoes are cooking, prepare the kura masala:
For kura masala: Two tablespoons of grated coconut, 4 green chillies and an inch of peeled ginger, two cloves, one inch cinnamon, a teaspoon each - coriander seeds and cumin. Take them all in a mixer. Add a pinch of salt. Blend to fine consistency.

Tomatoes will be cooked to soft by now. Mush them by pressing with a sturdy spoon. Add the ridge gourd pieces and the masala paste to the skillet. Also half teaspoon each- turmeric and salt. Stir in another cup of water. Close the lid and simmer on medium-low heat.

Step 3:

While kura is cooking, quickly prepare Ragi kudumulu.

Take the ragi dough out onto a plate. Knead and divide into small, about key lime-sized rounds. The dough came about 16 rounds for me. Take a round on your palm, and close the fingers around the round to make a fist. The shape changes to cylindrical with conical ends. That’s what we call “Kudumu” shape in Telugu. Compared to the round shape, the kudumu shape will have more surface area exposed, and that would facilitates thorough steaming. Prepare all rounds in this way. You have to make them fast in two to three minutes.

Place them one after another neatly in simmering kura. Close the lid tightly, and steam for about 15 to 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Ragi kudumulu have to be cooked properly inside. To test, take one out and cut into half. A well-steamed one has the color of red soil (erra mannu) that you see in moderate rainfall areas like Telengana, Andhra Pradesh. On taste, they should have the comforting texture of a well-chewed bubblegum.:) Sticky with unique ragi flavor. The size/volume also increases on steaming.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and lime juice. Serve hot. Until serving time, cover the skillet with tight lid and keep the kura hot on low heat.

How to serve: Place four ragi kudumulu in a wide bowl or plate along with vegetable or meat pieces. Pour the tomato-masala gravy around.

How to eat: With fingers or spoon, take a portion of ragi kudumu with kura. Blow to cool for once or twice. Eat. Ragi flour has gummy properties and it would stick to the mouth roof. So don’t chew on the kudumu, just swallow. The masala gravy and vegetables or meat pieces, together they make a memorable meal experience.

Why: Ragi is rich in Iron, minerals and protein, gluten-free, and is known for it’s health benefits. Ragi is cultivated from ancient times in many parts of India, and in fact the name Ragi is a Sanskrit word. So, Ragi consumption means nourishment to the body and also nourishing the traditional agricultural practices.

Here is the preparation process in photos:

Ragi Kudumulu and Ragi Dough

Steamed Ragi Kudumulu in Ridge Gourd Kura

Ragi Kudumulu Flavored with Garlic Ghee in Ridge Gourd Kura ~
Meal today and My Contribution to Mathy’s Garlic-Jihva Event.

Ragi flour is available in most Indian grocery shops.
Kudumu is singular and kudumulu is plural in Telugu language.
Traditional Kudumulu from other parts of Bharath:
Jonna (Corn) Kudumulu from En Ulagam
Jowar-wheat Kudumulu from My Food Court

Do you have this type of tradition where kudumulu or dumplings are steam-cooked in the stew itself?

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Ragi, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd), Ragi Flour, Ghee, Garlic (Vellulli) (Tuesday April 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm- permalink)
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