Mahanandi

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

Tamarind Popcorn

Tamarind (Chintapandu, Imli)
Tamarind (Chintapandu, Imli)

Native to India, tamarind is prized for its intense sweet and sour flavor. A pantry staple, tamarind is added to dals, rasams, and sambars. Tamarind based pulusu and rice are lip smackingly good. For chutneys and pacchadis, tamarind is a must. Then there is tamarind-jaggery-cumin candy, a childhood favorite lollipop. I grew up having tamarind in different avatars. I love and prepare all the above tamarind-based preparations regularly at my home.

To celebrate Jihva-Tamarind, I wanted to try something new and unique. Constant thinking about it led to this tamarind flavored popcorn idea. Tamarind, salt, chilli powder, and for sweetness I added dates. Blend the ingredients together and simmer to concentrate the flavor. Coat the corn kernels with thick syrup and then microwave. Pop, pop, pop… Like the Polar skies lit with Aurora Borealis, the Tamarindus Indica seem to ignite a sublimely spectacular ruchi in popcorn. All natural and no nasty additives, and tasty. A date with tamarind popcorn is a must try for flavor-popcorn fans. I totally recommend.

Tamarind Syrup and Corn Kernels
Tamarind Syrup and Corn Kernels

Tamarind Popcorn

Plain corn kernels suitable for popcorn - about a quarter cup
Ping-Pong ball sized tamarind pulp, 6 dates, quarter teaspoon each - chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Take them all in a blender. Add about a cup of water. Puree to smooth.

Take the syrup in a thick-bottomed vessel and simmer until the volume reduces to half. This helps to concentrate the flavor. Cool. Lightly coat the corn kernels with syrup. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with another bowl. Microwave to pop the corn. Have a taste, and if required sprinkle salt and some chilli powder to taste. Toss and enjoy.

Tamarind Popcorn
Tamarind Popcorn and Sugarcane Juice
For JFI-Tamarind Event, Hosted by Lovely Sig of Live to Eat

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Jihva For Ingredients, Corn - Fresh, Chintapandu(Tamarind) (Monday June 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm- permalink)
Comments (27)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Gongura Pappu (Gongura Dal)

Fresh Gongura
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

Notes:
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: www.themahanandi.org

Cookery, Indic (4) ~ by Veena Parrikar


Usha’s Pickle Digest
by Usha Prabakaran

Usha's Pickle Digest
Published in 1998 by the author’s own Pebble Green Publications in Chennai, India.

It was late April and I was browsing the cookery shelves of a bookstore in Mumbai. Like all avid collectors of one thing or the other, I have learnt to quickly pick grain from chaff. My expertise is, of course, aided by the fact that the food-and-drink sections of all mainstream bookstores in India look alike: piles of publications from serial cookbook writers and compilers, a few guides to eating in city XYZ, coffee-table tomes from foreign publishers, and “chef’s series” pocket books. I rapidly scan the spines of these books, eyes peeled for the unusual or the local. That day, however, I flipped through “Cooking in Six Minutes” by one of the aforementioned copious authors. A few books down the shelf, I came across “Cooking in Three Minutes” by the same author. I wondered how far this series would go, and sure enough, out tumbled “Cooking in 60 Seconds”. Just like all problems of this world can be solved if you smile and think positively, so will you be relieved of your kitchen burdens if you think of cooking as the time that a pot spends in contact with the stove. Maybe it was the blistering summer heat or maybe I had looked at one cookbook too many, but I suddenly felt weary of the pervasive silliness of the food publishing world. For an antidote, I turned to two things: slow, sun-cooked pickles that would take days or weeks before they were ready, and a cookbook narrow in its focus, yet unmatched in range and depth.

Usha’s Pickle Digest is the definitive book for Indian pickles; the first and probably the last word on vegetarian pickles, unless the author publishes a second volume. There is not much I can say about the Digest or about Usha that has not already been said elsewhere. One vaguely knew that India has a vast repertoire of traditional pickles, but one did not know that a thousand pickles across 131 ingredients are within the realm of possibility. One had heard of mango pickles, lemon pickles, chilli pickles, tomato pickles, even okra pickles; but pickles made out of coconut, kokum, hibiscus flowers, artichokes, sugarcane, pomegranate, or spinach were beyond our imagination. All the recipes rely only on natural preservatives such as salt, oil, vinegar, and spices. The life of each pickle is indicated at the end of the recipe. There is also something very satisfying about the meticulousness with which the recipes have been titled and indexed for easy access. Even if pickles do not tickle your culinary fancies, the book offers plenty - an extensive glossary of ingredients in ten languages along with botanical names, methods to detect adulteration, buying and storage guides, and several other practical kitchen tips.

The best part of this book for me personally, however, is the profound sincerity of purpose underlying this work. The Digest was published neither for fame nor money. Usha’s patent enthusiasm and desire to share the results of her pickling research is the driving force of this book. We tend to romanticize secrecy in the culinary arts. Prized recipes and techniques are either kept shrouded in mystique or published omitting an ingredient here or instruction there. Clearly, the recipes and kitchen wisdom in this book have been developed through years of diligent and sustained effort. That she went the several extra miles to present her knowledge in a clear and forthcoming manner indeed commands our respect. It is also why we keep rummaging tons of chaff in search of a few precious grains.

Recipe: Sambaara Mango

Adapted from Usha Prabakaran’s Usha’s Pickle Digest

Ingredients:
500 grams cut raw mango, small pieces
75 grams salt (use kosher or crystal salt)
35 grams chilli powder
10 grams fenugreek seeds
10 grams cumin seeds
5 grams asafoetida
200 ml sesame oil
5 grams mustard seeds
A few sprigs curry leaves

Method:
Sprinkle salt on the mango pieces and marinate for a day. Next day, remove the mango pieces from the resulting juices (“salt water”). Reserve these juices in a refrigerator.


Place the mango pieces on a steel tray or thali and sun-dry for four days (till the mango pieces are three-fourths dry).


At the end of the fourth day, roast in a little oil the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida and grind to a powder. Combine with the chilli powder and add this spice-blend to the dried mango pieces.

Heat the sesame oil, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and allow to crackle. Pour in the salt water and an equal volume of plain water. When the mixture begins to boil, stir in the mango mixture. Let it come to a boil again, and then remove from heat.


The pickle is ready to use after five days. It lasts for six months.

Notes:
I have presented the ingredients as originally provided in the book. When I prepared this pickle, however, I had neither measuring cups/spoons nor a weighing scale handy. I kept tasting throughout the process. You can adjust the spices according to your taste and the tartness of the mangoes, but please do so in a way that maintains the balance of flavours. The primary tastes in this pickle should be sour, chilli-hot, and salty.

Sambaara Mango (Sundried Mango Pickle)

Text and Photographs: Veena Parrikar

Previously in the Cookery, Indic Series:

Introduction
Salads for All Occasions - Vijaya Hiremath
Cooking with Green Leafy Vegetables - Shyamala Kallianpur
Regional Rustic Recipes by Manipal Mahila Samaj

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mamidikaya (Green Mango), Reviews: Cookbooks, Veena Parrikar (Monday June 2, 2008 at 12:05 am- permalink)
Comments (23)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Kovakkai Crisps (Tindora Fries)

Kovakkai (Dondakaya, Tindora)
Thinly Sliced Kovakkai (Dondakaya, Tindora, Ivy Gourd)

This dish suggested by my sister, tastes as elegant as it looks, yet very simple to prepare. It goes well with rice and dal or chapati and dal, but I would like it anyway, even as one of the filling in a sandwich.

Kovakkai Crisps

Wash kovakkai in plenty of water. Take them in a kitchen towel and pat them dry. For each one, with a sharp knife, cut and remove the ends. Slice lengthwise into two and then cut each half to two or three thin pieces. Prepare them all in this way.

Take the Kovakkai pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and olive or peanut oil to taste. Toss to coat. Spread the pieces on a baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Once the oven is ready, place the baking tray and bake the kovakkai for about 15 minutes. Then change the oven setting from bake to ‘broil’ and continue cooking for another ten minutes, until the kovakkai turns to crisp. Keep an eye during broil setting to prevent charring/overcooking.

Remove the baking tray. Sprinkle few tablespoons of pappula podi on the hot and crispy kovakkai. Mix. Serve immediately.

Oven-cooking draws out the sharp sour flavor of kovakkai and the crispiness adds delightful crunch. Kovakkai crisps taste quite good as a side dish to rice and dal/sambar combination, or as a filling in chapati or bread sandwich.

Kovakkai Crisps
Kovakkai Crisps Spiced with Pappula Podi ~ for Meal Today

Kay’s Kovakkai Crisps with Frozen and Cut Kovakkai

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dondakaya(Tindora) (Wednesday May 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm- permalink)
Comments (23)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Black Pepper~Turai Chutney

బీరకాయ మిరియాల పచ్చడి

Shallot, Turai, Black Pepper
Shallot, Turai and Black Peppercorn

If there is a turai fan club, I would be a card-carrying member. I would go to farmers markets to demonstrate turai dishes and to dispense turai seeds to the interested. I enjoy this vegetable that much.:) Recently I came across a new chutney recipe with turai, and I tried it today for our meal. Sweet turai and fiery peppercorn, it’s a good combination. A must try for fellow turai fans, I recommend.

Black Pepper ~Turai Chutney:
(makes about a cup and half)

1 Turai (ridge gourd, బీరకాయ)
2 shallots (erra gadda)
½ teaspoon black peppercorn (*Hot*)
1-tablespoon tamarind pulp
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon oil

1. Add tamarind pulp to two tablespoons of water. This will soften the tamarind and helps to blend well. Peel the ridges, wash turai, and cut to big chunks (about two cups). Peel the skin and chop shallots to big pieces (about half cup).

2. Heat a cast iron skillet. Add and heat oil to smoking point. Add black pepper and cumin. Fry for few seconds. Add the shallots and ridge gourd pieces. Sauté to tender for about five minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the contents to reach room temperature.

3. Take them all in a mixer or mortar. Add salt, tamarind pulp and the water it was soaked in. Mix once. Blend to coarse consistency. Remove to a cup and serve. Good to mix with rice, or as a spread on chapati/roti/bread.

Turai- Black Pepper chutney
Turai Pepper Chutney ~ for Meal Today


Recipe adapted from:
Paajaka. Thanks Mythreyee for this tasty turai recipe idea.
Reduce peppercorn to quarter teaspoon if you prefer mild hot level.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd), Peppercorn (Wednesday May 7, 2008 at 6:14 pm- permalink)
Comments (36)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

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: www.themahanandi.org

Lobia and Sarson with Matta Rice

Black-eyed peas, Mustard Greens with Matta Rice:

There are only few American dishes that I enjoy. One of them is Hopping’ John (black-eyed peas, greens and rice). This is an African-American dish that has made it to the “Hara’s Tara”. I like the combination, but the underlying flavor melancholy is inescapable. How to add a cheerful tone to blue notes. Well, how about a mrudangam beat. These thoughts led to a new recipe, which is an amalgam of both ingredients and method.

Black-eyed peas, mustard greens and Kerala matta rice cooked together with onions and tomatoes. And the dish is flavored with fresh coconut, peppercorn and nutmeg. Though it started out like musical elements spontaneously assembled during a play, the south-Indian improvisational context imparted an orchestra effect to good old African American tradition. Mine was a solo performance, and when the single audience showed up with a serving bowl saying “encore please”, some hopping smiles sure happened.


Lobia and Sarson with Matta Rice:
(for two adults for two meals)

1-cup black-eyed peas - soaked in water overnight, and cooked to tender
1-cup matta rice (or brown rice) - soaked in 3 cups of water for 3 hours
1 bunch mustard greens - leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
1 onion, and two ripe tomatoes - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - finely chopped

For seasoning:
2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut,
1 teaspoon black peppercorn (this dish needs some heat)
½ teaspoon each - cumin and grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon each - turmeric and salt
½ inch piece of ginger
2 tablespoons of crushed jaggery
Take them all in a Mixer. Pulse few times, first. Then add half cup of water. Blend to smooth paste.

Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a big pot. Add and sauté garlic and onion to pale-red. Add tomatoes and sauté to soft. Add the mustard greens and cook until leaves start to collapse. Add the rice and the water it soaked in. Cover the pot and on medium heat, cook the rice until it’s al-dente or just tender. Now add the precooked black-eyed peas. And also the spice paste. Stir-in another cup of water if the dish looks too dry. Mix. Have a taste and adjust salt to your liking. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot with papadums on the side. Makes a great tasting one-pot meal.

Vegetarian Hopping John
India Inspired Hopping John ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Blackeye Beans, Rosematta Rice, Sarson (Mustard Greens) (Thursday April 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm- permalink)
Comments (22)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

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)

Preparation:
(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)
Comments (11)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

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)

Recipe:
(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.

Notes:
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)
Comments (26)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Artisan Food ~ Healing Herbal Rice

Brown Basmati and Fresh Methi
Brown Basmati and Fresh Methi

Nutritional supplements and natural herbal remedies don’t have to be in capsule form. Example is this healing herbal rice I have prepared for our meal yesterday.

Three types of fresh herbs with potent medicinal properties and brown basmati, a nutritionally supreme rice are cooked together. The result -

a tasty and tantalizing herbal basmati.

Possessing great inner strength and capable of exerting strong nutritional benefits, this herbal rice with healing fire in its heart is the kind of meal that would provide a nourishing surround to a flourishing imagination.

Healing Herbal Rice with Brown Basmati
Healing Herbal Rice with Potato Kurma ~ Celebrating St. Patty’s Day

Recipe Details:

Artisan Food: Healing Herbal Rice
Ingredients: Brown Basmati, Methi, Mint and Dill
Skill level: Easy. From Novice to Expert
Labels: Vegan, Wholesome, Herbal and Iron rich Food
Price: $2.00
Format: PDF

Healing Herbal Rice PDF


Buy Now

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

****************

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 Biyyamu (Rice), Mint, Basmati Rice, Suwa (Dill), Brown Basmati, Methi, Kasuri Methi, Artisan Food (Monday March 17, 2008 at 5:46 pm- permalink)
Comments (3)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Bottle Gourd with Chana Dal

Sorakaya Sanagabedala Kura

Bottle Gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki, Opo Squash)

I love this 20-minute preparation very much. The pale green beauty, Sorakaya is simply seasoned to show off its supple texture and slight sweet flavor. Like many recipes from my home, Nandyala, the flavoring is daal. And in this dish it’s the tasty and healthy chana dal. Not only traditional, recipes like these are also waist-friendly and stamina building. They will be part of my diet and featured frequently at Mahanandi, as I start to prepare for my trip to India late this summer.

Cook this kura with young and fresh looking sorakaya for best results.

Recipe:

Soak quarter-cup chana dal in water for at least 30 minutes.

Peel the skin, and cut the sorakaya (bottle gourd) into half-inch cubes. (I added 3 cups.)

In a pot, add and heat a teaspoon of oil. Add a pinch each cumin and mustard seeds. And also a pinch of asafoetida (hing, inguva). When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the rehydrated chana dal. Stir-fry for about two minutes.

Then add the bottle gourd cubes. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ½ teaspoon red chilli powder. Also about quarter cup of water. Mix. Cook, covered on medium-heat, until the white bottle gourd cubes turn to translucent pearl like.

Stir in quarter teaspoon salt and a teaspoon each - jaggery and coconut gratings. Mix and cook for few more minutes. Serve immediately. (Sorakaya Kura is a wet preparation, but with no sauce or gravy.)

To serve, heat a chapati. Place a big spoonful of kura in the middle and spread, leaving about an inch border. Fold and roll to wrap. Eat.
(Sorakaya kura is good with chapati only, and not that good with rice.)

Health Labels:
Vegan, Waist-friendly
Sorakaya (bottle gourd): Pitta pacifying vegetable
Chana dal: Known for its anti-diabetic properties
Spices-cumin, mustard seeds, hing, turmeric - aid digestion and well-being

Bottle Gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki, Opo Squash)
Sorakaya Kura Wrapped in Chapati, with Steamed Carrots on the Side ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chana Dal, Indian Vegetables, Sorakaya(Dudhi,Lauki), Amma & Authentic Andhra (Monday March 10, 2008 at 5:34 pm- permalink)
Comments (2)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Artisan Food ~ Maamidi Thokku Pacchadi


Green, Unripe Mango (Maamidikaya)

Source : Amma, India.

A showcase example of traditional raw cuisine with unripe mango.

Sweet, Sour and Spicy.

Centuries-old method. Still prepared to this day in old-ways. Still excellent.

A Pacchadi, with a piquant freshness.

That is Maamidi Thokku Pacchadi. My tribute to the artisans of yesteryears.


Maamidi Thokku Pacchadi

Artisan Food : Aim and Purpose

Details:
Artisan Food: Mango Thokku Pacchadi
Ingredients: Unripe Mango and tadka ingredients
Equipment Needed: A good-sized, stone mortar and pestle
Skill level: Willing to work upper-arm muscles for 5 minutes
Labels: Amma, Authentic Andhra, Vegan, Raw Cuisine
Price: $2.00
Format: PDF

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

Mango Tokku Pacchadi PDF Mango Thokku Pacchadi PDF


Click Here to Purchase

****************

“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:
Avocado Annam
Chestnut-Lentil Soup

Artisan Photo Gallery

****************

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Mamidikaya (Green Mango), Artisan Food (Monday March 3, 2008 at 10:03 am- permalink)
Comments (1)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

In Season ~ Mango and Vadu Mango

Mango and Vadu Mango
Green, Unripe Mango and Vadu Mango ~ For this Week’s Indian Kitchen

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Indian Ingredients, Indian Kitchen, Mango, Mamidikaya (Green Mango) (Sunday March 2, 2008 at 12:31 pm- permalink)
Comments

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Jihva for Sweet Lemon Syrup

Sweet Lemon and Rock Sugar
Mitha Nimboo and Kalkand
(Sweet Lemon and Rock Sugar)

Citrus scent and sweet juice.

Completely non-acidic, no tartness whatsoever.

That is sweet lemon. Also known as Mitha Nimboo in Hindi.

Sweet lemon juice, sweetened with kalkand and chilled in earthen pot is a favorite summer drink of my childhood.

Today, I simmered the juice with rock sugar and cardamom powder. The thick, flavorful and fragrant syrup tasted like a pleasant food blog uncomplicated with acidic notes.

I will be using the syrup to sweeten my tea. May be I will add the syrup to toss the cut fruits like apples and pears.

I think this sweet lemon syrup with non-acidic properties would make an ideal sweetener for people who crave that exquisite lemony scent , but are going through painful acid reflux and heartburn.

Sweet Lemon Syrup
Sweet Lemon Syrup ~ for the Spice Cafe’s Lemon Jihva

Recipe:
Cut sweet lemons to four pieces. Squeeze juice in to a cup.
Filter out the seeds.
Break rock sugar in a mortar using a pestle into tiny pieces.
Powder cardamom seeds to fine.

For one cup sweet lemon juice, add two tablespoons of rock sugar and quarter teaspoon of cardamom. Take them in a pot, simmer on low heat, stirring in-between, until the juice thickens and coats the spoon. Remove from heat to cool. Filter again if you like, then bottle. Add spoonful to sweeten the tea, coffee, or on cut fruits, coffee-cakes, scones etc.

Note to Metronaturals:
Sweet lemons are available at DK Market (previously Lenny’s Market, behind Wal-mart) at Renton. Rock sugar at Viet-wah. Cardamom at Apna Bazar.:)

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Limes/Lemons, Indian Ingredients, Sugar, Jihva For Ingredients, Mitha Nimboo(Sweet Lemon), Citrus Family (Thursday February 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm- permalink)
Comments

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Mamidi Pesara Pappu (Mango Moong Dal)

Photo Purchase Keywords: Mango, Moong Dal
(It takes money, time, effort and energy for food photography. Please don’t photosteal. Click on the links and purchase the photos legally to digital download and to print. Thanks.)

Lovely to look at, even lovelier to consume, mango-moong dal has a richness all its own without the need of too many ingredients. The unripe mango’s intense ruchi makes this dal just the side of heaven particularly if you happen to be a fan of khatti (tangy/sour) taste.

Yellow moong dal, Green mango, and regular seasoning - that’s all one need to prepare mango-moong dal. A long-standing family favorite, most commonly served to break the fast, this healthful treat is my contribution to talented Suganya’s Healthy Eats Event.

Yellow Moong Dal and Unripe Mango
Yellow Moong Dal and Unripe Mango (Pesara Pappu and Mamidi Kaya)

Recipe:
(for two, for one or two meals)

Half cup yellow moong dal
1 unripe mango - lightly peel the skin, discard the seed and cut the white part to half inch chunks. About a cup.
½ teaspoon chilli powder
4 cups of water

Take them all in a pot or pressure-cooker. Steam-cook until the dal reaches falling-apart stage. Then, with the back of the spoon, gently mash the dal to coarse consistency.

Now, infuse the dal with the ancient natural vitamins, also known as popu or tadka.

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 sprigs curry leaves
4 garlic cloves, slivered
¼ teaspoon each - cumin and mustard seeds
Pinch - Hing (Asafoetida or Inguva)

Heat oil in a vessel until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Add curry leaves and garlic. Toast to pale brown. Then add the cumin, mustard seeds and hing. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the cooked mango-moong dal. Stir in salt to taste. Mix. Serve warm. Great on its own and also with rice or roti for anytime of the day.

Mango Moong Dal (Mamidi Pesara Pappu)
Mamidi Pesara Pappu with Roti ~ Dedicating Our Meal to the Memory of Sreemathi Parigi Subhadra Krishna Rau. May She Rest in Peace!

I just learned the sad news that Pedatha has passed away. Pedatha was a sweet and kind person with gentle nature of yesteryears. I have never met her, but Pedatha has written a personal note in response to this interview. The affection in her words, I will always cherish that. She will always remain very much alive in the memories of those who loved, respected and treasured her.
My deepest condolences to the family!

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Moong Dal (Washed), Mamidikaya (Green Mango) (Wednesday February 20, 2008 at 11:05 pm- permalink)
Comments (33)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Previous Page »