Mahanandi

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)
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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)

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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)
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Fresh Flavors ~ Pudina Pappuchaaru


Pudina, Tomato and Shallots

N Balaji, a reader of Mahanandi, suggested this combination of ingredients when I asked for new mint recipes to try. This is a toor dal based chaaru, and mint adds a distinctive and appealing flavor, which seems to improve as it stands. Good one to have on a rainy day.

Pudina Pappuchaaru
(for two, for two meals)

Toor dal - half cup
Pudina - 5 branches, about hand-length
Shallots - 2
Tomato - 1, ripe one
Tamarind pulp and crushed jaggery - a tablespoon each
Turmeric - ¼ teaspoon
Red chilli powder and salt - ½ teaspoon each, or to taste
Tadka ingredients

Prep work:

Pressure cook toor dal in two cups of water to soft. Mash the dal to smooth. Keep it aside. While dal is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Pinch pudina leaves and tender stems. Finely chop- about half cup. Peel and thinly slice shallots lengthwise- about half cup. Cut tomato to small pieces. Soak tamarind pulp in about quarter cup of water.

Cooking time:

1. Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a chaaru paatra (saucepan). Add and toast a sprig of curry leaves, then a pinch each- cumin, mustard seeds and asafetida to fragrance.

2. Add shallots and sauté to pale red. Add tomatoes and mint leaves. Sauté for couple of minutes. Add the tamarind juice, jaggery, turmeric, chilli and salt. Also the cooked and mashed toor dal. Add about one to one and half cups of water. Mix, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the chaaru, partially covering the pot, for about 20 minutes.

Serve warm. Good as it is and excellent when eaten with rice. To serve, place a spoonful of steamed rice in a bowl. Pour four to five ladlefuls of chaaru. Mix with a spoon or your right hand. Enjoy.

Pudina pappuchaaru
Pudina Pappuchaaru with Chitrannam ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Mint (Thursday May 22, 2008 at 5:25 pm- permalink)
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Mango Mung Kosambari


Sprouted Mung Beans and Romaine Lettuce

Kosambari with mung bean sprouts and ripe mango. All I can say is “Yum”! I love mung bean sprouts and I love mangoes. And when I can get both fresh, this is the kosambari to prepare. With a cup of rasam or sambhar on the side, this makes an excellent hot weather meal.

Mung bean sprouts: you can easily sprout your own. Just soak the mung beans overnight. Next morning, line a colander with muslin cloth. Drain the water and cover the beans with the cloth loosely. Keep the cloth moist, and within a day or two, you see the growth. Rinse and add the sprouted beans to recipes.

Mango Mung Kosambari
(for two, for one meal)

1 ripe mango - peel, cut to bite sized cubes, about a cup
Mung Sprouts - one cup, (raw is good. if you prefer, lightly sauté)
1 hand length cucumber - peel and cut to bite sized cubes, about a cup
6 fresh romaine lettuce leaves - wash, and tear or cut to small pieces

Take them all in a big bowl. Add about half cup of homemade yogurt. Also pinch of salt and black pepper. Combine gently. Serve.


Mango Mung Kosambari ~ for Morning Meal Today

Recipe source: My creation

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Moong Dal (whole), Mango, Cucumbers, Sprouts (Molakalu), Lettuce greens (Wednesday May 21, 2008 at 11:10 am- permalink)
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Modern Indian Cooking~ Cookbook Review and Recipe

Modern Indian Cooking

You know how it is with some cookbooks. You hold it in your hands, browse through a page or two and immediately know that you are going to enjoy preparing from it. I felt that way with “Modern Indian Cooking“, written by talented chefs Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna.

The difference between my cooking methods and my mother and grandmother generation lies in the globalization of taste. Traditional roots, but always on the lookout for some adventure that’s appropriate to the evolving palate. Chef Hari Nayak speaks such language in Modern Indian Cooking. He uses ingredients you might not normally see together, and they work. Wonton Chat, Paneer Picatta, Grilled Chicken with Kokum Compote, Konkan Chilli Prawns, Mint Puris, Semolina Crepes, Cardamom Brownies, Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Truffles - the book is filled with clean and contemporary combinations that are grounded in commonsense.

Being into the food photography and neat designs, I want to add some comments about the quality of the book. The design and layout are pleasing to the eye. Beautiful images of classic looking food against chic background fit with the theme that these are modern versions of classics. Some of the recipes have a series of small photographs that show the ingredients and the process of cooking the food. The recipe instructions are also laid out in a clear and concise manner without overcrowding the page. All and all, Modern Indian Cooking is a pleasant cookbook to have in the kitchen, and this is the first Hari Nayak’s cookbook I have added to my collection, but it won’t be the last.


The following is a recipe from Modern Indian Cooking. Baked samosas with spinach and mung bean using phyllo pastry sheets. I’ve prepared them with sprouted mung beans for a friends get-together last weekend and they were very well received.

Samosa with Spinach and Sprouted Mung Beans
(from MIC, page 25. Makes 2-dozen samosas)

1 cup, sprouted mung beans
4 cups, finely chopped fresh spinach
½ cup, finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon cumin-red chilli powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1-teaspoon oil or ghee

Puff or Phyllo pastry sheets
(mine was from Trader Joe’s-artisan brand.)

Filling: Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add onion and sauté to pale red. Add sprouted mung beans and spinach. Cover the skillet and steam-cook. Spinach supplies moisture, and it would take about 10-15 minutes for the sprouted mung bean to become tender-soft. At this stage, sprinkle turmeric, salt and masala powder. Mix and continue cooking for another five minutes or so. Turn off the heat, and wait for the curry to reach room temperature (cool).

Samosa Wrap: Meanwhile takeout the puff pastry sheet from the freezer. Wait until they reach from stiff, cardboard like to firm but pliable condition. Place the sheet on a lightly floured work surface and evenly roll out to thin. With a sharp knife, cut the sheet to equal looking 2 x 2 inch squares. Place a teaspoon of spinach curry in each square. Quickly fold the right corner over the filling to the left side and press the edges to make a triangle. Repeat until all are done.

Bake: Place the samosas on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 F. After about 10 minutes of baking time, turn to opposite side. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Serve warm with tamarind-date chutney or ketchup.

Baked Samosas
Baked Samosas with Spinach and Sprouted Mung Beans

Notes:
Available for purchase at Amazon, Powell’s
Book Cover is taken from Harinayak.com for review purpose.
Recommend this book to your local library.

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Moong Dal (whole), All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Spinach, Reviews: Cookbooks, Sprouts (Molakalu) (Monday May 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm- permalink)
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Fresh Peas of Spring ~ Peas Pulao


I walked to Pike Place Market this morning and came home with two pounds of fresh peas. I sat for some time thinking about what to prepare and the following recipe is what I came up with for our meal today.

Added basmati rice and salt to water. Steam-cooked the rice to tender.

While rice was cooking, I shelled the peas from the pods. I separated about a cup of plump peas for this recipe. Heated a skillet. Added a teaspoon of peanut oil. When the oil was hot enough, added a teaspoon of Mandira’s panch phoran mix. Toasted the spices for couple of seconds. Then added the fresh peas, quarter cup of finely chopped mint leaves for fragrance and a pinch of black pepper for some heat. Slow simmered the whole thing in quarter cup of very diluted homemade coconut milk for about five minutes.

By then the rice was ready. Added the Pea-panch phoran mix from the skillet to the rice. Mixed and served it with cucumber raita.

Thanks to the Basmati, panch phoran and mint presence, the fresh peas of spring season radiated comfortable glow of self-appreciation. I loved my meal today.


Peas Pulao with Fresh Peas and Panch Phoran
(for two persons, for two meals)

1½ cups basmati rice + 3 cups water + quarter teaspoon salt
Skillet
1 teaspoon - peanut oil
1 teaspoon- panch phoran mix
1 cup - freshly shelled, plump peas
¼ cup - finely chopped mint leaves
¼ teaspoon - crushed black pepper
¼ cup - coconut milk (homemade or store-bought)

(Panch Phoran is a Bengali/Oriya spice mix made of Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek, Mustard and Nigella seeds. Take the seeds in almost equal quantity. Mix and store in a spice box. That’s panch phoran.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Basmati Rice, Peas (Bataani) (Friday May 16, 2008 at 5:12 pm- permalink)
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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 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 Radish, Chana Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Artisan Food (Monday May 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm- permalink)
Comments (3)

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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)

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Flavors of Life ~ Chillies and Lemons

Chillies and Lemons
Chillies and Lemons ~ Sketch by Sree
Ink and watercolor, 5″x6″

Chillies and lemons are often hung as a talisman at the entrance of shops, houses etc in India to ward off the ‘evil eye’ or drishti (as we say it).

By Sree

Flavors of Life: A variety.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Limes/Lemons, Peppers, Dried Red Chillies, Sree (Saturday May 3, 2008 at 1:00 am- permalink)
Comments (8)

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Weekend Pamper ~ Avocado Face Freshener

Avocado, Gram Flour and Turmeric
Avocado, Besan and Turmeric

Face fresheners are fun thing I used to do with my sisters, when summer was as long as a lifetime and a month could pass without me ever knowing what days of the week it was. It has been ages since I applied one and I miss the laughter and lazy talk of facemask days.

Traditional teenage face-freshener consists of besan, turmeric, yogurt and honey. They are mixed together and applied to the face. Besan is a soothing skin-scrub and turmeric is known for it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Yogurt and honey, the calming moisturizers make the mask more palatable.:) Buttery avocados are good in place of yogurt, and facemask puts the avocados to great use, particularly when avocados are two for one dollar.

Avocado Face Freshener:
(for two faces, for one rinse)

Avocado pulp - about 3 to 4 tablespoons
Besan (gram flour) - about a tablespoon
Turmeric - about half teaspoon

Take avocado pulp in a small cup. With a sturdy spoon mash to smooth. Add besan and turmeric. Combine thoroughly without any lumps. Apply on your face generously. Stay green for about 15 to 30 minutes and then rinse for a happy glow. Relaxing thing to do on a lazy weekend or after a costly trip to Indian grocery.:)

Avocado Face Mask with Turmeric
Avocado Face Mask with Turmeric ~ for Sowmya

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Gram Flour (Besan), Avocado, Turmeric (Pasupu) (Sunday April 27, 2008 at 10:25 am- permalink)
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Aachar Avocado

Avocado, Key Lime, and Tomato

I enjoy avocados. It hadn’t been always that way. My avocado experience began with facemask, then expanded to salsa, chapatis, avocado annam. And the latest is this aachar avocado, a new recipe I have come up with. A variation on a classic guacamole, in aachar avocado, the creamy avocados are spiced up with aachar masala powder. Light and clean, but with enough punch, it’s a good twist on the old classic. Also, we can avoid dealing with raw jalapeno pepper. Aachar avocado makes a good side dish to chapatis or rotis.

Aachar Avocado:
(for two, for one meal)

2 avocados, ripe but firm
8 cherry tomatoes
1 small shallot (erra ulligadda)
2 key limes
2 sprigs fresh cilantro
1-teaspoon aachar masala powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh into a mortar. Mash the avocado to a consistency of your liking. Chop shallot, tomatoes and cilantro finely, and add them to mortar. Sprinkle the aachar masala powder and salt. With a pestle, coarsely mash the ingredients. Squeeze limejuice and mix. Serve right away with hot chapati or roti. Makes a quick and filling breakfast or light lunch.

Achar Avocado
Aachar Avocado, Getting Ready For Brunch Today

Aachar Masala Powder (R/C Pooja):
Dried red chillies, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and garlic. Skillet roast in few drops of oil. Add salt and powder them together to fine.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Avocado (Wednesday April 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm- permalink)
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Presents from Pooja

Arusuvai Friendship Package from Pooja

“Oh my! She shouldn’t have to” I thought while opening the parcel.

Aachari, garam and jaljeera - three types of masala powders, all homemade. Hazelnut chocolates. Stainless steel pepper mill and saltshaker. And a greeting card.

When I first started food blogging, I knew it was something I would enjoy, but I had no idea how much fun it could be. Neither a sweet talker nor a social butterfly, essentially a social hermit and a solitude seeker, I have never expected neither attention nor affection. But that’s exactly what food blogging has brought to my life. It has been an Arusuvai kind of experience. (Arusuvai means six tastes in Tamil and refer to theepu-sweet, karam-hot, kassappu-bitter, pulupu-sour, uppu-salt, tuvarpu- like umami, a special taste that one gets from raw vegetables and herbs.)

Without a doubt, one of the best aspects of this arusuvai experience has been the surprise gifts that led to special relationships. It happened again last week. Pooja of My Creative Ideas has sent me a friendship package. I’ve been following Pooja’s writings since she started her blog. Cheerful personality, creative nature with childlike innocence. It’s impossible not to be charmed by Pooja’s passionate flair and delightful exuberance.

Thank you dear Pooja, for this special arusuvai friendship package!

Here is what I have come up with Pooja’s Aachari masala (pickle masala powder). I’ve put together six tastes in an attempt to create an Arusuvai experience, and it has turned out to be a memorable success.

Cucumber-Mint Relish
Cucumber-Mint Relish with Pooja’s Aachari Masala
~ A Convergence of Arusuvai Friendship

Recipe:

1 palm-length cucumber (Moroccan/Indian variety), cut to thin rings
2 sprigs fresh mint – leaves plucked
¼ cup - kokum water
¼ cup - limejuice
1 tablespoon - jaggery gratings
½ teaspoon - Aachari (Pickle) masala
¼ teaspoon - salt

In a cup, take kokum water, limejuice, jaggery, aachari masala and salt. Mix with a spoon for few minutes until jaggery dissolves.

In a shallow serving bowl, place cucumber rounds and mint leaves in layers. Pour the juice. Top with mint leaves. Refrigerate or place in a cool area for about ten minutes. Serve as a light snack or as a side dish to main meal. Munch on a piece of cucumber and mint. Then sip a teaspoon of juice. Sweet, sour, bitter and spicy with some tuvarpu (umami), this cucumber relish will be truly an arusuvai experience.

Kitchen Notes:
Aachari Masala (R/C Pooja) - Dried red chilli, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, Nigella seeds and garlic. Skillet roast in few drops of oil. Add salt and powder them together to fine.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal), Limes/Lemons, Mint, Cucumbers, Kokum (Amsool) (Friday April 18, 2008 at 10:31 pm- permalink)
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Vadapappu Kosambari

Vadapappu
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.

Recipe:
(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: www.themahanandi.org

Mint Coconut Chutney

The fragrance of fresh mint and the sweetness of fresh coconut come together in this traditional chutney. The recipe is from my friend Janani Srinivasan. When asked to share, Janani wrote “there are two schools of philosophy on the mint-coconut chutney at our home. I prefer to grind mint leaves raw with rest of standard chutney ingredients. But my mom finds it too minty. So she sautés them in oil first and if that is the case, I like to add some garlic too and then grind with the rest of standard issue raw coconut chutney ingredients.”

I’ve been trying out various raw foods in recent weeks, so I picked up dear Janani’s mint chutney-philosophy number one for our meal today. Intense and remarkably good as raw food goes, mintaholics won’t be disappointed with this one.

Mint Chutney Ingredients Mint Chutney
Mint Chutney Ingredients …………………….. Mint Chutney in Sumeet Jar

Recipe:

1-cup mint leaves, tightly packed (spearmint)
½ cup fresh coconut pieces
¼ cup dalia (bhuna chana or pappulu)
4 Indian or Thai variety, small green chillies
1 small Asian shallot - peel and slice to chunks
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Take them all in a mixer or mortar. Add about one to two cups of water. Blend to smooth consistency. Remove to a vessel. Do the tadka if you prefer, and serve with breakfast items, rice or roti. Best eaten the day it is made and not suitable to refrigeration.

(Add only shallot (erra gadda) and if shallot is not available, then red onion. Regular white and yellow onions won’t be that good raw in this recipe.)

Mint-Coconut Chutney with Vegetable Upma
Mint Coconut Chutney with Vegetable Upma ~ Meal Today

Health Labels:
Traditional India-Vegan, Raw Food
Mint, varieties and benefits - A Good Read
Amazing healing properties of Coconut

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Previously with Mint (Pudina):
Pudina Chai with Gunpowder Tea
Pudina Pachadi with Peanuts
Pudina Paneer for Picnic
Pudina Pulao ~ Andhra Style
Pudina Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu)
Healing Herbal Rice with Brown Basmati

Mint is three bunches for a dollar here, now. I like mint and I would love to try new recipes. Any other good, family recipes with mint? Do share. Thanks.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mint, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Coconut (Fresh) (Thursday March 27, 2008 at 2:59 pm- permalink)
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