Mahanandi

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

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)
Comments (12)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

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)
Comments (12)

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)
Comments (22)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pudina Pachadi with Peanuts

Pudina Pachadi with Rava-Dill Idles
Pudina Pachadi with Dill-Rava Idlies ~ Brunch Today

This is the recipe that made a Pudina convert of me. My ammamma (grandmother) served it one fine morning many moons ago with moonlight like idlies and that was it. The same exact recipe has been followed by my mother and now by me. Combine our ages, the recipe must be at least hundred years old. Only thing that has changed is the method of grinding, from mortar and pestle to Sumeet mixer.

Recipe:

1 bunch fresh pudina (spearmint)
1 onion and 4 green chillies
Marble-sized tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon peanut oil
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Soak tamarind in quarter cup of warm water for about ten minutes to soften, so that it can blend well. Meanwhile wash and pluck the pudina leaves and also tender stems. (Two cups tightly packed.) Peel and slice onion to big chunks. Cut chillies to two pieces.

Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet to a smoking point. Add and toast cumin for few seconds. Add the onion and chillies. Saute to pale brown. Remove to a plate. Then in the same skillet, add the pudina and saute until leaves collapse. Remove to a plate. Wait for the contents to reach room temperature.

Take peanuts in a Sumeet style mixer or blender. Pulse for few minutes. Then add the roasted onion, chilli, cumin and mint leaves. Also salt and the tamarind along with the water it soaked in. Puree to smooth paste. Add water if necessary, about another half cup for easy blending.

Pudina pachadi is best eaten the day it is made. It is good with a variety of savory recipes. Adds a refreshing minty sparkle when eaten with breakfast items like idly, dosa, upma and pongal, and also when applied on chapati, roti or when mixed with rice and dal.

Roasted Pudina Chutney Contents in a Cast-iron Skillet Pudina Pachadi with Rava-Dill Idles
Roasted Peanuts, Mint, Onion and Chillies in a Cast-iron Skillet…
Pudina Pacchadi with Dill-Rava Idlies

Health Labels:
Traditional India-Vegan, Amma
Mint: Rich source of Iron, Vitamins. More here.
Peanuts: Good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and Vit E
Cumin and Chillies: Aid digestion and well-being

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Mint, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Wednesday March 19, 2008 at 11:40 am- permalink)
Comments (1)

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 .

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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 (2)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pudina Chai with Gunpowder Tea

Mint Leaves with Gunpowder Tea
Fresh Pudina (Mint) Leaves and Gunpowder Tea

In the midst of pressure-packed day, there is nothing like taking a breather with a warm cup of chai.

I wanted something new that would relax and refresh. Pudina chai sounded soothing.

A glass of water, a teaspoon of gunpowder tea, six freshly plucked pudina leaves and few drops of milk. Ten minutes of gentle simmering on stove-top and then straining out the seeped pudina-tea mixture. There it is, pudina chai sweetened with honey. My for today.

Pudina Tea
A Cup of Pudina Chai to Refresh the Senses

Tea Finds:
Daily Ritual ~ A Cup of Chai
North African Mint Tea (Without Milk)
Green Tea (Gunpowder or Pearl tea) Health Benefits

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mint, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Tea (Friday March 14, 2008 at 6:10 pm- permalink)
Comments (1)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Fragrant Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar

Fresh Tuvar (Toor Dal, Kandulu)
Fresh Tuvar (pacchi kandulu)

Toor dal is among the most easily digestible of all food, and can serve as central element in a meatfree diet. The nourishing toor dal starts its life as an oval-shaped bean in beautiful green, neatly tucked in a row in a tuvar pod. Each tuvar pod contains about four to six plump tuvar beans. Exquisitely dense and full of spring-flavor, fresh tuvar, like green peas and green garbanzos, is a culinary delight when lightly cooked.

At Nandyala, fresh tuvar pods appear at farmers markets for a few weeks during summer time. Streetside vendors sell boiled tuvar pods in paper packets for as little as your pocket change. At our home, we used to simmer the whole pods in salted water and then shell the pods to snack on the cooked beans. Luckily, in recent years, the local Indian grocery shops in the United States have started importing fresh tuvar from India. Already shelled and in frozen avatar, a pound is usually priced at two to three dollars. It’s a good buy.

If you haven’t tried this protein powerhouse yet, you must now. Lightly cook fresh tuvar beans in salted water for a delicious snack. Or add them whole to vegetable curries or kurmas, and to rice preparations. This lentil lifeline instantly livens up any preparation.

For today’s meal, I made basmati pulao with fresh mint and tuvar. Easy to cook, incredibly fragrant and best of all, it’s so rich in flavor because of fresh mint and tuvar, that it needs little enhancement. Imagine pasta or orzo tossed in flavorful mint pesto ; almost the same taste here, but with basmati rice.

Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar
Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar

Recipe:
(for four to six people)

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup fresh tuvar
¼ cup roasted cashews
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil

To prepare masala: Take about 2 cups fresh mint leaves in a Sumeet style mixer. Add two tablespoons of fresh, grated coconut, 5 green chillies, 4 cloves and a one-inch cinnamon piece. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and blend them together to fine paste.

To prepare Mint Pulao: Heat the oil in a big pan over medium heat. Add the onion and Tuvar. Saute to tender. Next, add and cook the ground masala paste, over low heat, stirring for about five minutes, until it turns to pale green from bright green color. To the cooked masala, add the basmati rice, salt and about 5 cups of water. Mix. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until water evaporates and rice cooks to tender. At this stage, add the cashews, and fluff the rice gently with a spoon. Let it sit, covered for five minutes and serve hot.

This mint pilaf is definitely delicious enough to eat on its own, but I have prepared aloo kurma and cucumber raita to go with it. Good meal.

Mint Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar
Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Mint and Tuvar ~ for Linda’s Toor Dal Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mint, Basmati Rice, Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu) (Tuesday December 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm- permalink)
Comments (16)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pudina Paneer for Picnic


Pudina (Mint) from our Patio Garden

Pudina Paneer has the perfect punch to serve with pulaos and parathas on a picnic party. It’s good with grilled chicken and fish too.

Recipe is easy to execute. Involves grilling and grinding.

Grilling :
On stove-top or on a hot grill, place a slab of paneer and grill each side for a minute. Remove, cool and slice the paneer slab to bite sized cubes.
On stove-top or on a grill, place an iron skillet and heat the oil until it’s very hot. Add and saute Pudina leaves till they wilt. Remove to a plate.
In the same skillet, place onions, tomatoes, garlic and green chillies. Grill to brown.

Grinding:
In a food processor or mixer, take roasted peanuts. Grind to fine consistency.
Add the sautéed Pudina leaves, grilled onions, tomatoes, garlic and green chillies. Also tamarind, salt and two cups of water. Process the whole thing to smooth paste. Remove to a cup. Stir in grilled paneer cubes and serve with pulao or parathas.


Pudina Paneer ~ for Picnic Party

Ingredients
Palm sized, one-inch thick slab of paneer (about 15 to 20 cubes)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 bunches of Pudina (mint) - about 4 cups of leaves
1 big red onion
2 semi ripe tomatoes
6 to 8 green chillies
1 small garlic bulb - about 4-6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
½ cup roasted peanuts
½ tsp salt or to taste

Recipe source: My own creation

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Paneer, Mint (Wednesday July 4, 2007 at 9:32 pm- permalink)
Comments (19)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pudina Pulao (Mint Fried Rice)

With the start of long and plenty of sunshine days, the mint in my container garden is growing like crazy. Just like the hair on my husband’s head:), except of course the hair knows no season. It needs once in a two week trimming and pruning session, otherwise it can branch off into one irritating but pretty in a wild way, kind of growth.

Not only I had trimmed branches of mint, I also bought a bunch for a quarter (25 cents) at farmers market. Together that’s lots of mint for two people, and the best way to use all of it in one setting is of course the good, old pudina pulao. Natural fragrance of Basmati rice, cloves and other spices we use in making the pulao mask the overpowering mint aroma. So, don’t be afraid to try this dish, if this is your first time or if you are on the fence about mint recipes.

Recipe:

1 bunch of mint- Rinsed and leaves and tender stems plucked
2 cups of Basmati rice, washed and soaked in 4 cups of water
3 green chillies and one onion - sliced thinly, lengthwise
¼ cup of fresh coconut - chopped
1 inch piece ginger and 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 each - cloves, cardamom, small cinnamon pieces, bay leaves & 1 star anise
¼ cup - roasted cashews
1 tablespoon - ghee
1 teaspoon - salt, or to taste

Mint, Green chillies, garlic, ginger, Cashews, Bay leaves, Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Star anise

Preparation:

Take mint leaves, coconut, green chillies, ginger and garlic in a mixer. Add a pinch of salt and blend to fine consistency without adding any water.

Put the Rice cooker pot on stovetop on medium flame. (To make it a one-pot meal, usually what I do is - I would saute the masala for pulao in rice cooker pot first, then I would add the soaked basmati rice along with water to the same pot and cook.)

Heat ghee on medium heat in rice cooker pot. When it is hot, add the spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and star anise), saute them first. Then the onions, saute until onions start to brown. Now, add the pureed mint-green chilli-coconut paste. Fry until the mint paste changes color from bright green to light-green color. Take care not to burn/brown the masala paste.

Paste of Mint and Greenchillies , Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Star aniseSaut�ing the mint masala with onions and peas

Into this sauteed masala, empty the Basmati rice and the water it soaked in. Add salt; stir the whole thing, so that all the ingredients would mix together. Now remove the pot from stovetop, put it back in rice cooker and switch on the plug to cook. Once the rice cooks to tender, remove the lid and add cashews. Mix it once. Put the lid back and let it stand for another five minutes. Then turn off the plug.

Mint pulao, Potato kurma, Raita and lemon wedge

We had pudina pulao with potato kurma , raita and lime wedge on the side - one good meal.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Mint, Basmati Rice (Tuesday June 21, 2005 at 9:40 am- permalink)
Comments (52)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org