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)
Comments (44)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Jihva 08

Peacock Sugar Sculptures

Jihvā, the online food blogging event will be two years old this April. Each month a natural, wholesome ingredient was selected and featured, and during last year over a span of 12 months, a total of about 1500 entries and recipes flew in from across the world. The year started with Green leafy vegetables and moved on to Jackfruit, Brinjal, Mirchi, Rice, Banana, Diwali Treats, Toor Dal, Cocoa/Chocolate, Onions, Lemons/Limes and ended with Garlic goodness. My sincere thanks to the hosts Bee&Jai, Sangeeta, Nandita, Sharmi, Mandira, Vee, Linda, Deepz, Radhika, Coffee and Mathy Kandasamy. Also to all the participants for investing their effort and energy to create such wonderful cookery resource through Jihvā. Great job!

For Jihva year 08, I would like to extend an invitation to fellow bloggers. If you have a natural ingredient that you feel strongly about and would like to highlight it, then this is your chance. Here is more about this event.

What is Jihvā ?
Jihvā, the Sanskrit word means taste, desire and deep longing. This powerful word also represents tongue and taste buds.

What is Jihvā for Ingredients?
I believe for Jihvā to happen, it’s all in the ingredients and how they are prepared. Jihvā for Ingredients (JFI) is an online monthly food event, celebrating the Ingredients and what they can do for our Jeevā.

What are the guidelines to host?
1. Feature any natural ingredient and there are many.
2. I’d greatly appreciate if you could pick an ingredient related to India or Indian cuisine. (Which style of cuisine that ingredient prepared is, of course it’s up to the choice of participants).
3. Announce the event on your blog by 3rd of previous month. This will give plenty of time for the participants to shop, prepare, write and post their contribution.

Interested to host the Jihva event?
Mail me stating your preference of month. Food bloggers with great passion for Jihva only, please. Once confirmed, your website name will appear on the calendar below.
Update: Thanks for your interest and participation. All slots are filled up for this Jihva year, and the invitation is closed at this time. No Emails please.

Congratulations to Jihva hosts!


Jihva Year 2008 Calendar
(May 08 - April 09)

May
Pedatha
September
Monsoon Spice
January
Ammalu’s Kitchen
June
My Creative Ideas
October
Tasty Palettes
February
Sometime Foodie
July
Live to Eat
November
Cooking for All Seasons
March
Paajaka
August
Soul Food
December
The Cooker
April
Roma’s Space

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Jihva For Ingredients (Thursday April 3, 2008 at 6:05 am- permalink)
Comments (14)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Flavors of Life ~ Grandmas, Dosas and More

Grandmother, Dosas and More ~ Painting by Sree
Grandmothers, Dosas and More ~ for Dosa Mela
Painting by Sree (5″x6″, Graphite Sketch)

That is not my grandmother. It is just a sketch I made while getting bored on the train, on my journey home from Bangalore. I miss so many things post-marriage. One of them is my grandmother and the old kitchen at my mom’s place where I spent most of my childhood. It looked exactly like this and my grandma would sit exactly like this cooking at her small stove making hot dosas and chapatis and more. She would always mix food in the most delectable combination with chutneys, pickles…. yum! I think those tasted better than anything available in any restaurant. She is now bedridden and can hardly walk and the kitchen is now converted into a modern one. I think if I build my own house, I would want an old- fashioned kitchen just like my grandmother’s.:)

~ Sree

Flavors of Life: Introduction
Flavors of Life, Previously:

Banana Vendor by Sree Pumpkin Blossom by Sree Cotton Candy Painting by Sree Infinitea by Sree
Tirupathi Laddus by Sree

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Kitchen, Traditions, Sree (Saturday March 29, 2008 at 1:00 am- permalink)
Comments (20)

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 (2)

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 (3)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Dazzling Dals ~ Punjabi Tinda Dal

Punjabi Tinda

Pretty looking Punjabi Tinda is a type of winter squash, common to north India. This is a seasonal vegetable and available at Indian grocery shops - fresh, frozen and also preserved in brine, in ready to use tins. Punjabi Tinda is easy to recognize. Pleasant pale-green color and perfect round shape, they resemble green tomato or green apple in color, shape and size. The skin is tough though, needs peeling, or scrubbing. When cut open, you see firm flesh in snow-white color, and seeds will be in white or brown color depending on the maturity of the gourd. Punjabi Tinda can be steamed, stuffed, or stir-fried. It has sweet taste with a light papaya scent. Absorbs flavors well and tastes superb in strong-sauced curries and with dals.

Punjabi tinda was introduced to me by Deviji, the kind neighbor we had when we lived in Pittsburgh. She is about my mother’s age and came to Pittsburgh to visit her son. She stayed for about six months. We struck a friendship through our interest in cookery. She couldn’t get enough of my idly, dosas and I of her traditional Punjabi cooking. Together, we would prepare an elaborate meal combining both south and north Indian dishes, have a nice lunch and save the rest for dinner. She is a military wife, traveled all over India with her husband. She is like Annapoorna and Saraswathi when it comes to food and knowledge. I learned so much from her about ingredients and techniques that were new to me. There is nothing that compares to first hand learning that comes through the interaction with an experienced person. This rich experience started with just a “hallway hello”. And that was the best experience I ever gotten for a friendly hello.

The following recipe is from Deviji. Punjabi Tinda cooked with toor dal and seasoned with tomato, onion and tamarind. A very good dal!

Punjabi Tinda
Punjabi Tinda ~ Whole, Halved and Cut to Chunks

Recipe:

¾ cup toor dal
1 Punjabi tinda, peeled and cut to big chunks
Tomato and onion, one each and 6 green chillies, cut to chunks
Tamarind pulp - two teaspoons or to taste
Turmeric and Salt - to taste or quarter teaspoon each
Popu or tadka ingredients

Take toor dal and two cups of water in a pressure-cooker.
Cook to soft, and then mash the dal to smooth. Keep aside.

In a pot, heat oil and do the popu(toast cumin, mustard and curry leaves in oil).
Add Punjabi tinda, tomato, onion and chillies to toasted popu. Saute to tender.
Stir in tamarind, salt and turmeric.
Add the cooked toor dal and about one cup of water.
Simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Serve or spoon into a small bowl and enjoy with rice or chapatis.

Dal Prepared with Punjabi Tinda
Punjabi Tinda Dal with Rice and Sliced Pears ~ Light Lunch Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Vegetables, Punjabi Tinda (Monday October 29, 2007 at 1:47 pm- permalink)
Comments (12)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

It’s Chakalaka, Baby!

Chakalaka ~ South African Vegetarian Dish
Chakalaka

African food, at least here in the west, is usually restricted to East African staples like the delicious Ethiopian dosa, the Injera or entrees such as the equally delectable Moroccan chickpea stew (normally served over couscous) common to North Africa.

But what of the quintessentially South African Chakalaka?

As one examines the recipe, it’s not hard to imagine South African cooks venturing out into their vegetable garden one hot day, picking onions, red peppers, tomatoes and any other readily available seasonal produce. As the vegetables cooked, they probably craved some of the flavors they remember smelling as they walked down a street with Indian houses. Inspired, they might have thrown in a liberal dose of curry powder into the simmering vegetables in the pot. Since many variations also include tinned baked beans, hungry laborers might have adapted it as a quick and satisfying one-pot meal at the end of a hard day of slogging it in the gold mines.

With my well-equipped Indian kitchen, Chakalaka was a breeze to whip up. Indeed, the Indian influences are not surprising. Indians have been in South Africa longer than Caucasians have been in Canada! So at least for 7-8 generations. In fact, our beloved Mahatma Gandhi cut his revolutionary teeth in South Africa.

But back to Chakalaka (don’t you just love the sound of the name?)

While the jury is still out on whether Chakalaka is a chunky ketchup or a sauce or a cooked salsa (could be either); on whether it should be served as a side dish or a condiment (served as both) and if it should be eaten hot or cold (served either way), this spicy and always vegetarian concoction has now come to be identified as the definitive taste of South Africa. There’s even a restaurant in London named for this dish. Featuring a standard base of onions, tomatoes and peppers; this versatile dish is open to endless experimentation.

Other bloggers tell us that traditionally, Chakalaka is often served as a sauce with a maize porridge (Mielie Pap) that is eaten predominantly by the local black population. It’s also served with bread or the ragi-like Samp, made of maize. It can also be spotted as an accompaniment at South African barbecues called Braais (pronounced “bry”, rhyming with the word “cry”)

In the spirit of making a mean Chakalaka that is true to its African roots as well as its spirit of assimilation and innovation, my version is based on a number of recipes found online as well as one that was featured in the Toronto star.


Red, Orange and Yellow ~ Peppers in Autumn Colors

Recipe:
(Makes enough for approx 30 tablespoon servings)

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
4 fresh green chillies, slit
1 big red onion, finely chopped
A pound (4 to 6) juicy tomatoes, finely chopped
3 bell peppers, chopped into 1cm X 1cm pieces
2 carrots and 2 potatoes chopped into 1cm X 1cm pieces
Curry powder - 1 heaped tablespoon.
Red beans - one cup, pre-soaked and pressure-cooked to tender
Salt - one teaspoon, or to taste
Fresh coriander for garnish

In a saucepan, heat up the oil and saute ginger, garlic, chillies and onions to soft. Add the salt and curry powder. Add the tomatoes and cook till mushy and of sauce consistency. Add peppers, carrots and potatoes. Cook till they are of a desired softness. Add the red beans and cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add coriander. Check seasoning levels and serve with rice or breads of your choice.

A small confession. After adding the beans, I tasted it and found the heat was a bit too much. So I caved and added a teaspoon of jaggery at the end. Unsuspecting victims, tasters of the dish said it took them to whole new levels of delayed heat which overwhelmed the palate after the initial deceptive sweetness. But they all agreed they couldn’t get enough of it!

Chakalaka with Chapatis and Pomegranate
Chakalaka with Chapatis and Pomegranate ~ Meal Today

~ Article Contributed by Janani Srinivasan
Photos by Indira Singari.

Kitchen Notes:
Other vegetables can also be added to Chakalaka - cauliflower, zucchini, string beans etc
For curry powder - if you have access to it, I recommend the fiery Sri Lankan Niru brand powder so ubiquitous in Toronto. If not, any other store-bought or homemade will do. The South African recipes recommend a local brand called “leaf masala”.
To be true to the grassroots appeal of this dish, you could use a can of baked beans from the local supermarket. Vegetarians check labels to ensure it’s free of lard or any other animal ingredients. If you can soak your own from scratch, that’s even better.
More on Chakalaka : Chakalaka 101, and Culinary Musings from Cape Town

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Red Beans (Chori), Peppers, Janani Srinivasan (Thursday October 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Gold and Red Beets Curry

Shopping at farmers markets is a great experience. Here, the atmosphere and the hungama usually resembles a pelli-chupula party than a humble raitu bazar. The bridegroom is the fresh produce and the merchants are the proud papas and mamas.

“We did nothing but best for our produce. Actual soil, real Sun and no chemical sprays. It’s all ORGANIC.” They boast.

“How much? 10? What? Are these for real?”, a skeptical smile.

“Do you want nutrient-rich experience and a blessed, healthy life or not?” The looks say it all.

“How can a poor man stand such times and live?” No such soulful cry from the surrounding performing artists.

Natural yet painfully artificial, it’s different kind of atmosphere here. But the lure of open air shopping is irresistible, so I go. In between the greediness, there are always few good stalls with decent prices. At one such stall, I purchased the gold and red beets last weekend. I have added the kobbari kaaram and prepared a curry for meal today. With kobbari kaaram at hand, it’s real easy to create a multitude of habit forming dishes. And, the sweet beets love the spicy kobbari kaaram touch.

Gold and Red BeetrootsGolden and Red Beetroots
Gold and Red ~ Beaming Beets

Recipe:

Gold and red beetroots :
Peel, cut to thin rings and then dice to small pieces, like shown in the image, one cup each
Chana dal - 2 tbs, presoaked in water for 30 minutes beforehand
(added for it’s sugar-control properties and nutty crunchiness)
Kobbari Kaaram - 4 tablespoons
Turmeric and salt to taste or ½ teaspoon each
For popu or tadka: 1 tablespoon ghee, a curry leaves sprig and
¼ tsp each -cumin and mustard seeds

In a wide skillet, heat the ghee until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Keep the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves and toast to pale gold color. Then, toss in the cumin and the mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the chana dal and beets. Stir-fry for couple of minutes and then sprinkle about two tablespoons of water. Cover the skillet and steam-saute the pieces to tender, mixing in-between on medium-low heat. When the beets reach the softness you desire, then sprinkle the kobbari kaaram, turmeric and salt. Mix and cook couple of minutes. That’s it. A colorful sidedish would be ready to serve with rice, chapati or pasta.


Rice mixed with Gold and Red beets Curry, Mudda Pappu with Ghee and Pickled Cucumbers ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beetroot (Tuesday August 21, 2007 at 10:14 pm- permalink)
Comments (18)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Kobbari Kaaram


Coconut sweetness
Curry leaves aroma
Chillies divine spiciness
Chana dal and Urad dal nutty crunchiness

That is kobbari kaaram. The traditional, famous spice powder from Andhra Pradesh, India. The secret to success of this spicy powder lies in slow-roasting of ingredients to seductive gold color. As you can see, there is a lot going on in this deceptively simple spicy powder.

Some recipes make us feel defeated while also stirring in the feelings of joy. Kobbari Kaaram is one such recipe for me. It has too much amma (mother) association and attached memories to it. While standing in front of the stove, waiting for the ingredients to reach that perfect gold color, the deep longing for gentle landscape of my childhood days was too much to feel. But once I finished the preparation and started to dip the warm gheelious rice-ravva upma rounds in kobbari kaaram, I rolled back to my routine content self and began to make happy cooking plans.


Oven-Dried Coconut, Toasted Curry Leaves, Roasted Dried Chillies, Chana dal and Urad dal

Recipe:
2 cups - thinly sliced dried coconut pieces
Quarter cup each - chana dal and urad dal
20 fresh curry leaves
15 dried red chillies - Indian variety
1 teaspoon - sea salt

Break a fresh coconut. Remove the coconut from shell. Thinly slice and spread the pieces on a baking pan and bake/ovendry to pale brown color at 200 F. Or simply sun-dry the coconut pieces to golden brown, like we used to do at Nandyala.
Place an iron skillet on stove-top, on medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, reduce the heat to low and one after another, add and roast chana dal, next urad dal and finally red chillies to pale brown color. Mix frequently and take care not to black the ingredients. Remove each one to a plate. In the end, coat the skillet with a teaspoon of peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add and toast curry leaves to gold color. Remove to a plate.

Let the ingredients come down to room temperature. Both texture-wise and taste-wise, this is important. Go sit down and wait.

When they are cool enough to touch, take the coconut pieces, roasted ingredients in a Sumeet style mixie jar. Add salt and grind to fine powder. Store the kobbari kaaram in a clean glass jar. Kobbari kaaram tastes great with all types of breakfast items like upma, pongal, dosa, idly and also on stir-fried vegetables like bell peppers, potatoes, brinjals, ridge gourd and okra etc. It’s a good thing to have in the kitchen.

Kitchen Notes:
I prefer either Ballari coconut or fresh coconut for this recipe because of their superior taste.
(From Telugu to English : Kobbari=coconut, Kaaram=Chilli)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in The Essentials, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Coconut (Dry), Dried Red Chillies (Monday August 13, 2007 at 5:57 pm- permalink)
Comments (22)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Roasted Red Capsicum Chutney

Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Of all different colored bell peppers (capsicums), I like the red ones. Red bell peppers are matured green bell peppers and when bell pepper ages, not only the color but the flavor also changes. They become sweet, which is a surprise. Usually maturing into red signals the more fierce kind of flavor in vegetables, but here they mellow.

This favorite chutney of mine is prepared by roasting red bell peppers, onion and dried red chillies and by blending them including peanuts, jaggery and tamarind juice. The result is one of the flavorful and easiest Bharath-inspired chutneys you will ever try. Tastes superb with all the breakfast items, like idly, dosa, upma and also with rice, chapati or as a spread and dip for snack items.

Red Bell Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Dried Red Chillies, Roasted Peanuts, Tamarind and Jaggery - Ingredients for Red Bell Pepper Chutney
Red Bell Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Dried Red Chillies, Roasted Peanuts, Tamarind and Jaggery

Recipe:

Cut to big chunks:
2 big red bell peppers
1 medium sized onion
6-8 dried red chillies
1 garlic clove

Saute:
Heat about 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a skillet.
Add and Saute the cut vegetables and dried red chillies on high heat. The vegetables should be very well browned and soft. Remove them from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile Soak and Roast:
Small Lime sized tamarind in half-cup of warm water for about 10 minutes. Or microwave for 30 seconds - This is to soften the tamarind, so it can blend well.
Roast half-cup of peanuts till golden and remove skins. Store-bought un-salted, roasted peanuts are fine too.

Blend, in a blender or in a mortar using a pestle:
All the roasted vegetables
Tamarind, along with the water it soaked in.
Half cup of roasted peanuts
½ tablespoon of powdered jaggery
¼ tsp of salt or to taste
Grind them together to coarse puree, without adding any extra water.

Remove to a cup and serve with your favorite breakfast/lunch/supper items.

Red Bell Pepper Chutney and Besan Dosas
Besan Dosa and Red Bell Pepper Chutney


This recipe was first published on Mahanandi on June 20th, 2006.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Revisiting Old Recipes (Tuesday July 17, 2007 at 9:10 pm- permalink)
Comments (28)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Savory Treats ~ Ponganalu

In our homes, whenever relatives from other regions of Andhra or from other states visit us for holidays, out comes the “ponganala Pennam”(ponganala skillet). Round, golden colored ponganalu, hot off from the skillet, always elicits oohh… aahh… from our relatives and from their weird offspring (are there any other kind?:) ). Because they are unique to our region, preparing them is our showoff kind of thing to out of staters who were related to us by marriages etc.

Preparing ponganalu, it’s all in the skillet . Right kind of skillet delivers or breaks a ‘ponganam’. Nothing can beat an old world style, well seasoned iron skillet. They are the best and the place where you can buy is of course India. I’ve seen some non-stick skillets here in US in some Indian shops lately. They are also fine, if you don’t mind the non-stick coating.

Recipe:
For 3 to 4 batches of Ponganalu

Ponganala batter:
1 cup rice
½ cup urad dal

Soak rice and urad dal in water for about 6 hours. Drain (reserve the water) and grind them into smooth batter adding just enough water (add the drained water that was kept aside). The consistency of the batter must be thick, like idli batter or like condensed milk (commercial kind). Take the batter into a big vessel, cover and let it sit overnight in a warm area for fermentation.
(Sour and dayold dosa batter is perfect to prepare ponganalu.)

Ingredients to prepare ponganalu
Rice-Urad Dal Batter and Ingredients ~ to Prepare Ponganalu

Seasoning (Add to the overnight fermented batter):
1 big red onion or 6 shallots - finely chopped
(Because we mix them in the batter raw, avoid yellow onion for its smell & awful rawtaste)
4 green chillies - finely chopped
Few springs of cilantro - finely chopped
A fistful of chana dal (soaked overnight)
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of turmeric and salt
Add all these ingredients to the batter and mix thoroughly.
Also prepare peanut or coconut chutney.

Cooking: Place the ponganala skillet on medium heat. Add few drops of peanut oil into each impression. With a spoon or with a piece of paper towel, rub oil around, to season the skillet. When the skillet is hot and ready, proceed like this, following the images.


Pour a ladleful of batter into each impression.


Once all impressions are filled, cover the skillet with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes undisturbed.


Remove the lid; The batter will be set by now. Gently lift the ponganalu with a “ponganala lifter” or with a spoon. If properly cooked, they should come out easily without sticking to the skillet. If not, cook them for few more minutes.


Turn each one to opposite side to cook.


Cook them another 5 minutes on medium heat undisturbed. Gently lift them from out of the skillet. When properly cooked they should come out easily without sticking to the skillet. If not, cook for few more minutes and remove all to a plate. Season the skillet with oil, and repeat the steps again to cook another batch. Medium heat is the key.(Cooking them on high heat in a hurry or on too low heat won’t work- usually the outcome will be messy, sticky ponganalu instead of golden rounds.)


Ponganalu with peanut chutney - Breakfast worth getting up early for.


This recipe was originally published on March 20th, 2006 on Mahanandi.

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

Ponganalu ~ Sweet and Savory
Ponganalu - Sweet Treats Ponganalu with Spinach and Sara Pappu

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Revisiting Old Recipes (Tuesday July 3, 2007 at 9:28 pm- permalink)
Comments (13)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Recipe List

This is the list of recipes that I blogged from March 26th 2005 to April 30th 2007 on Mahanandi. I hope you enjoy browsing the list while I am on a mini summer break. See you again on Saturday June 23rd. Take care!

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Browsing, buying and prepping the ingredients. Planning and preparing the recipes and meals. Plating and photographing the end result. Putting it all into words and photo plus recipe editing. Publishing and people interacting. 2 years, 260 recipes and 2000 food photographs.
My hobby and my passion. My work in a list form:


Breakfast:

Upma:
Buttermilk Upma
Couscous Upma
Cracked Wheat Upma
Hominy Grits Upma
Oatmeal Upma
Puffed Rice Upma (Borugula/Murmura Buggani)
Ragi Mudda (Ragi Sankati)
Rice Ravva Upma (The Arisiupma Trilogy) ~ By Janani
Tomato Bath

Idly/Dosa/Utappam/Pancake and Some:
Besan Dosa (Besan ka Cheela, Puda or Socca)
Idly
Masala Idly
Masala Dosa
Pesarattu
Pesarattu with Sprouted Moong Dal
Ragi Dosa (Ragi Utappam)
Wheat Flour Dosa (Goduma Dosa)
Ponganalu
Ponganalu with Spinach and Sara Pappu(Chironji)


Kura, Vepudu, Poriyal, Thoran or Dry Curries:
(Indian Salads With Minimum Saute)

Aloo Methi
Aloo Vepudu (Potato Fry)
Amaranth-Coconut Curry (Thotakura Vepudu)
Amaranth-Green Brinjal Curry (Poluru Vankaya Thotakura)
Banana Pepper Curry
Beans Curry (Indian, French and Lima)
Beetroot Curry
Beetroot, Red Cabbage, Red Beans Curry
Beetroot & Carrots - Steamed
Bitter Gourd Curry (karela)
Bitter Gourd Chips
Boiled Peanuts with Salad Greens ~ Spring Salad Synergy
Brinjal-Ginger Curry
Brinjal (Eggplant) Curry
Brinjal with Besan (Besan Baingan)
Broadbean Curry (Chikkudu Podi Kura)
Brussels Sprouts Curry
Brussels Sprouts~Potato~Green Garbanzos Curry
Cabbage Curry
Capsicum (3 color) Saute
Capsicum Curry
Chayote Curry (Bengaluru Vankaya Kura)
Cluster Beans Curry (Matti kaayalu, Gawar Beans)
Cluster Beans Curry -2 (Matti Kaayalu, Gawar Beans)
Dondakaya Curry (Tindora Fry)
Hot Stuffed Cherry Peppers
Mango Salsa
Okra Curry (Bendi Fry)
Okra in Yogurt Sauce
Plantain (Arati Kaaya) Curry
Plantain Curry with Mustard Paste (Arati Ava Pettina Kura)
Paruppu Usli with Gawar Beans
Paruppu Usli with Green Beans
Red Radish Curry
Red Radish - Potato Curry
Ridge Gourd Curry (Beerakaya Kura)
Ridge Gourd-Dill Curry (Turai-Suwa Curry)
Ridge Gourd-Methi Curry (Beerakaya Menthi kura)
Silk Squash Curry (Neti Beerakaya Kura)
Spinach Curry

Curries With Gravy/Sauce (Kurma/Stew/Pulusu):

Home Classics ~ Scrumptious Subjis
Banana Pepper-Baby Aloo Curry
Bottle Gourd Kurma (Sorakaya-Pappula Pulusu)
Bottle Gourd in Sesame Sauce
Bottle Gourd in Yogurt
Brinjal - Potato Curry
Brinjal - Chickpeas Curry (Baingan Chole)
Brinjal - Stuffed Curry (Gutti Vankaaya Kura)
Brinjal - Stuffed Curry (Nune Vakaya Kura)
Brinjal Babies in Masala Sauce (Gutti Vankaya Kura-2)
Broadbean Curry (Chikkudu Pulusu)
Capsicum in Peanut Sauce
Capsicums - Stuffed
Chayote in Chilli Sauce (Bengaluru Vankaya Kurma)
Drumsticks Curry(Munaga Kaaya)
Kadala Curry (Black Chickpeas in Coconut Milk)
Lima Beans Curry
Mango - Sesame Curry
Masala Turnips(Shalgam)
Methi Chole (Fresh Fenugreek~Chickpeas Curry)
Methi Matar Malai
Nimona (Fresh Peas Curry)
Okra~Split Pea Stew (Afghan Inspired)
Plantain - Moong Bean Curry
Portabellas in Sesame Sauce
Potato Kurma
Potatoes in Tamarind Sauce (Aloo Pulusu)
Potato-Brinjal Curry with Punjabi Wadis
Ridge gourd Kurma (Beerakaya Pulusu)
Sarson da Saag (Mustard Greens, Spinach and Paneer)
Tindoras in Sesame Sauce (Dondakaya-Nuvvula Pulusu)
Zucchini Kurma

Restaurant Popular:
Aloo Chole (Potatoes & Chickpeas)
Aloo Dum (Potatoes in Cashew Sauce)
Aloo Gobhi (Potato & Cauliflower)
Chana Masala (Chole)
Palak Paneer
Paneer Jalfrezi (Kadai Paneer)
Paneer Naanini

egg :

Egg Kurma

Dazzling Dals: Dal~Rasam~Sambar

Dal (Pappu):
Amaranth Dal (Thotakura Pappu)
Brinjal Dal (Vankaya Pappu)
Fenugreek Dal (Menthi kura Pappu)
Gongura Pappu (Ambadi Dal)
Khatti Dal ~ Hyderabad Style
Lemon Cucumber Dal (Budamkaya/Dosakaya Pappu)
Mango Dal (Maamidi Kaya Pappu)
Ridgegourd Dal (Beerakaya Pappu)
Spinach Dal (Palakura Pappu)
Spinach - Garlic Dal
Spinach Mango Dal (Palakura Pullakura)
Spinach-Split Pea Dal
Tomato Dal (Tomato Pappu)
Tindora Dal (Dondakaya Pappu)

Moongdal Aamti with Kokum and Goda Masala
Moongdal with Ridgegourd (Beerakaya/Turai Pesara Pappu)

Rasam (Charu~Pappucharu):
Bhakshala Rasam (Puran Poli/Holige Rasam)
Pappuchaaru with Bendakaya (Bendi/okra)
Moong Dal Rasam (Pesara Chaaru)
Plain Toordal Rasam (Chappidi Pappuchaaru)
Tomato Rasam
Taro Root Rasam (Chaama Dumpala Chaaru)

Pachhi Pulusu (Cold, No-Boil Rasams):
Peanut Pachhi Pulusu (Peanut Cold Rasam)

Sambar:
Okra Sambar (Bendakaya Sambar)
Pacha Sambar: Sambar with Fresh Green Spices
Shallot Sambar (Ulli, Baby Onions Sambar)
White Radish Sambar (Mullangi Sambar)

Rice and Grains:

Festival Rice:
Chitrannam(Lemon Rice)
Mango Pulihora
Mango-Coconut Pulihora (Mamidi Kobbarannam)
Yogurt Rice with Mangoes (Mamidi Pandu Perugannam)

Pulagam ~ Sankranthi Tradition
Pongal (Pongali) ~ Classic Centuries-Old Recipe
Vegetable Pongal ~ A Pleasing Meal

Pulao (Masala Annam, Pilaf, Fried Rice):
Methi~Nariyal Pulao (Fresh Fenugreek-Coconut Pulao)
Mint Fried Rice (Pudina Pulao)
Red Radish Pulao
Tomato~Basmati Pulao

Otherthan White ~ Rice and Grains from India:
Rosematta Rice (Kerala Red Rice)
Millet Rice (Korrannam or Korra Buvva)

Rice Noodles:
Paneer Pad Thai with Bok Choy
Rice Noodles and Tofu in Fiery Peanut Sauce

Chapati/Naans/Parathas/Roti:

Avocado Chapati
Punjabi Naan
Sorghum Roti (Jonna Rotte, Jowar Roti)

Chutneys/Pickles/Spicy powders:

Chutney/Pacchadi (using Rolu/Ural/Mortar & Pestle):
Brinjal~Jaggery Chutney (Vankaya-Bellam Chutney)
Coconut Chutney - Raw
Gongura Chutney (Ambadi, Sour Greens Chutney)
Onion Chutney
Ridgegourd (Beerakaya) Chutney

Chutney/Pacchadi (using mixer/blender/food processor):
Coconut Chuteny (Kobbari Pacchadi)
Coriander~Pappula Chutney
Coriander - Tomato Chutney
Methi Chutney (Fenugreek, Menthi Chutney)
Peanut Chutney (Palli, Buddala Pacchadi)
Peanut~Jaggery Chutney (Tiyya Buddala Pacchadi)
Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Pickles (Uragaya):
Amla Pickle (Usirikaya)
Crunchy Cucumber
Sweet Lemon Pickle (Mitha Nimboo Chutney)
Lime Pickle

Spicy Powders(Podulu):
Idly kaaram Podi
Red Chilli-Garlic Powder
Spicy Dalia Powder (Pappula Podi)

Snacks For a Rainy Day ~ Deep Fried & Oven Baked:

Deep Fried in Peanut Oil
Bajji/Pakora
Stuffed Green Chilli Bajji (Mirchi Bajji)
Mirchi Bajji ~ Hyderabad Style
Egg Bhajji

Blackeye Beans Fritters (alasanda vada)
Little Golden Parcels (Samosas with a Twist)
Murukulu
Plantain Chips

Oven Baked:
Egg Puffs Prepared with Parathas (Puffy P Egg)
Green Chickpea Kababs (Hare Chane Ki Seekh)
Oven-Roasted Red Potatoes
Microwave Potato Chips
Stuffed Baby Portabellas
Taro Root Chips (Chaama Dumpa/Arvi) ~ Oven Baked

Traditional Sun~Dried Snacks of India
(Vadiyam, Papadam, Appadam etc):

Majjiga Mirapa (Sundried Yogurt Chillies, Dahi Mirchi)

Traditional Indian Sweets:

Festival Sweets:
Bellam Paramannam (Jaggery Rice) ~ Sankranthi Sweet
Bhakshalu (Bobbatlu, Puran Poli, Holige) ~ Ugadi/Dasara Sweet
Chana Dal Payasam (Sanagapappu Payasamu)
Kudumulu ~ Vinayaka Chavathi Sweet
Moong Bean Payasam (Pesarapappu Payasam)
Paramannam (Sweet Rice)
Sabudana Payasam (Saggubiyyam Kheer)
Sesame Spheres (Nuvvula Mudda, Til Laddu) ~ Nagula Chavathi Sweet
Sweet Pongal (Tiyya Bellam Pongali) ~ Sankranthi Sweet

Mithai:

Banana Halwa (Nenthra Pazham Haluva) - By Kerala Girl
Besan-Coconut Burfi (The 7-cup Magic)
Borugula Laddu (Murmura Laddu, Rice Crispies)
Cashew Sweet (Kaju Tikki / Jeedipappu Paakam)
Cashew-Walnut Laddu (Jeedipappu-Akhrot Burfi)
Coconut Burfi (Kobbari Lauzu)
Gulab Jamuns with Sweet Potato
Jaggery~Coconut Puffs
Jaggery~Tamarind~Cumin Candy
Mango - Strawberry Popsicles
Mysore Pak
Pala Kova (Doodh Peda)
Pumpkin Halwa with Almonds
Ripe Plantain Sweet (Pazham Puzhungiyathu)
Sunnundalu (Urad Dal Laddu)
Walnut Burfi (Akhrot Laddu)

Refreshing Drinks/Ice:

Masala Chai
Pomegranate Sherbet (Anar/Danimma Sherbet)
Ragi Malt
Sonti Coffee and Sonti Tea (Dried Ginger Coffee and Tea)
Sonti Kashayam (Dried Ginger Ale)
Watermelon Granita with Cherries

How to Prepare? Some Basics:

Ganji Flavored with Curry Leaves
Ginger, Garlic, Coriander Paste (Allam Vellulli Kottimera Mudda)
Homemade Coconut Milk (Kobbari Paalu)
Homemade Ghee (Neyyi)
Homemade Neem-Clove Tooth Powder
Homemade Paneer
Homemade Yogurt (Perugu, Curd)
Jaggery (Bellam, Gur)
Popu or Tadka (Tiragamata) ~ The Technique

Yogi Diet (Food of Fasting Days):

Guggullu - Alasanda (Black Eye Beans)
Guggullu - Fresh Peas
Guggullu - Pesalu (Moong Beans)
Guggullu - Sanagalu (Chickpeas)

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Bread/Burger/Pizza/Pasta

Bread:
Cornbread - Skillet Style with Okra Topping
Cornbread - Upside-Down with Cranberries
Cornmeal - Cabbage Muffins
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Sesame Buns

Burger(Cutlet):
Aloo Tikki Burgers
Lentil-Almond Burgers

Pizza:
Egg Pizza (Paratha+Frittata)
Pizza with Red Beans and Tomato Chutney
Steelers Pizza

Pasta (Noodles):
Lasagna Rolls - Indian Way
Melon Seed Pasta with Veggies
Pasta in Basil-Spinach-Cashew Sauce
Pasta in Cherry Tomato Sauce
Pasta in Red Bell Pepper Sauce
Penne Marinara with Fresh Goat Cheese

Sugary Desserts - Cakes, Cookies, Jams, Pies and Tarts:

Banana-Walnut Cake
Carrot Cake
Date Cake (Kharjuram Cake) with Honey and Walnuts
Chocolate-Chilli-Pecan Mini Cakes
Mango - Strawberry Scones

Burger and Fries - The Sweet Kind
Chestnut-Almond Cookies
Dark Chocolate Covered Sweet Sesame Spheres
Ebleskivers (Sweet Ponganalu) with Mango Sauce
Ma’amoul (Dates and Pistachios Filled Cookies)
Walnut-Coconut Caramel Toffee

Cranberry Jam
Cranberry~Clove Marmalade
Mango Jam

Cherry Clafouti
Peach Pie - Lattice Topped
Fruit Tart
Mini Custard Tarts

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New Traditions:

Holiday Treats ~ Roasted Chestnuts
Oatmeal with Old~Fashioned Oats
Soymilk - Homemade
Soymilk Skins (Yuba) - Yuba Wrapped Potato Curry Rounds and Soymilk Halwa
Wild Rice

Bhakti~Bhukti (Divine and Dine Series about Temple Traditions):

Sri Venkateswara Temple ~ Pittsburgh, PA, US
Vrindaban and Krishna Prasadam ~ Wheeling, West Virginia, US

Cookbook Reviews and Interviews:

Cooking at Home With Pedatha ~ Review, Interview and a Recipe
Tandoor: The Great Indian Barbeque ~ Review, Poem and a Recipe
Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts ~ Review and Recipe By Veena Parrikar

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Joy in Effort ~ Personal and Team

Thumbnail Gallery of Mahanandi’s Recipes
101 Indian Sweets - Photo Gallery

Jihva For Ingredients ~ Mango
Jihva For Ingredients ~ Greens
Independence Day Food Parade ~ August 15th, 2006

Dining Hall
Food Blog Desam
Mahanandi’s Food Blog List

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Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal), Revisiting Old Recipes (Tuesday June 12, 2007 at 9:31 am- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Chana Dal~Amaranth Curry from Nandyala

Sanagaballa Thotakura :


Fresh Amaranth Leaves (Red Spinach, Thotakura)

Regional Cuisines of India (RCI), a fresh food blogging event is started by Lakshmik of Veggie Cuisine last month. I loved this event idea very much. Great opportunity for those of us who would like to move away from restaurant created regional cuisine constraints. For example, stereotypes always associate dosa, sambar, green beans-coconut curry/poriyal and laddus with South India. The four southern sister states of India, share these. They are the Kohinoors, I agree but explore further, the chance to write/learn about the khajana of gems that sustain individual home plates are plenty. Certain recipes are much hard to find than others and that location is different for every enthusiast. You never quite know where you will find that great regional gem recipe that speaks to you. That’s why I am attracted to this concept very much. For this month, RCI is celebrating Andhra Cuisine and is hosted by lovely Latha of Masala Magic.

Although I am from Andhra Pradesh, India, I don’t dare to speak for all Andhra vasi. What can I do is to share my family recipes from Nandyala. My mother and father, my in-laws, they are all from this town and surrounding villages. The relations we have in this town go back at least 4 generations. The roots are deep. Nandyala may be a tiny town in Andhra but it sparkles like an electric dream at my blog, Mahanandi. Vijay and I are the first ones in the family who moved so far away from Nandyala. I think, that explains why the pull is so strong for us.

RCI provides me another chance to share Nandyala bounty. One special recipe is Chana dal-Amaranth Curry. The ingredients are all from around here (Seattle), but the method is from Nandyala. Fresh amaranth leaves and chana dal saut�ed with onions, grated coconut and green chillies make a deeply satisfying curry that tastes great with sorghum roti or with chapatis. Very tasty, very much Nandyala! Another must try for amaranth fans.


Chopped Amaranth Leaves and Chana Dal (Pre soaked in water)

Recipe:

I bunch fresh amaranth - washed and finely chopped, about 2 quarts
Half cup chana dal - soaked in water for about 2 hours
1 jumbo red onion - finely chopped
2 tablespoons of coconut and 5 green chillies - grind to smooth

Popu or tadka ingredients -
1 tablespoon peanut oil
¼ teaspoon minced garlic, cumin and mustard seeds

Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add and toast garlic, cumin and mustard seeds.

Add and saute onion and chana dal on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Onions become soft and chana dal turns to crisp.

At this stage, stir in the chopped amaranth leaves, along with coconut-green chilli paste, turmeric. Mix once and cook on medium-high, covered for couple of minutes until the leaves wilt. Increase the heat. Remove the lid and cook another couple of minutes until the water evaporates from the skillet. Sprinkle salt in the end, mix and serve hot.

The soft nutty chana dal plus potent amaranth makes a great combination and tastes quite good when eaten with sorghum roti or with chapatis.


Sanagaballa Thotakura with Chapati (Chana Dal Amaranth Curry with Chapati)
~ A recipe from Nandyala to Latha’s RCI Andhra Cuisine Event

Recipe Source: Amma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chana Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Thotakura (Amaranth) (Tuesday May 8, 2007 at 10:37 pm- permalink)
Comments (27)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

JFI-WBB Event: Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables demand respect! Delicate leaves of ethereal beauty, they are a test of the cook’s patience and prudence. From plucking the leaves to preparing and presenting them in an appetizing manner, they present quite a challenge. As with many matters in life, deal with a light hand and greens will reward you by being tasty and nutritious. Use a heavy hand, they will wilt and weep into nothingness. The spirit or saaram of the greens disappears just like in any abused case. No wonder then, even the experienced cooks use caution and a gentle touch, when it comes to handling greens.

By combining different types of greens, and by accentuating each preparation with the appropriate seasonings and garnishes, it is easy to create a different dish with green leafy vegetables everyday of the year. Fresh leaves, tender stalks, sprouts, sprigs and herbs, each with its own varied texture and complex flavors present an opportunity for the sensitive cook to ceaselessly creative, and also to reflect on the nourishing nature of mother earth.

That is what we, the food bloggers did for “Going Green -JFI:WBB Event”.

Raw, baked, boiled, deep fried, stir-fried, steamed, sauteed, sauced and saucy - some well-treated and some veg-vandalized:), all done of course with well-intentioned love and affection. Here they are - green leafy vegetables in their glorious avatars presented in all colors of rainbow.

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Palak, Palakura, Palang, Keerai (Spinach)

Spinach-Cheese Rolls ~ from Sunita of Sunita's World
Spinach-Cheese Rolls ~ from Sunita of Sunita’s World

Money Bags Florentines with Spinach ~ from Suganya of Tasty Palettes
Money Bags Florentines with Spinach ~ from Suganya of Tasty Palettes

Palak Pakodis with Sweet and Hot Green Chutney ~ from Sharmi of Neivedyam
Palak Pakodis with Sweet and Hot Green Chutney ~ from Sharmi of Neivedyam

Nachani Kobi Palak Kabab (Ragi-Spinach Kababs)<br />
~ from Anjali of Anna Prabrahma
Nachani Kobi Palak Kabab (Ragi-Spinach Kababs) ~ from Anjali of Anna Prabrahma

Palang Saag er Chop (Spinach Cutlets) ~ from Sandeepa of Bong Mom's Cookbook
Palang Saag er Chop (Spinach Cutlets)
~ from Sandeepa of Bong Mom’s Cookbook

Spinach-Egg Cookies ~ from Tigerfish of Teczcape
Spinach-Egg Cookies ~ from Tigerfish of Teczcape

Spinach and Chicken Lasagne ~ from Meeta of What's for Lunch, Honey?
Spinach and Chicken Lasagne ~ from Meeta of What’s for Lunch, Honey?

Spinach Upma ~ from Chandrika of AkshayaPatra
Spinach Upma ~ from Chandrika of AkshayaPatra


Spinach Utappam ~ from Coffee of The Spice Cafe

Spinach, Palak, Pala Kura
Keerai Molagootal - A Spinach Stew, Blended in Coconut , Lentils and spices
~ from Soumya of Food for the Soul

Spinach and Unripe Green Mango
Spinach Mango Dal (Palakura Pullakura) ~ from Me

Sauteed Spinach with Dal ~ from Priya of Priya's Kitchen
Sauteed Spinach with Dal ~ from Priya of Priya’s Kitchen

Keera (Spinach) Sambar ~ Meera of Meera's Blog
Keera (Spinach) Sambar ~ Meera of Meera’s Blog


Spinach Moong Dal Stir-Fry (Pesara Pappu Palakoora) ~ from Mythili of Vindhu

Spinach Keerai ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Spinach Keerai ~ from Mathy of Virundhu

Cheera Urulakkizhangu Masala (Spinach and Potato) ~ from Seena of Simple and Delicious
Cheera Urulakkizhangu Masala ~ from Seena of Simple and Delicious

Keerai Masiyal (Spinach Masala) ~ from Pearlin of Purl up and Crochet
Keerai Masiyal (Spinach Masala) ~ from Pearlin of Purl up and Crochet

Keerai (Spinach) Poritha Kozhambu ~ from Sapna of Indian Monsoon
Keerai (Spinach) Poritha Kozhambu ~ from Sapna of Indian Monsoon

Keerai Side Dish ~ from Pooja of Creative Pooja
Keerai Side Dish ~ from Pooja of Creative Pooja

Palak Molaguthal for Green Lunch ~ from Deepa of Recipes N More
Palak Molaguthal for Green Lunch ~ from Deepa of Recipes N More

Lasooni Palak (Spinach Garlic Sabji) ~ from Sreelu of Sreelu's Tasty Travels
Lasooni Palak (Spinach Garlic Sabji) ~ from Sreelu of Sreelu’s Tasty Travels

Aloo Palak ~ from Anita of A Mad Tea Party
Aloo Palak ~ from Anita of A Mad Tea Party

Spinach Casserole ~ from Sukanya Ramkumar of Hot N' Sweet Bowl
Spinach Casserole ~ from Sukanya Ramkumar of Hot N’ Sweet Bowl

Spinach (Bhendi Palak) ~ from Seema of Recipe Juction
Okra Spinach (Bhendi Palak) ~ from Seema of Recipe Juction

Spinach Kadhi (Taakatli Bhaaji) ~  from Tee of Bhaatukli
Spinach Kadhi (Taakatli Bhaaji) ~ from Tee of Bhaatukli

Palak Kofta ~ from Praveena of Simply Spicy
Palak Kofta ~ from Praveena of Simply Spicy
/

Soya Palak ~ from Revathi of En Ulagam
Soya Palak ~ from Revathi of En Ulagam

Palak Kadi ~ from Musical of Musical's Kitchen
Palak Kadi ~ from Musical of Musical’s Kitchen

Palak Matar Gajar Subzi ~ from Musical of Musical's Kitchen
Palak Matar Gajar Subzi ~ from Musical of Musical’s Kitchen

Palak Paneer ~ from Prema Sundar of My Cookbook
Palak Paneer ~ from Prema Sundar of My Cookbook

Palak Paneer ~ from Bharathy of Spicy Chilly
Palak Paneer ~ from Bharathy of Spicy Chilly

Palak Paneer ~ from Swapna of Swad
Palak Paneer ~ from Swapna of Swad

Spinach Pulav ~ from Shree of Annapoorna
Spinach Pulav ~ from Shree of Annapoorna

Palak Pulav ~ from Nav of Memories and Meals
Palak Pulav ~ from Nav of Memories and Meals

Spinach Raita ~ from Roopa of My Chow Chow Bhath
Spinach Raita ~ from Roopa of My Chow Chow Bhath

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Methi, Menthikura (Fresh Fenugreek Leaves)

Methi Malai Buns ~ from Bee & Jai of Jugalbandi
Methi Malai Buns ~ from Bee & Jai of Jugalbandi

Methi Pakkoda ~ from MT of Menu Today
Methi Pakkoda ~ from MT of Menu Today

Methi Aloo Sevai ~ from Suma of Veggie Platter
Methi Aloo Sevai ~ from Suma of Veggie Platter

Methi Upma ~ from Pavani of Cook's Hideout
Methi Upma ~ from Pavani of Cook’s Hideout

Methi Thelpaa ~ from Anupama of Food n More
Methi Thelpaa ~ from Anupama of Food n More

Methi Paratha with Kasuri Methi ~ from Manasi of A Cook @ Heart
Kasuri Methi Paratha and Daal Palak ~ from Manasi of A Cook @ Heart

Methi Paratha
Methi-Green Garbanzo Paratha from Sapna of Indian Monsoon

Methi Dal (Fenugreek Dal) ~ from Priya of Aahaar Vihaar
Methi Dal (Fenugreek Dal) ~ from Priya of Aahaar Vihaar

Methi Dal (Methikura Pappu) ~ from Latha of Masala Magic
Methi Dal (Methikura Pappu) ~ from Latha of Masala Magic

Methi-Dal Sabzi ~ from Ramya of Mane Adige
Methi-Dal Sabzi ~ from Ramya of Mane Adige

Methi Kela nu Shaak (Methi and Banana Curry) ~ from Richa of As Dear As Salt
Methi Kela nu Shaak (Methi and Banana Curry) ~ from Richa of As Dear As Salt

Methi n Meen (Fenugreek and Fish) ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Methi n Meen (Fenugreek and Fish) ~ from Mathy of Virundhu

Methi Biryani ~ from Rajani of Amma Cheppindi
Methi Biryani ~ from Rajani of Amma Cheppindi

Methi Rice (Menthikura Annam) ~ from Latha of Masala Magic<br />
Methi Rice (Menthikura Annam) ~ from Latha of Masala Magic

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Agathi Keerai (Hummingbird Tree Leaves)

Agaththik keerai Sodhi ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Agaththik keerai Sodhi ~ from Mathy Kandasamy of Virundhu

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Amaranth Leaves (Thotakura, Koyagura)

Thotakura Vepudu (Amaranth Stir-Fry) ~ from Sailaja of Sailu's Food
Thotakura Vepudu (Amaranth Stir-Fry) ~ from Sailaja of Sailu’s Food


Fresh Amaranth Leaves and Green Brinjals Curry
Thota kura and Poluru Vankaya Kura ~ from Me


Amaranth Dal (Thotakura Pappu) ~ from Me

Thotakura Avakaya (Amaranth-Mango Pickle) ~ from Anusharaji of Talimpu
Thotakura Avakaya (Amaranth-Mango Pickle) ~ from Anusharaji of Talimpu

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Arugula

Arugula Soup ~ from Sig of Live to Eat
Arugula Soup ~ from Sig of Live to Eat

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Arvi/Arbi/Colocasia/Taro Leaves

Patra Bajia (Stuffed Arbi/Colocasia Leaves) ~ from Pelicano of Elachi et Cetera...
Patra Bajia (Stuffed Arbi/Colocasia Leaves)
~ from Pelicano of Elachi et Cetera…

Steamed Paatra(Taro) Leaves ~ from MT of Menu Today
Steamed Paatra(Taro) Leaves ~ from MT of Menu Today

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Bachali Leaves

Dal with Bachali Aaku/Purslane Leaves/Mayalu Bhaji/Mong Toi<br />
~ from Dee of Ammalu's Kitchen
Dal with Bachali Aaku/Purslane Leaves/Mayalu Bhaji/Mong Toi
~ from Dee of Ammalu’s Kitchen

Bachali -Chana Dal in Tamarind Sauce ~ from Madhavi of My Veggie World
Bachali -Chana Dal in Tamarind Sauce ~ from Madhavi of My Veggie World

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Beetroot Greens

Dal Saag with Beet Greens and Spinach ~ from Asha of Foodie's Hope
Dal Saag with Beet Greens and Spinach ~ from Asha of Foodie’s Hope

Tambdi Bhajji with Beet Greens ~ from Vee of Past, Present and Me
Tambdi Bhajji with Beet Greens ~ from Vee of Past, Present and Me

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Bok Choy

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Cashews ~ from Smitha of Spiced for Life
Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Cashews ~ from Smitha of Spiced for Life

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Broccoli Rabe and Brussels Sprouts

Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) Parathas  and Saag Gobi ~ Rinku of Cooking in Westchester
Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) Parathas ~ Rinku of Cooking in Westchester

Brussels Sprouts with Coconut and Ginger ~ from Vani of Batasari
Brussels Sprouts with Coconut and Ginger ~ from Vani of Batasari

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Cabbage Sprouts, Cabbage Leaves, Cabbage

Cabbage Sprouts Thoran ~ from Annita of My Pleasure and My Treasure
Cabbage Sprouts Thoran ~ from Annita of My Pleasure and My Treasure

Kova Ilai Varai (Cabbage Leaves Stir-fry) ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Kova Ilai Varai (Cabbage Leaves Stir-fry) ~ from Mathy of Virundhu

Cabbage Pathrode ~ from Smita of Smita Serves You Right
Cabbage Pathrode ~ from Smita of Smita Serves You Right

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Celery

Celery Thokku ~ from Hema of Vegetarian Concoctions
Celery Thokku ~ from Hema of Vegetarian Concoctions

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Chard ~ Rainbow and Swiss

Rainbow Chard - Mushroom Sandwich ~ from Nupur of One Hot Stove
Rainbow Chard - Mushroom Sandwich ~ from Nupur of One Hot Stove

Red Chard Aloo Subzi ~ from Musical of Musical's Kitchen
Red Chard Aloo Subzi ~ from Musical of Musical’s Kitchen

Red Chard Aloo Stuffed Parathas ~ from Musical of Musical's Kitchen
Red Chard Aloo Stuffed Parathas ~ from Musical of Musical’s Kitchen

Swiss Chard and Spinach Blend with Paneer ~ from Trupti of The Spice Who Loved Me
Swiss Chard and Spinach Blend with Paneer
~ from Trupti of The Spice Who Loved Me

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Collard Greens

Collard Greens
Collard Greens “Sushi” Bites ~ from Sheela of Delectable Victuals

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Coriander/Cilantro/Dhania/Kottimera:

Spicy Spirals with Green Cilantro Chutney ~ from Manisha of Indian Food Rocks
Spicy Spirals with Green Cilantro Chutney ~ from Manisha of Indian Food Rocks

Patudi/Sambar Vadi ~ from Bhags of Crazy Curry
Patudi/Sambar Vadi ~ from Bhags of Crazy Curry

Kothamalli (Coriander) Chutney Sandwiches ~ from Nags of For the Cook in Me
Kothamalli (Coriander) Chutney Sandwiches ~ from Nags of For the Cook in Me

Spicy Coriander Chutney ~ from Swapna of Tastes from my Kitchen
Spicy Coriander Chutney ~ from Swapna of Tastes from my Kitchen

Cilantro Rice (Kottimera Annam) ~ from Suma of Veggie Platter
Cilantro Rice (Kottimera Annam) ~ from Suma of Veggie Platter

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Curry Leaves/ Karivepaku/ Karipatta

Chammanthipodi (Dried Chutney Powder) ~ from RP of My Workshop
Chammanthipodi (Dried Chutney Powder) ~ from RP of My Workshop

Karivepaku Kaaram Podi ~ from Smitha of Andhra Food Network
Karivepaku Kaaram Podi ~ from Smitha of Andhra Food Network

Curry Leaves Kudhi Menusu ~ from Mythreyee of Try this Recipe
Curry Leaves Kudhi Menusu ~ from Mythreyee of Try this Recipe


Curryleaf powder rice (Kariveppilai podi saadam ) ~ from Revathi of En-Ulagam

Curry Leaves Dal ~ from Linda of Out of the Garden
Curry Leaves Dal ~ from Linda of Out of the Garden

The Elixir of Life: Curry Leaves Infused Ganji ~ from Me
The Elixir of Life: Curry Leaves Infused Ganji (Kanji) ~ from Me

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Dill (Suwa)

Fresh Dill (Suwa)
Fresh Dill - Ridge Gourd Curry (Suwa~Turai Curry) ~ from Me

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Drumstick Leaves (Murungai, Munagakaya Aaku)

Whole Wheat Dosai with Murungai Leaves  ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Whole Wheat Dosai with Murungai Leaves
~ from Mathy Kandasamy of Virundhu

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Kaffir Lime Leaves:

Lime Leaves Powder with Kaffir Lime Leaves ~ from Priya of Live to Cook
Lime Leaves Powder with Kaffir Lime Leaves ~ from Priya of Live to Cook

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Kale Greens

Kale Greens and White Beans in Tomato Gravy ~ from the Cooker of The Cooker
Kale Greens and White Beans in Tomato Gravy ~ from the Cooker of The Cooker

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Mint/Pudina

Pudina Chutney ~ from Manju of Me, Myself and More
Pudina Chutney ~ from Manju of Me, Myself and More

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Mixed Greens (Salad Greens):

Spring Garden Salad from Homegrown Greens ~ from Bee&Jai of Jugalbandi
Spring Garden Salad from Homegrown Greens ~ from Bee&Jai of Jugalbandi

Saundhe Aloo with Pale bhaji (Mixed Greens with Potatoes) ~ from Anjali of Anna Parabrahma
Saundhe Aloo with Pale bhaji (Mixed Greens with Potatoes) ~
from Anjali of Anna Parabrahma

Fresh Herb Salad with Halloumi Cheese ~ from Reena of Spices of Kerala
Fresh Herb Salad with Halloumi Cheese ~ from Reena of Spices of Kerala

Lisa's Chicken Ceaser Salad ~ from Sajeda of Chachi's Kitchen
Lisa’s Chicken Ceaser Salad ~ from Sajeda of Chachi’s Kitchen


Salad Synergy for Spring : Salad Greens and Boiled Peanuts ~ from Me

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Mustard Greens/Sarson/Avaalu

Sarson Ka Saag ~ From Coffee of The Spice Cafe
Sarson Ka Saag ~ From Coffee of The Spice Cafe

Mutton pieces and Chana dal in Mustard Greens Gravy ~ From Ayesha of Experimenting on Tastebuds
Mutton pieces and Chana dal in Mustard Greens Gravy
~ From Ayesha of Experimenting on Tastebuds

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Neem Leaves (Vepa Aakulu)


Homemade Neem-Clove Tooth Powder ~ From Me

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Ponnanganni, Ponnaganti Kura (Water Amaranth, Gudrisag)

Ponnanganni Varai ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Ponnanganni Varai ~ from Mathy of Virundhu

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Radish Greens (Mooli Patte)

Mooli Patte ki bhurji (Radish Greens Curry) ~ from Dumela of Fusion Food
Mooli Patte ki bhurji (Radish Greens Curry) ~ from Dumela of Fusion Food

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Spring Onions

Spring Onion and Carrot Thoran ~ from Kitchen Fairy of Secret of Taste
Spring Onion and Carrot Thoran
~ from Kitchen Fairy of Secret of Taste

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Tandulka Leaves

Tandulkyachi Bhaji (Tandulka curry) ~ from Madhuli of My Food Court
Tandulkyachi Bhaji (Tandulka curry) ~ from Madhuli of My Food Court

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Vallarai (Pennuwort Leaves)

Vallarai Sambal ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Vallarai Sambal ~ from Mathy Kandasamy of Virundhu

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Water Spinach (Kong Xin Cai, Kang Kung)

Water Spinach (Kong Xin Cai) ~ from Pepper of Frugal Cuisine
Water Spinach (Kong Xin Cai) ~ from Pepper of Frugal Cuisine

Kang Kung(Water Spinach) Mallung ~ from Mathy of Virundhu
Kang Kung(Water Spinach) Mallung ~ from Mathy of Virundhu

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I thank Nandita of Saffron Trail for giving me the opportunity to host and combine the WBB Event with JFI on this special anniversary occasion. Thanks to everyone for participating in this event with great interest and enthusiasm. Meet you all again for June Jackfruit Jihva at Bee and Jai’s Jugalbandi.

Found a green gem that you like? Please click on the photo or title to visit and share your joy with the participant food blogger. I am sure they would appreciate hearing from you. Thanks!

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Jihva For Ingredients (Tuesday May 1, 2007 at 3:50 am- permalink)
Comments (27)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts Cookbook Review and Recipe ~ by Veena Parrikar

Veena Parrikar is a dear friend of Mahanandi and me and an occasional guest author on Mahanandi. Her first article was on Iceland. This is her second article, an insightful and engaging cookbook review. I thank Veena for this wonderful contribution!
~ Indira

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There are perhaps as many misconceptions about Indian cuisine as there are restaurants named “Bombay Garden”.

Indian food is tandoori chicken, aloo-matar, saag-paneer, and naan.
It is hot and spicy.
Vegetables are cooked to death.
It starts with frying onions and tomatoes to pulp and ends with a garnish of coriander leaves

One can hardly blame the Western and even some of the Eastern world for harboring these notions. Most Indian restaurants outside India serve the same tired old fare under various guises. The exceptions to these are the upscale “fusion-Indian” restaurants; after all, Indian food cannot be admitted into the Michelin club without a French or “contemporary” accent (pun intended). Over the past few years, South Indian restaurants have slowly gained ground and it is not uncommon to see a Chinese eating masala dosa with her bare hands or a middle-aged white guy slurping rasam at the neighborhood Madras Cafe or Udupi Palace in the USA. The silly notions about Indian food, however, are far from being a thing of the past. For example, the threat of homogenization, albeit of a different kind, hangs heavy like the odor of yesterday’s takeout. The complexity and variation among and within the cuisines of the four states of Southern India (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, and Andhra Pradesh) could never be guessed if one were to go by the menus of these South Indian restaurants. Most of them do not stray far from the familiar idli, vada, masala dosa, uttappam, sambar and rasam, with an indifferent nod to some rice varieties, such as curd rice, lemon rice and tamarind rice. Desserts are still “balls in sugar syrup” (gulab jamun), “ricotta cheese in evaporated milk” (rasmalai), or the occasional rava kesari, leaving in the cold a rich repertoire of jaggery-based sweets that is one of the hallmarks of the cuisines of Southern (and some other states of) India.

To be sure, even within India, availability of the authentic, traditional fare is limited to small niche restaurants, special festivals at star hotels, or if you are lucky, at the homes of neighbors and friends from other communities. Your best bet then, is to recreate many of these dishes in your kitchen, with the help of such cookbooks as Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See, Chandra Padmanabhan’s Dakshin, Saranya Hegde’s Mangalorean Cuisine, Saraswat Mahila Samaj’s Rasachandrika, and Jigyasa-Pratibha’s Cooking at Home with Pedatha.

A new addition to this stellar lineup of traditional Indian cookbooks is Ammini Ramachandran’s Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts: Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy.

Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts ~ Cookbook by Ammini Ramachandran
Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts ~ Cookbook by Ammini Ramachandran

Ammini’s book fills a lacuna in the Indian cookbook landscape. Books on the cuisine of Kerala abound; however, most of them have a predominance of seafood dishes. Small wonder then that Kerala food, like most other coastal cuisines, is perceived to be primarily non-vegetarian. One food writer and journalist in India even declared that most Malayali vegetarian dishes are terrible! One knows, of course, not to take such statements without the proverbial pinch of salt, and a large one at that. Having encountered the delectable and varied vegetarian fare of the coastal cuisines of Goa and Karnataka, I had always suspected a similar treasure existed in Kerala. Eating and learning it, was another matter altogether, what with the lack of Kerala-food restaurants, close friends from the state, or opportunities to set forth on a voyage of discovery to its shores. With Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts, some of the vegetarian food of Kerala is now just a coconut (or two) away.

The present state of Kerala was formed by the merger of Kochi (Cochin), Tiruvithamcore (Travancore), and Malabar. Each of these regions, originally Hindu, was subject to varying degrees of Muslim and Christian influences. Accordingly, Kerala cuisine represents the confluence of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian traditions. Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts presents the traditional vegetarian cuisine of central Kerala including some from the Kochi royalty. It is one of the first cookbooks to focus on a Hindu culinary tradition of Kerala.

Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts is one of the finest Indian cookbooks to have been written in recent times. Here’s why:

1. Traditional food, when presented for a worldwide (read Western) audience, undergoes a simplification, motivated largely by the authors’ and publishers’ goal to widen the book’s market reach. Recipes are modified to exclude exotic or not-easily-available ingredients; difficult processes might be eliminated or substituted with commercial alternatives; and dishes that do not conform to the health fad of the day might be passed over. Except for a few dishes, food from Kerala is obscure even to many Indians, leave alone the non-Indian readers. Ammini has barely made any changes to her family recipes, yet her presentation makes them seem extremely do-able. She does not hesitate to include preparations with such exotic vegetables as breadfruit, jackfruit, and suran. Ammini has pulled off a seemingly impossible feat in Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts: she has preserved the originality of her traditional family recipes, and made them accessible to those outside the tradition, without overwhelming the reader with tedious detail. Novice cooks might miss having pictures of the finished dishes; the clarity of instructions, however, make up for this to a very large extent.

2. There is none of the anything-goes attitude to ingredients adopted by many modern Indian cookbooks published in the West. No false assurances are provided about difficult ingredients such as coconut milk. She tells us that coconut milk powder can be used instead, but clearly informs that the taste will not be authentic. We are told right at the onset: “My mother always insisted, “Never skimp on the quality or quantity of ingredients,” and I believe it is the first lesson in good cooking.” This is reflected in the meticulous detail provided in the chapter on ingredients.

3. Ammini’s family recipes create dishes that would go a long way in dispelling some of the popular myths about Indian cuisine. Spices are used in skillful moderation (garam masala powder never makes an apperance in this book), the vegetables and grains hold their shape and retain their flavour, and you will encounter delicate and subtly-flavoured curries that will never be found in a restaurant.

4. There is a detailed chapter on the history and development of ancient spice trade in Kerala, and to those who have not previously enquired into such matters, this chapter offers many surprises. The book also provides a very engaging account of the kitchens, culinary customs, and festivals and celebrations of Ammini’s maiden family. A world that is now almost extinct rises vividly from the pages and for a brief while, you forget the harried and hurried pace of your existence (and the pre-made frozen food in your kitchen). This is a serious yet enjoyable work, not just another cloying food “memoir” that is in fashion these days.

The book has been written for a Western audience, but readers in India will find much of profit. Such ancient traditional recipes do not come by very often. I am no alarmist, but it seems as though our traditional cuisines will soon exist only within the homes of determined souls or in five-star hotels. Even wedding feasts in India - the last stronghold of traditional food - seem to have embraced a global integration philosophy: Mushroom Pasta and Gobi Manchurian now jostle for buffet space with tava vegetables, Spanish rice, and Shahi Paneer.

Our culinary traditions, not unlike our ancient classical music, have been poorly documented for far too long, what with the practitioners jealously guarding their treasures from outsiders for various reasons. With the passing of generations, more and more of this body of knowledge will be lost. We hope there will be many more Amminis, who will not only document their family or community recipes painstakingly and truthfully, but also share it generously with others.

Srimati Ammini Ramachandran
Srimati Ammini Ramachandran ~ Cookbook Author

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Pacha Sambar: Sambar with Fresh Green Spices
(Recipe from Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts)

I was intrigued by this recipe as it did not include sambar powder, and at first glance, seemed similar to some of my daal-vegetable preparations. The finished dish was neither like the familiar sambar nor my usual daal-with-vegetables. With powdered spices (except asafetida and turmeric) as well as ginger-garlic absent, the flavour of toor dal is allowed to hold centerstage, complemented by the freshness of the potatoes, herbs, and lemon juice. I stayed faithful to the recipe as I am wont to do when attempting traditional recipes for the first time. There is a slight error of omission in the recipe, but a missing pinch of turmeric is not a show-stopper.

Recipe:

1 cup toor dal
1 medium russet potato or 3 taro, peeled and cubed
2 medium tomatoes cubed
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¾ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
¼ cup finely chopped fresh fenugreek leaves (preferred, if available)
or ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
6 fresh green chilies (serrano or Thai), thinly sliced (less for a milder taste)
4 tablespoons lemon juice

For seasoning and garnish:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 dried red cayenne, serrano, or Thai chili, halved
¼ teaspoon asafetida powder
20 to 25 fresh curry leaves

Ingredients for Pacha Sambar
Clockwise:Toor Dal, Fresh Fenugreek, Tomatoes, Curry Leaves, Green Chillies, Potatoes, Lemons, Cilantro

Wash and clean the toor dal in several changes of water, until the water runs clear. If you are using oily toor dal, the oil must be washed off before starting to cook. Place the toor dal in a saucepan with two and a half cups of water and a half-teaspoon of turmeric powder. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, then turn down the heat, and cook for twenty-five to thirty minutes. (As an alternative, you may use a pressure cooker to cook the dal, following the manufacturer’s directions. It will take about six to eight minutes to cook in a pressure cooker.) As the dal cooks, it should be fairly thick but still liquid; stir in another half-cup of water if it is too thick. Mash the cooked toor dal thoroughly with a spoon, and set it aside.

Combine the potato (or taro), tomatoes, salt, turmeric, and two cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring it to a boil. Stir in the cilantro, fenugreek, and green chilies. Reduce the heat, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Stir in the cooked toor dal, and simmer for four to five minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Remove it from the heat, and set it aside.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a small skillet, and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sputtering, add the halved red chili, asafetida, and curry leaves. Remove it from the stove, and pour the seasoning over the cooked curry. Cover and set aside for ten minutes, to
allow the flavors to blend. Serve hot with rice and a second curry.

Makes 4 to 6 servings if served with another curry, as is traditional.

Pacha Sambar: Sambar with Fresh Green Spices
Pacha Sambar: Sambar with Fresh Green Spices

~Guest Post by Veena Parrikar

Notes:
Ammini Ramachandran’s website : Peppertrail.com.
For a detailed list of contents and exceprts from the book, see www.peppertrail.com.
Grains, Greens and Grated Coconut is available at Amazon.com, iUniverse.com and Barnes&Nobles
Recommend this cookbook to your local libraries
Author and Book Cover Photo Credits: Ammini Ramachandran, Recipe Photo Credits: Rajan Parrikar
Veena Parrikar’s previous article at Mahanandi: Iceland

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Toor Dal, Kottimera(Cilantro), Menthi Kura(Fenugreek), Reviews: Cookbooks, Veena Parrikar (Monday March 19, 2007 at 12:22 am- permalink)
Comments (45)

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