Mahanandi

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

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 (10)

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)
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Tofu Jalfrezi

Jalfrezi (Jal=spicy, frezi=suitable to diet) like its name suggests, is a diet-friendly preparation. I call it company food. When friends drop by unexpectedly, if I have peppers at home, then jalfrezi it is. With rice or chapati, it makes a quick and decent meal. The vegetarian version of jalfrezi is commonly prepared with paneer, peppers, onion and tomatoes. For today’s meal, I replaced the paneer with tofu. As you may already know, tofu enjoys vibrant vegetable supporting company. And in jalfrezi, the jazzed up tofu sure tasted good.


Tofu and Bell Pepper

Recipe:

Preparation is like saying one, two, and three. That easy.

Cut a red onion, two tomatoes and one big bell pepper into chunks of one-inch size. Slit a chilli pepper lengthwise to two or four thin pieces. Cut extra-firm tofu into one-inch cubes.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat a teaspoon of oil. Add and toast a pinch of cumin. Add onions, tomatoes and peppers. Grate a half-inch piece of ginger over the skillet. Stir-fry for about five minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Sprinkle the turmeric, salt and garam masala powder to taste. Mix, and then add the tofu cubes. Keep the heat medium, and cook for another couple of minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime juice. Serve hot with chapati or rice.


Tofu Jalfrezi with Chapati ~ Meal Today

Jalfrezi, the tech type.

~ Indira
(Busy days. See you again on Sunday.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Tomato, Soy (Tofu, Yuba), Peppers, Red Onions (Tuesday March 4, 2008 at 6:07 pm- permalink)
Comments (26)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Steam-Sauteed Spinach Moong Dal

Spinach Moong Dal Sandwich

My very young and impressionable cousins in India, who read my food blog, are curious to know why I don’t cook with “cool” stuff like cheese. I like cheese, don’t get me wrong, but I rarely bring it home. Cheese is costly, caloric and full of saturated fat. It is a well known fact that foods like cheese with little or no fiber are number one cause for constipation and flatulence, and that kind of diet is also responsible for several ailments from heart attack to IBS to colon cancer. Cheese may look white and pure, but the color cover ups the harmful hormonal menace. The hormonal effects from estrogen, progesterone, bovine growth hormone, this is what cheese conceals, in addition to artery clogging saturated fat. It really takes time to understand how evil the cattle industry, the source of cheese, has become. Thanks to the ad blitz sorcery and the sold-out food writers’ cover-up of agro-globalization gallop, my cousins seem to know only the glitzy side of cheese-centric food. I try to explain to them all these things in a light-hearted manner. In a rush to englut the regurgitations, I am worried that they could become victims of early aortic regurgitation.

One way to prevent that from happening is packaging the traditional, nutritious food in a new way. This steam-sautéed spinach moong dal, a recipe I have learned from a Gujarathi friend, is usually served with rice or chapati. But I stuffed it between two toasted crumpets, squeezed some lime juice, and for saturated fat touch, grated some fresh coconut.

Carbohydrates from wheat, protein from moong dal, organic, hormone-free fat from coconut, green leafy goodness from spinach and natural digestion aid from spices.

This dal-wich actually tasted better than any one-dollar, mystery-cheese burgers out there. And, I am hoping that my cousins would take this homemade, all natural, cheese-free sandwich to the heart and consider it as “cool”.

Moong Dal and Spinach
Yellow Moong Dal, Rehydrated and Fresh Spinach Leaves

Recipe:

Yellow moong Dal - Half cup (soaked in water for one hour, and drained)
Fresh Spinach - One bunch, finely chopped
Onion - one, finely chopped
Green chillies (Indian or Thai variety) - two, finely chopped
Turmeric - ¼ teaspoon
Salt - ¼ teaspoon
Cumin and mustard seeds - ¼ teaspoon each
Peanut oil - 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg and fresh coconut gratings - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Lime juice - one tablespoon, or to taste

Place a wide skillet on stove-top. Add and heat oil.
Add and toast cumin and mustard seeds.
When seeds start to pop, add the onions and chillies. Saute to brown.
Add the yellow moong dal. Sprinkle two tablespoons of water. Mix.
Cover with a lid and cook the dal to tender soft on medium-low heat.
Dal should be intact, but soft to bite. (Takes about 10-15 minutes.)
At that stage, add the turmeric, salt, nutmeg and coconut. Mix.
Add the spinach. Saute on high heat until the leaves collapse.
Sprinkle the lime juice. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

For our meal today, I toasted two english muffins (crumpets) to brown, and stuffed them with steam-sautéed spinach-moong dal. With a glass of chilled ruby orange juice on the side, it was a good meal.

Dal-wich
Spinach-Moong Dal Sandwich with a glass of Ruby Orange Juice
~ A Vindu for RCI: Gujarat at Mythili’s

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Spinach, Moong Dal (Washed) (Tuesday February 26, 2008 at 10:18 pm- permalink)
Comments (7)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Artisan Food ~ Chestnut Lentil Soup


The days are getting longer already. Like the plants for sunshine, the appetite seems to hunger for variety. So I came up with this chestnut lentil soup idea for our meal yesterday. To my delight, it turned out to be the right kind of food at the right time.

Roasted chestnuts from Chinese grocery, and red lentils from Indian grocery are added, and the combination was simmered together with vegetables and spices. The lime juice, like a ray of sunshine, livened up the preparation. I served the chestnut lentil soup to friends and family. Chestnuts are complete strangers to few, but they seem to capture the sense of taste easily in that relaxed company. The verdict was:

“This wholesome food makes a gourmet delight to humble appetite of a dieting attitude.”


Artisan Food ~ Chestnut Lentil Soup

Artisan Food : Aim and Purpose

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 .

Chestnut Lentil Soup PDF

Details:
Artisan Food: Chestnut-Lentil Soup
Ingredients: Roasted Chestnuts, Red Lentils etc.
Skill level: A tad kitchen experience required
Labels: Vegetarian, Diet-friendly
Price: $3.00
Format: PDF


Buy Now

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

Artisan Food : Aim and Purpose
Previously in Artisan Food : Avocado Annam

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


Food needs to be in the right company at the right time to feel right.
Thank you for the goodwill, and for readily embracing the Artisan food.

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Masoor Dal (Red Lentils), Chestnuts (Marrons), Artisan Food (Monday February 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm- permalink)
Comments (4)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Mamidi Pesara Pappu (Mango Moong Dal)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Moong Dal (Washed), Mamidikaya (Green Mango) (Wednesday February 20, 2008 at 11:05 pm- permalink)
Comments (34)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Vine Sweet Mini Peppers

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

Mini Peppers

They look like peppers and they are named peppers.

They are not what you might expect. Certainly not the fiery peppers that spice up the curries, nor the bloated bell peppers that would collapse on cooking.

No, these peppers are the stuff of dreams. Like the botox-faced on-air talent, they glisten and also need PIN codes to access their emotions. A product of calculated hybrid breeding, they do not shrivel, sweat and the seeds inside rarely reproduce on Design. Other charming features - delicate skin, cooks in minutes and doesn’t become saggy on cooling. A perfect, plastic produce, alive with cloying sweetness. These are the “Vine Sweet Mini Peppers“, the 21st century vegetables.

Not knowing what they were, I brought them home. Dolts they are, taste buds seem to accept them without any hesitation.

Peppers for Figure 8
Pepper in Figure 8

Recipe:

1 tablespoon peanut oil
Pinch each - cumin and mustard seeds
20 to 25 mini peppers - ends removed and sliced to thin rings

Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add and toast cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the peppers. Mix. Keep the heat on medium, cover the skillet and cook for about five minutes.

While peppers are cooking, prepare the pappula (dalia) podi.

3 tablespoons pappulu (dalia, bhuna chana)
1 tablespoon grated coconut
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
2 dried red chillies, Indian variety
Take them all in a spice grinder, blend to fine powder.

Remove the lid and sprinkle this powder on peppers. Also add quarter teaspoon each - turmeric and salt. Mix. Cook, uncovered for another five minutes. Serve at once. Tastes good with chapati, roti, rice or pasta.

Mini Peppers Curry with Chapati
Mini Pepper Kura with Corn Rotis, Carrot-Okra Sambar and Pear ~ Meal Today

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia), Peppers (Tuesday February 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm- permalink)
Comments (6)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Dalma

Chari Phutana and Dried Red Chillies
Chillies and Chari Phutana (Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek and Mustard Seeds)

Dalma is a popular Oriya comfort food, and prepared with dal-vegetable combination. In dalma, the demure dal becomes dashing, due to a special spice-mix called chari phutana. You know how sunshine can cure winter blues? The chari phutana is the sunshine for this dal-dalma. While preparing Dalma, I realized the reason for the recent negative outburst on my website. Winter blues! No wonder people are cranky. I can’t wait for the spring and sunshine to get here.

Dalma recipe is courtesy of doctor, food writer and nutritional expert, the lovely Nandita of Saffron Trial. You can find her recipe and my photos in January edition of Men’s Health India magazine. I would like to thank Nandita, and Tithi Sarkar, the sub-editor of Men’s Health India for contacting and giving me this photo opportunity.

Dalma with Ruby Red Grapefruits
Dalma with Rice, and Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice ~ to Ease the Winter Blues

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Toor Dal, Chana Dal, Arati Kaaya (Plantain), Vankaya (Brinjal) (Friday February 8, 2008 at 4:44 pm- permalink)
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Palak Tofu

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

It’s appalling to see the cookery programs like ‘America’s Test Kitchen’, and others still touting and using nutrient-nil, all-purpose flour for sauces. There are many natural and quality ingredients readily available at the market place right now for cooking purpose.

Almonds, cashews, coconut, chestnuts, dalia, sunflower seeds, peanuts and poppy seeds, to name a few.

Cost-effective and nutrient rich, just few tablespoons of any of the above in paste form would be enough to thicken the sauce or gravy and turn them to tasty. It’s 21st century, and proven information is out there on how harmful the all-purpose flour diet can be to a human body. Still, these so called chefs posing as cookery educators seem to relish falling back on the faux traditions. They won’t hesitate to leave their spouses and relationships behind when they become unhealthy. It’s puzzling why they continue to enjoy and propagate this dreadful all-purpose flour abuse on humankind.

If you are one of those struggling to break away from all-purpose flour addiction, the following recipe will work wonders to train the taste buds fearlessly boo the bland bechamel.

Palak (Spinach) and Tofu
Spinach and Soy Bean Curd (Palak and Tofu)

Recipe:

For Palak (=Spinach) Puree:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup, finely chopped onions
4 green chillies, Indian or Thai variety- finely chopped
2 cups, finely chopped tomatoes (2 large tomatoes)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 bunch, fresh spinach, cut to big pieces, about 6 cups

For Palak Tofu:
1 teaspoon peanut oil
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ cup poppy seeds (or ½ cup cashews), powdered
2 tablespoons kasuri methi (livens up the Palak Tofu)
½ teaspoon each - garam masala, salt and turmeric
15 tofu cubes, about 1 inch sized

Palak Puree Preparation :

Heat oil in a wide skillet to a smoking point. Add onion, green chillies and tomatoes. Cook them to soft brown mush. Remove the contents to a plate.

Add the spinach to the skillet, and saute until the leaves collapse. Remove to a plate and wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes for them to cool down.

Take the cooled onion, chillies, tomatoes and spinach in a blender. Add a pinch of salt. Blend to thick puree. Set it aside.

Palak Tofu Preparation :

Clean or wipe the same skillet and then add and heat oil. Add and toast the cumin. Add the spinach-tomato puree. Sprinkle the powdered poppy seeds, kasuri methi, garam masala, salt and turmeric. Along with about a cup of water. Stir well. Add the tofu cubes. Simmer on low heat for about ten minutes. Serve warm.

Palak Tofu, as you can see is a very easy preparation, takes about 20 to 30 minutes. That’s all, and makes a memorable meal when eaten with chapati, paratha, rice, pasta, or millet.

Palak Tofu (Soy Spinach)
Palak Tofu, to Satiate the Sharp Hunger Pangs ~
Meal Today, and for Rajitha’s WBB: Soy Event

note:
Calorie count - poppy seeds

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Spinach, Soy (Tofu, Yuba), Poppy Seeds (Wednesday January 30, 2008 at 11:56 pm- permalink)
Comments (14)

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Chickpea ~ Chestnut Chili (Chole)

Due to severe winter storm and repair works, internet service at our place got disconnected last Thursday. Four days of no Net, and I survived. Sincere thanks to my dear friend Anjali for keeping the Mahanandi alive with her gorgeous Kokum and Sol Kadhi photo-article, and to my dear husband Vijay for taking time from his busy schedule to check on the website during my absence.

Instead of worrying about IS/ISO certification for Mahanandi to appease the latest blight - the “quality concerned” visitors, I simply spent time on things that really matter, which of course invariably led to food. One of the recipes that I prepared last weekend was very unusual and rather substantial meal with chickpeas and chestnuts.

Chickpea chili with chestnuts happened due to my desire to experiment with chestnuts. I like chestnuts, and I can get quality chestnuts, already roasted, shelled and packed at low prices here in Seattle. The local Vietnamese and Chinese grocery shops offer a delightful variety of packed chestnut goodies ready for consumption. I was little bit anxious during the chili preparation, being the first time and all. But the sweet tasting, starchy chestnuts simmered happily in tomato-onion sauce, and made good companion to chickpeas. I am glad I tried this Indian inspired chickpea-chestnut chili or chole.

Chestnuts and Chickpeas

Recipe:

1 tablespoon peanut oil
Pinch each - cumin and mustard seeds
1 cup diced onion
3 cups finely chopped juicy tomatoes
2 cups chickpeas, cooked to tender
1 cup roasted or boiled chestnuts, cut to bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon CCCC powder (aka garam masala)
½ teaspoon each - red chilli powder and salt
¼ teaspoon - turmeric
Lemon juice or amchur to taste (for tangy flavor)
Chopped herbs to taste - cilantro or dried fenugreek

Heat oil in a deep skillet or saucepan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onion. Saute to gold. Stir in the juicy tomatoes. Cook them on high heat to mush.

Add chickpeas, and chestnuts. Also stir in the seasoning, the CCCC powder, chilli, salt, turmeric, and lemon juice or amchur. Add about one to two cups of water. Mix. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Garnish with herbs and serve the chickpea-chestnut chili or chole hot, with a dollop of yogurt or raita on the side with chapati or paratha.

Chickpea-Chestnut Chili with Chapati
Chickpea-Chestnut Chili (Chole) with Chapati and an Orange

Note:
CCCC Powder - Cumin, Coriander, Clove and Cinnamon Powder
Chili with one ‘L’ is American version of our kurma. Chili contains tomatoes, beans, meat and/or vegetables with spices, and sometimes rice is also added.

- Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas, Chestnuts (Marrons) (Monday January 28, 2008 at 8:36 pm- permalink)
Comments (27)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Sorakaya Pappu (Dudhi Dal)

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

A good many people seem to have a mental block against bottle gourd (= Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki). I too did have some time ago, but lately the availability of fresh looking and young vegetables at nominal price made me revisit the old classics as well as do little experimentation with bottle gourd.

The following recipe is one of many pappu (dal) arrows from my mother’s recipe quiver. If you do not like eating raw vegetables, then cook them with toor dal. That’s the common practice at my home, and also in many homes in Andhra Pradesh. It works perfectly. See, now I’m addicted to vegetable-dal combinations.

In this dal recipe, the slightly sweet bottle gourd is protein powered with toor dal, flavored with tamarind and chilli, and seasoned with tadka. Definitely, this will ease your way in any bottle gourd battle.

Bottle Gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki, Opo Squash) and Toor Dal
Bottle Gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki) and Toor Dal

Recipe:

¾ cup - toor dal (kandi pappu)
1½ to 2 cups - finely cubed bottle gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi)
¼ cup - coarsely chopped onion
½ teaspoon each (or to taste)- red chilli powder and turmeric
Marble ball sized tamarind

For popu or tadka:
1 tablespoon ghee or peanut oil
6 each - curry leaves, crushed garlic
Pinch each - cumin, mustard seeds and hing (asafoetida)

Take toor dal in a pressure cooker. Rinse the dal with water. Add the bottle gourd cubes, onion, chilli powder, turmeric and tamarind. Add about one to two cups of water. Mix. Close the lid and steam-cook until toor dal reaches the fall-apart stage. Then add salt, and coarsely mash the ingredients together.

The dal benefits greatly from my daily vitamin dose, I call popu or tadka. Let’s heat ghee or oil in a vessel. Add the curry leaves and garlic. Toast them to pale brown, and then add the cumin, mustard seeds and hing. When the seeds start to pop, add the mashed dal to the vessel. Mix and serve the dal with rice or with chapati.

For a true Andhra experience, mix the dal with rice and ghee. Shape into small rounds like shown below. Dip them in pickle or podi. Enjoy.

Sorakaya Pappannam Mudda (Bottle Gourd Dal mixed with Rice and Shaped to a Round)
Sona Masuri Rice mixed with Sorakaya Pappu, and Shaped to a Round ~ A Bharath Experience

- Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Sorakaya(Dudhi,Lauki), Amma & Authentic Andhra (Monday January 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm- permalink)
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Lauki Chole

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

I am sure you must have come across people who constantly fish for opinions. “Should I do this?”, “What do you think about this?”, “Do you think this suits me?” The first few times it’s endearing, and then it starts to get annoying. “I see a head on your neck, don’t you have a functioning brain?” You want to hurl back the questions. Whenever I see such fishing activity in virtual world, I wonder whether this coquettish routine is a clever manipulation for comments or a confused cry for help. Whatever the reason might be, it is always better to avoid such people who act like they need to conduct focus groups for everything.

When it comes to cooking, here is a recipe that doesn’t need a focus group to know it tastes good. Well, the recipe is lauki-chole, and it has silk like lauki also known as bottle gourd and smooth tasting chickpeas. Chickpeas are one legume that can stand on their own in taste department. They can pamper other ingredients without pandering to them. That’s a good company to have.

Bottle Gourd, Sorakaya, Lauki, Dudhi
Bottle Gourd (Lauki, Sorakaya, Dudhi), Chickpeas and Tomato

Recipe:
(for two, for two meals)

1 tablespoon - ghee
1 onion- finely chopped
4 tomatoes - finely chopped
1 small bottle gourd (lauki, Dudhi, Sorakaya), about 6-8″
3 cups chickpeas, pre-soaked in water
1 tablespoon chana masala powder (homemade or store-bought)
Chilli powder, turmeric, salt, and lemon juice - to taste
1 tablespoon - kasuri methi

Cook chickpeas to tender in salted water. Drain. Separate about half cup and puree to fine, for a low-calorie chole thickener.

Lightly scrape the bottle gourd’s (lauki) skin, cut to middle lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out and then cut the white part to bite-sized cubes.

Heat ghee in a big pot. Add onions and tomatoes. Saute to soft mush. Add the cubed bottle gourd. Saute to tender. Add the chickpeas and the chickpea paste. Also stir in the spices - chana masala powder, chilli, turmeric powders, and salt. Add about a cup of water. Mix well. Simmer, covered for about 15 to 20 min. At the end, sprinkle the kasuri methi and lemon juice. Mix and serve right away.

I like chole. The chickpeas in chole are good with vegetable combination, and they make filling meal with minimum effort. This type of vegetable chole satisfies any grain - rice, chapati, pasta, millet and even the toasted bread.

Lauki Chole
Lauki-chole with Rice, Lemon and Pickled Pepper ~ Meal Today

Lauki in Ayurveda, Lauki at backyard garden
Bindiya’s Kashmiri recipe with lauki

Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas, Sorakaya(Dudhi,Lauki) (Thursday January 17, 2008 at 9:09 pm- permalink)
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Teepi Gummadi Kura for Sankranthi

(Pumpkin Subzi with Winter Melon from Nandyala)

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Winter melon, Ash Gourd, Gummadikaya, Gummadi

Pumpkin kura sweetened with jaggery is a Sankranthi tradition at Nandyala and in many parts of Andhra, Bharath. Pumpkin is a winter vegetable, and jaggery is made fresh from sugarcane during this season. So on Bhogi, the first day of three day festival Sankranthi, we cook these two together as part of harvest celebration. The pumpkin cubes coated with jaggery-spice mixture glisten like an early morning Sunshine on wintry day in this curry. Usually we serve it with Sajja Rotte (Millet Roti) on Bhogi.

The white fleshed pumpkin is called boodida gummadi in Telugu. Here in US, it is sold as ash gourd or winter melon, often cut into small portions like shown in the image. Winter melon tastes like cucumber, mildly sweet and no smell whatsoever. If this variety is available in your area, do try this recipe. Sweet, aromatic and with ruchi, this curry is a hearwarming wintry delight and a must try for winter-melon fans.

Gummadi, Winter Melon, Ash Gourd, Kaddu
Winter Melon, Coconut, Dalia and Jaggery

Recipe:
(for two, for two meals with roti)

Boodida Gummadi (Winter melon): Peel the skin, remove the seeds and cut the white part to bite-sized cubes : 4 cups

Jaggery-spice Paste:

Dalia (putnala pappulu, Bhuna Chana) - quarter cup
Jaggery, crushed to small pieces - 3 tablespoons
Coconut, fresh or dry, grated - 1 tablespoon
Dried red chilli - 4
Coriander seeds - half teaspoon
Take them all in a mixer, blend to fine consistency.

Kura Preparation:
In a pot, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add and toast a sprig of curry leaves, pinch of cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the pumpkin cubes. Also the jaggery-spice paste along with a glass of water. Mix. Stir in a pinch of turmeric, and salt to taste. Mix, and simmer, covered for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the pumpkin pieces cook to tender.

Serve the teepi gummadi kura with chapati, sorghum roti or sajja roti. (This curry is not that good with rice.)

Teepi Gummadi Kura, Pumpkin Curry with Roti
Teepi Gummadi Kura with Roti, and Boondhi Mixture

Recipe Source: Amma, Nandyala
This kura is also prepared with orange pumpkin. The recipe is same except the change in pumpkin.
Kura=Curry, Teepi=Sweet, Gummadi=Pumpkin, Ruchi=Flavor (from Telugu to English)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jaggery, Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia), Pumpkin (Wednesday January 9, 2008 at 2:35 pm- permalink)
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Kandula Kura

Kandulu (Whole and Dried Tuvar or Toor Beans
Kandulu (Tuvar or Toor Beans)
Dried Beans, Rehydrated Beans and Cooked Beans
(Clockwise from the bottom. Notice the color change)

Aloo Kurma with Tuvar Beans
Kandula Kura with Potatoes ~ for Jihva

Aloo Kurma is a good thing. Add the earthy, tooth-some tuvar beans, you have something even better. A fantastic Kandula Kura substantial enough to nurture an Olympic trainer.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Pumpkin (Friday December 7, 2007 at 1:12 pm- permalink)
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Kandulu

Kandulu (Whole Tuvar/Toor Beans - In Dried Form)
Kandulu (Tuvar or Toor Beans, in Dried Form)

Kandulu (Whole and Dried Tuvar/Toor Beans Cooked in Salted water)
Yesterday I feasted, so today I must fast.
Kandulu, Simmered in Salted Water ~ An Andhra Snack for Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jihva For Ingredients, Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu) (Thursday December 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm- permalink)
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