Spinach Dhal Curry / Keerai Kootu

Ingredients
Spinach 1 bunch, finely chopped
Split yellow moong dhal 1/2 cup
Green chillies 1 or 2
Garlic 1, crushed
Onion 1 small
Tomato 1 small
Cumin 1 tsp
Pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida pinch

To Temper
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies 2


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Method
• Take a heavy bottomed vessel, add all the ingredients dhal, spinach, onion, tomato, green chilli, garlic, cumin, pepper powder, Asafoetida with required salt and water. Cook it in medium heat for min 15-25 mins. ( Make sure you have enough water )
• Smash it well so that all the ingredients get blended.
• Take another pan, add little oil. Crackle the mustard, followed by urad dhal and red chillies. Pour it on top of the curry.
• Serve hot with Roti or White Rice.

Tips
• You can pressure cook all the ingredients for up to two whistles to save time.
• You can add Toor dhal instead of Moong dhal.

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Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyaram Sweet

Paniyaram is a Popular dish from Chettinad Cuisine. It can be made Sweet or Spicy. For Sweet Paniyarams, we add jaggery to the batter. Some add ‘Karuppati’ for a extra special Sweet flavor. The usual ratio for paniyaram is equal proportion of Idly rice & Raw rice. In this recipe, I have doubled the quantity of Raw rice to that of the Idly rice to get more Softer & Crispier Paniyarams.
Ingredients

Idly Rice 1/2 cup
Raw Rice 1 cup
Urad dhal 1/4 cup
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Salt pinch
Jaggery 1 cup
Cardamom 2, powdered
Coconut 1/2 cup, grated

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Method

• Wash and soak idly rice, raw rice, urad dhal & fenugreek for 6-8 hours.
• Grind it to a thick fine paste with very little water and salt. ( As we have to dilute the batter with jaggery water later, it’s grounded to a thick paste now)
• Ferment it overnight.
• Heat Jaggery with little water. Let all the jaggery gets dissolved completely.
• Filter and pour it on the batter, add Cardamom powder & grated Coconut and mix thoroughly.
• Heat the paniyaram pan. Grease the pan with 1 tsp of oil in each wells.
• Pour 3/4 of the well with batter. Cover it and cook in medium flame for 3-4 mins.
• Now gently turn it upside down and continue to cook the other side to get a roasted colour.
• Remove it from the pan and Sweet Kuzhi Paniyaram is ready to be served!

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Chettinad Egg Curry/ Chettinad Muttai Kulambu

Ingredients
Eggs 4, Hard boiled
Onion 1
Tomato 1
Curry leaves 1 Strand
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Dry Roast & Grind
Red chillies 2
Green chillies 1 (Pls adjust according to your spice levels)
Ginger 1/2″ Cube
Garlic 2 Cloves
Cumin 1 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves 2 Strands
Poppy seeds 1 tbsp
Cinnamon 1/2″ Stick
Green cardamom 1
Cloves 4

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Method
• Boil eggs in salt water for 12-15 mins and keep it aside.
• Dry roast all the Ingredients listed below Dry Roast & Grind except Curry leaves and Coconut for few minutes. (Make sure you don’t burn any). Cool them and then grind it along with Curry leaves and Coconut to a paste.
• Take a vessel, add little oil, Crackle Mustard then add Curry leaves and Onion. Sauté it until the onions turn golden brown.
• Add the grounded paste with the tomatoes. Cook it till the juice comes out. Add little water, taking care not to burn the masala.

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• Add Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric and salt.
• Now add 2 cups of water and allow it to boil.
• Add the sliced hard boiled Eggs to it. Cook for 5 mins in medium flame.

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• Simmer it next 10 mins for the eggs to get soaked in the curry.
• Chettinad Egg Curry is ready to be served with Roti or plain white Rice.

Chicken Biryani Pakistan Style

This week I tried the Pakistan Version of Chicken Biryani. It is more Spicier & Tastier Biryani. Its easier to make and it is full of Flavors, it’s good to give a try.
Source: Kothiyavunu

Ingredients

For Cooking Rice
Basmati Rice 2 1/2 cup
Water 4 cup
Bay leaf 2
Cloves 3
Cardamom 1
Cumin 1 tsp
Saffron pinch
Salt req
Rose Essence 1/4 tsp

For Marination
Chicken 2 lbs
Yoghurt 1/2 cup
Lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Fried Onion 2
Chilli powder 2 tbsp
Garam masala 2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Salt req

For Masala
Fried Onion 2
Tomato 3
Cinnamon 1 inch
Cloves 4
Green Cardamom 1
Black Cardamom 1
Star Aniseed 1
Ginger 1″ cube
Garlic 4 cloves
Green chilli 4
Mint bunch, Chopped
Coriander 1/2 cup, Chopped

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Method
• Pan fry finely sliced onions to golden brown and drain it on a paper towel. ( Use half for Marination & remaining for the Masala ).

For Marination

• Marinate with all the ingredients listed below For Marination and keep it aside for min 1 hour.

For Masala
• Grind Green Chillies, ginger & garlic to paste.
• Take a big pot. Add Fried Onion, Green Chilli-Ginger & Garlic paste, Cinnamon, Cloves, Green Cardamom, Black Cardamom, Star Aniseed. Sauté until the raw smell goes away.
• Add the chopped tomatoes, Cook it along with the masala for couple of minutes.
• Now add the marinated Chicken along with the chopped Mint and Coriander. Allow it to cook covered for 10-15 mins.

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For Cooking Rice
• Wash and soak Rice for 30 mins. Drain and keep it aside
• Boil 4 cups of water with the following ingredients Bay leaf 2,Cloves 3, Cardamom 1, Cumin 1 tsp, Salt req.
• Add soaked Rice and cook until 70% done. Approximately 5-8 mins.
• Add a pinch of Saffron to a tbsp of warm water. Pour it on top of the cooked rice.
• Remove and drain it in a colander.

For Layering Masala & Cooked Rice
• Remove half of the cooked Chicken masala to a plate.
• Layer with half of cooked Rice to it and level it. Garnish with chopped Coriander,Mint and few drops of Rose Essence.
• Again empty the Chicken Masala from the plate on top of the Rice.
• Layer with rest of the Rice, chopped Coriander,Mint & Rose essence.

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• Cover it and keep ‘Dhum’. Transfer the pot to a unused Dosa tawa and allow it to cook in low flame for an hour or two.
• Switch off the stove. Let the Biryani sit for an hour before you serve.
• Serve with cold raitha.

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Tips
• Use big pieces of Chicken with bones for this Biryani.
• You can try this with Mutton too. Don’t forget to add Meat tenderizer powder along or you can even pressure cook Mutton separately and prepare Biryani.

Peanut Chutney

We all love Peanuts in my family including my 2 year old. I like to add peanuts whole or grounded in variety rice, curries and raitas. This Peanut Chutney is so special as it has a beautiful blend of sweet (from peanuts), tangy (from tamarind) and spicy (from red chillies) flavor. The measurements could be slightly adjusted depending on your taste buds. It goes well with idly, Rava idly, Dosa, Upma or even bread

Ingredients

Peanuts 3/4 cup
Red chillies 4
Small Onion 1
Tamarind paste 1 tbsp
Salt req

To temper

Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 10

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Method

• Dry roast peanuts in a wide pan, until its skin changes colour and peel off its skin when it is little warm. ( pls make sure you don’t burn your hands).
• Heat little oil in a pan, add red chillies and onion, Sauté it for a while.
• Toss the Roasted peanuts, Red Chillies, Onion, Tamarind along with required salt grind it to a paste.
• Temper the Mustard, Urad dhal & Curry leaves and add it to the grounded paste.
• Peanut Chutney is ready to be served.
Tips
• Add a clove of roasted garlic if you like the garlic flavor.
• You can add 3 tbsp of grated coconut instead of onion for another variety of Peanut Chutney.
• Without tempering it can be used as a spread for the bread.

Boondhi Laddoo

Ingredients

Besan / Bengal gram flour 2 cups
Salt less than a pinch

For the Sugar syrup

Sugar 2 cups
Water 1 cup
Cloves 4
Cardamom 2, grounded
Cashew & Raisins 3 tbsp, chopped
Ghee 1 tbsp

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Method

• Roast the Cashew & Raisins in ghee and keep it separately.
• Take a heavy bottomed vessel, mix the sugar and water and start heating it till you get the half – string consistency.( When you touch the syrup with your index finger and thumb, it forms a string and breaks immediately) a stage before one-string consistency.
• Switch off the flame and start heating oil in a pan to fry the boondhis.
• Mix the besan with salt and water to dosa batter consistency.
• Make sure there is no lump in this and keep the batter ready.
• Take 2 perforated ladles, one for making the boondhis and other for removing it from the oil.
• Now pour a ladle full of batter on the perforated ladle, holding it on top of oil.
• When it is fried, remove it from the oil before it turns brown and transfer it on a tissue paper.
• Repeat this process for the rest of the batter.
• Add cloves, cardamom, roasted cashew, raisins and the fried boondhis to the syrup. Mix it well.
• Start making the balls when it is warm and store in a airtight container.

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Tips
• You can add a pinch of yellow colour for a good colour.
• Baking Soda can be added for crispy fried boondhis.
• While making sugar syrup, if the sugar gets crystallized or hard, you can add few tbsp of hot water to bring back the desired consistency.
• Kalkandu & edible camphor can also be added to enhance the taste.
• Clean the perforated ladle each time before you pour in the batter to get the perfect round shaped boondhis.
• If your boondhis turned uneven lumpy, you can add it to your blender and pulse it for couple of times before tossing it to the syrup.

Meen Kulambu ( Fish Curry )

This simple Fish curry is made without the tomatoes. It’s goes well with Dosa, Idly, Roti or Rice.

Ingredients

Salmon 1 lb
Gingerly oil 2 tbsp
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 strand
Coriander leaves little
Tamarind 1 1/2 tsp or lemon size ball

For Roasting & Grinding

Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Cumin 1 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 strand
Onion 1, finely chopped
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Chilli powder 1 1/2 tbsp
Coconut 2 inch cube or Grated Coconut 2 tbsp

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Method

• Heat 1 tbsp of gingerly oil, add cumin, fennel seeds, pepper and roast it for few minutes.
• Then add curry leaves and onions and sauté it to golden brown.
• Add coriander powder, chilli powder & chopped coconut pieces and sauté it for few seconds then remove it from the stove and allow it to cool.

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• Grind it to paste along with the tamarind paste. ( If you going to add tamarind extract, you can add after grinding the cooled ingredients)
• Take a new pan, heat 1 tbsp gingerly oil then add the mustard.
• Allow it to crackle then add urad dhal, fenugreek, curry leaves & coriander leaves. Sauté it for few seconds then add the grounded paste along with the tamarind extract.
• Cook for 5-10 mins till the raw smell goes. The gravy turns dark in colour at this stage.
• Now add fish pieces to it and cook for 5 mins covered.

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• After 5 mins in medium flame, Remove the cover & Simmer it for another 2 minutes then switch off the flame. Serve it with Rice or Roti.

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Tips
• Try to use small fish varieties for more taste.
• Don’t let the fish cook for more than 10 minutes in high heat. Fishes will break.

Peerkangai Kootu

Ingredients
Peerkangai 1 medium, peeled & chopped
Channa dhal 1/2 cup
Onion 1/2, finely chopped
Tomato 1, finely chopped
Green chilli 1 or 2, depending upon your taste
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves 1 strand
Grated coconut 2 tbsp
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal 1/2 tsp
Fennel 1/2 tsp
Cumin 1 tsp

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Method
• Wash & Soak Channa dhal for 20 mins.
• Heat little oil in a pressure pan, add onions & green chillies and sauté it till they turn golden brown.
• Add the tomatoes and cook till the juice comes out.
• Add the Peerkangai then the soaked Channa dhal in to the pan.
• Add enough water, turmeric & salt and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
• Grind grated coconut to a paste and pour it in, once the pressure pan is opened after the release of steam.
• Now temper mustard, urad dhal, cumin, fennel & curry leaves in little oil and pour inside the pressure cooked Peerkangai & dhal.
• Peerkangai Kootu is ready to be served just with plain rice or Roti!

Aloo Paratha

For Dough

Whole Wheat Flour 2 cup
Salt 1/4 tsp
Water req

For Stuffing

Potatoes 2 large or 4 small
Coriander leaves 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Amchoor powder 1/4 tsp
Green Chilly 1, finely chopped
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt req

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Method
• Mix salt to the wheat flour, add water slowly and knead the dough soft yet firm.
• Cover it with a damp cloth for 1/2 hour. In the meantime prepare the filling.
• Boil potatoes in a pot of water, with little salt.
• Once boiled, remove it from the stove and allow it to cool. Peel the skin and mash it well.
• Prepare the stuffing by combining Mashed potatoes with Coriander leaves, Coriander powder, Amchoor powder, green chilly, Cumin powder, Turmeric and little salt.
• Divide them to small lemon sized balls.
• Now take a small ball and roll them slightly. Keep the filling inside, close it and again roll them gently. Making sure the filling doesn’t come out.
• Heat the iron tawa. Place the paratha on it. Flip it. Add oil or ghee and heat the parathas until both the sides turn golden brown.
• It can be served with Sweet Yoghurt and pickle.

Sakkarai Pongal ( Sweet Pongal )

Ingredients

Raw rice 1 cup
Moong dhal 3 tbsp
Jaggery 1 1/2 cup
Ghee 2 tbsp
Cashew & Raisins little
Coconut few thin 2″ slices
Edible Camphor 1/2 pinch
Salt 1/2 pinch

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Method

• Dry roast Moong dhal for few minutes till they turn light golden brown colour.
• Wash both dhal & rice together and pressure cook with 4 cups of water and 1/2 a pinch salt for up to 4-5 whistles.
• Meanwhile dissolve jaggery with very little water in medium heat. Filter and remove scum.
• Add the filtered jaggery water to the cooked rice and dhal. Then add edible camphor to it and mix it thoroughly.
• Finally drizzle with ghee roasted Cashew, Raisins and Coconut slices and serve.

Notes

• If your pongal looks dry, you can add 1/2 cup milk or coconut milk to it and mix it in low flame.
• If it becomes too watery, continue mixing it in medium flame for the water to evaporate.
• You can cook pongal directly in a big pot instead of a pressure cooker.