21 June 2019

Morkeerai

There are many ways of cooking greens, especially in the Indian cuisine. Two methods that are my favourite from Mom's kitchen are - Masicha Keerai or Mashed Greens and MorKeerai, literally greens cooked in Buttermilk.
Featured here - MorKeerai, literally greens in buttermilk.
A simple, yummy and healthy recipe that can be prepared using almost any variety of greens, Spinach or variants of Amaranth.

There are many ways of making this, here's a simple method from my mom's repertoire..
MORKEERAI

Ingredients:
Greens of choice (Spinach, Arai keerai, Mulai keerai) - 1 medium bunch
Whisked yogurt - 1 cup
Green chili - 1 -2 medium
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Tempering:
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Black gram - 1/4 tsp
Dry red chili - 1 medium

Method:
1. Blanch a medium bunch of greens with salt and turmeric pwd. Cool and mash or coarsely grind.
2. Slit 1-2 green chilies and add to the mashed greens. Cook on low flame.
3. Add 1/4 tsp rice flour to whisked yogurt and add to the mix. Let simmer but take care not to let it boil.
4. Check for salt and remove from flame.
5. Temper by heating 1/4 tsp sesame oil, add mustard seeds, black gram and 1 small dry red chili.
Serve as is. Best part, it can be served at room temperature and as a raita too.

20 June 2019

Sooji Halwa (using Jaggery)

As we look to move away more and more from refined foods, it's high time to go back to roots and use what our ancestors did. White sugar for one is not used in my home anymore. We prefer jaggery in its whole or powdered form, or honey and cane sugar.
This Halwa comes out absolutely superb using jaggery and a must, must try..

SOOJI HALWA USING JAGGERY

Ingredients:
Ghee (Clarified butter) -¼ cup
Sooji / Semolina – ½ cup
Jaggery (roughly powdered) – 1 cup
Elaichi powder – a pinch
Salt – a pinch (optional)
Water – 2 cups
Cashews and raisins, roasted in ghee

Method:
1. Heat water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Heat ghee in a non-stick wok. Add sooji and roast till you get a nice aroma.
3. Add the boiled water and stir quickly to avoid lumps.
4. Stir well till sooji absorbs all the water and is well cooked.
5. Add the jaggery and stir on low flame till jaggery dissolves and mixes well.
6. Add the roasted dry nuts and cardamom powder. Stir again for 3-4 minutes and remove from flame.
Serve hot.

10 June 2019

Mango Kadhi

Come summer and we start experimenting with mangoes in every way we can. From Aamras to pickles, to raitas, to desserts, innumerable possibilities.
Using Mangoes in savoury dishes is an interesting pairing. Slightly sweet, tangy, this Mango Kadhi is a recipe my mom learnt from her mom. Here it is for you all to try :)
MANGO KADHI


Ingredients:
3 cups beaten yogurt (slightly sour)
1 ripe Mango (not too ripe, fibreless variety works best)
1 1/2 Green chilies
1/2 inch Ginger
2 tbsps Grated Coconut
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Seasoning:
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 medium Red Chili
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
Curry leaves, a few
Method:
1. Grind coconut, green chilies and cumin seeds to a fine paste using a little water.
2. Quarter the mango and cook in very little water, only till the skin is tender. Take care not to overcook.
3. Whisk together the yogurt, salt, ground paste.
4. Add the semi-cooked mango quarters and let simmer on low flame, stirring continuously but not vigorously.
5. After about 5-7 minutes, check for salt and remove from flame.
6. For tempering, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let splutter.
7. Add the red chili, curry leaves and finally the fenugreek seeds. Let brown slightly and add to the kadhi.
Serve hot with rice, rotis, Indian String hoppers, dosas or Adais. The list is endless :)

7 June 2019

Sweet Pongal

SWEET PONGAL

Ingredients:
Rice - 1 cup
Split Green gram - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Jaggery or sugar - 1 1/2 cup (Jaggery best)
Cashews and raisins - a few
Cardamom pwd - 1/4 tsp
Clarified butter( Ghee) - 2 tbsps
Method:
1. Heat a pan and dry roast the green gram for just a minute. Transfer to a clean dish.
2. Wash rice and pressure cook along with the roasted green gram, milk and 3 cups water. Let cook upto 4-5 whistles. Reduce flame and let be for 5 mins more. Turn off flame. Basically we need it mashy.
3. Once pressure subsides, mash the mixture while still hot.
4. Add jaggery/sugar to a large wok and 1.5 tbsps water and let dissolve on low flame. Let simmer till you get a sticky consistency. When you test the syrup between fingers it should be sticky like melted toffee, but no string.
5. Now add the mashed rice mix little by little and stir well with the jaggery/sugar syrup.
6. Heat ghee in another pan, roast the cashews and raisins till golden brown. Add to the pongal mix along with cardamom powder. Stir on low till it starts to thicken.
Remove from flame and serve hot. An extra dollop of ghee when serving is absolutely recommended 

Carrot Bhaat

A very simple, healthy and wholesome dessert that you can whip up quickly.

CARROT BHAAT
Ingredients:
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup well-cooked rice
3 cups full fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom pwd
1 tbsp clarified butter(Indian ghee) for roasting dry nuts
Sliced dry nuts of choice
Method:
1. Cook carrots in 3 cups milk till they are cooked and milk reduces to half the volume.

2. Mash the cooked rice and add to the milk mixture.
Stir well leaving no lumps.

3. Add sugar, stir again. Let simmer till the mixture thickens

4. Add cardamom pwd, dry nuts(roasted in ghee). Remove from flame and serve hot.