12 July 2019

Lemon Rice

One of the simplest Rice varieties out there is the Lemon Rice. It's very simple to mix up and you can add variations of your own too!
Here's my mom's version..

Ingredients :
Rice - 1/2 cup
Sesame oil - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram(chana dal) - 1/4 tsp
Asafetida (Hing) pwd - 1/8 tsp
Turmeric pwd - 1/4 tsp
Green chilies - 2 medium
Curry leaves - a few
Lemon - 1 medium
Chopped capsicum, carrots, boiled peas (optional) - 1/2 cup
Method :
1. Pressure cook rice with equal measure of water, basically Pulao consistency. Once pressure subsides, transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature. Gently fluff it using a fork.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds & let splutter.

3. Add chana dal, chopped or slit green chilies, curry leaves and fry for a minute. If using vegetables, add them in at this point and cook till 3/4th done.
NOTE: Add salt to taste if adding veggies else add them later directly to the rice.

4. Add hing pwd, turmeric pwd, give a quick stir and remove from flame.

5. Add the tempering mix to the rice along with salt and gently mix till all the rice is well-coated.

6. Once well-mixed, squeeze half  lemon and check taste. Squeeze the other half if you want it more tangy.
Serve slightly warm.

1 July 2019

Thandu Keerai and Koottu

A lot of us cook Foxtail Amaranth/Thandu Keerai in many ways.
Here's an interesting tidbit about the greens from my mom. She grew up in a village near Madurai and I love hearing her interesting food stories!

So near her village, these greens would typically be sown right after harvesting Turmeric for Sankranti/Pongal. This is or was, a practice unique to the Melmangalam Taluk.
The greens would be ready for harvest 6 months later. Hence they would be called Manjal thottam Keerai or Aaru maasam (6 months) Thandu Keerai. Cool right?

By the way, I'm in love with this Storage Basket + Colander from Amazon. A blessing when washing greens especially.
Click the image or Check it out here..

 Multi purpose washing bowl

Without much ado, here are the 2 dishes made with the greens
1. Thandu (Stem) Poricha Koottu
2. Puliyitta Keerai (leaves cooked with tamarind)What's left will be combined with leftover Tomato Rasam, given a quick simmer and finished off with dosas that night. :)


Amaranth Stems (chopped) - 1 cup
Split Green Gram (moong dal) - 1/4 cup
Rasam powder - 1 tsp (If rasam pwd isn't available use the spice paste)
Salt to taste

For Spice Paste (if Rasam pwd not available):
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsps
Dry red chili - 1 medium
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1 tsp

Sesame oil - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split Black gram (Urad dal) - 1/4 tsp

1. Cook the chopped stems and moong dal separately.
2. Transfer both to a sauce pot and add salt to taste.
3. Add Rasam powder or ground spice paste, mix and simmer-cook on low for about 7-8 mins. Remove from flame.
4. Heat oil in a tempering ladle, add mustard seeds and let splutter. Add urad dal, roast till light golden and add to the Koottu.
Serve hot.

Amaranth leaves - 2 cups (washed, drained & roughly chopped)
Split Pigeon Peas (Toor dal) - 1/4 cup, pressure cooked till soft
Tamarind - half a lemon's size, juice extracted upto 1 cup
Green chili - 1-2, medium
Salt to taste
Vattralkuzhambu Powder or Sambhar powder - 2 tsps
Fresh coriander, chopped - a handful

Sesame oil - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Hing - 1/2 tsp

1. Blanch the greens in very little water. Let cool, then coarsely grind.
2. Add the ground leaves to a sauce pot along with slit green chili, tamarind water and salt to taste and let simmer on low flame till raw smell leaves the mix.
3. Lightly mash the cooked lentils and add to the greens mix. Add the Vattralkuzhambu or Sambaar powder, chopped coriander leaves and simmer on low flame for about 5-7 mins. Remove from flame.
4. For tempering, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let splutter. Switch off flame, add hing, mix well in the oil. Add to the keerai and serve hot.