My helper Selvi who was watching me mince tomatoes, asked me if it was for a chutney. When I nodded , she promptly asked me for the recipe as her children love the food that I send for them. She listened intently and then proceeded to give her own version of what she makes. Thokku is more like a pickle which stays good without refrigeration for two days. Refrigerated, it stays good even for ten days or more. I decided to try it out, and I must say that it has turned out delicious. So posting a tomato Thokku the ‘Selvi’ way.
1/2 kg tomatoes minced
1tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
3 inch piece ginger grated
12 garlic cloves minced
2 tsps chilly powder
Rajma/ kidney bean sized piece of hing/asafoetida
A pinch of haldi/ turmeric powder
3 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp tamarind paste
Jaggery and salt as per taste
6 tbsps oil.
Heat oil. Add the mustard. After it crackles add the methi. After it turns golden brown add the hing, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and roast till they give a good aroma. Add the chilly powder and haldi. Toss and immediately add the tomatoes and salt. Roast till the tomatoes have turned mushy. Add the tamarind paste and jaggery and boil well. Store in an air tight container only after it has cooled thoroughly.
Cream of Tomato Soup is a personal favourite. I prefer mine with a hint of spice, so generally add them when the tomatoes are being cooked. Choose ripe, juicy and thick skinned tomatoes to avoid adding corn flour as a thickening agent. The creamy texture of the soup is a sheer delight. Served with croutons it is a filling yet light meal.
10 ripe, thick skinned variety of tomatoes
1 inch piece of cinnamon
3 tbsps cream
1/2 tsp pepper powder
Chop the tomatoes roughly and pressure cook them along with the cloves and cinnamon. Transfer them to a blender. Tip in the cream and blend it well. Pour the soup into a pan, and add the pepper powder, salt and sugar. Serve hot with croutons.
Fragrant Jeera Rice is a family favourite. Accompanied by a Dal Tadka or a even a simple Dal it is a comfort meal. Any Punjabi curry too goes equally well with it. A kuchumber and yogurt complete the meal.
250 gms Basmathi rice
1 tsp jeera/ cumin seeds
1 Bay leaf
3 tbsps ghee/clarified butter
I prefer cooking Basmathi rice the double boiler way. Wash the rice and put it in a vessel. Pour boiling water (for one part of rice it is two parts of water) into it, add a spoon of ghee and a tsp of salt, mix well and lower the vessel into a larger vessel in which the water has been kept boiling. Cover tightly and cook on a slow flame for half an hour. Remove and invert the rice on a large dish. Fork it gently. Heat ghee and add the jeera and Bay leaf. After the jeera stops sputtering add the chopped coriander leaves. Toss, and pour this seasoning into the rice. Mix well and transfer to a microwave safe dish. Heat well.
I am an ardent Dosa fan and my idea of a hearty breakfast is hot Dosas, chutney and a mug of steaming coffee. I am always on the look out to try a new variant in Dosas, so the other day when my niece Rupa Kamath suggested that I try this one with Puffed rice I made it for breakfast today morning. It turned out super soft and fluffy and with the accompanying Hing/asafoetida chutney it was simply divine!!!!
250 gms rice
2 tbsps grated coconut
500 gms puffed rice/kurmura
1 tbsp curd
1 tsp sugar
Oil ( I prefer using Parachute coconut oil for this dosa)
Wash and soak the rice for 4 hours. Soak the puffed rice and pass it through a sieve. Grind the coconut and puffed rice first and then add the rice and grind it to a fine batter. Add the curd, sugar and salt, stir well and allow to ferment for 8 hours. The batter fluffs up beautifully. Heat a tava/skillet. Stir the batter and pour a ladleful on the tava. Do not spread it. It should be as thick as a pancake. Drizzle oil, cover and cook. Within minutes the dosa is done with lovely pores appearing all over. Serve with chutney.
Note: This Dosa is not flipped and roasted on the other side. The recipe of the Hing/ asafoetida chutney is given under the catagory Chutneys of this website.
One of the family’s favourite breakfast eats is this three in one Batter where one can make a thick or paper thin dosa/crepe or Appam. Since it is spiced with green chillies and ginger, it is best enjoyed with homemade butter than with chutney. You can also use store bought butter though nothing can beat the taste of fresh homemade butter. The batter needs no fermentation and all the three dishes can be made instantly.
100 gms urad dal
250 gms moong dal/ green gram dal
15 green chillies
2 inch piece of ginger
A rajma/kidney bean sized piece of hing /asafoetida
10 sprigs curry leaves
Oil or ghee/ clarified butter
Wash and soak the urad and moong dal for four hours. Grind in the wet grinder non stop for half an hour adding water a little at a time to get a thick and fluffy batter of pouring consistency. Remove in a vessel. Crush the green chillies, ginger and hing and drop it into the batter. Add finely chopped curry leaves and salt and mix thoroughly. Let the batter stand for ten minutes. Mix again before making dosa.
1.Pour a ladleful of the batter on to a hot tava/skillet. Do not spread it much, with thickness being that of a pancake . Drizzle with oil or Ghee and allow to roast. Flip and roast on the other side too. Place on a plate.
2. Pour a ladleful of batter on to a hot tava. Spread it in concentric circles as thinly as possible to make a paper thin dosa. Drizzle with oil or Ghee and roast to a rich golden brown. Flip and roast on the other side too. Place on a plate.
3. Heat the Appam pan. An Appam pan has tiny troughs which hold the batter to be roasted. First drizzle some oil into all the troughs. Pour in the batter, cover and roast. Flip. Roast on the other side too to a rich golden brown. Place the appams on a plate.
Note: If one is using the blender/ mixer to grind the dals, the proportion of urad to moong dal is 1:2. Number of green chillies too need to be reduced as the batter does not increase in volume as when ground in a wet grinder.
There is no doubt that the healthiest way of eating fruits is in their natural form, without converting them into juices or punches, but then once in a while it is fun indulging in those unhealthy things too!!!!! This is my favourite Punch as it is sweet, tangy and has that right amount of zing to it. Healthy, as it is without any essence or flavour and heavenly during the summers.
1 kg Watermelon
Juice of three limes
Juice of three oranges
Cut the watermelon and deseed it. Juice the oranges and limes. Puree the watermelon and strain it. Drop the strained juice into a pitcher, and add the orange and lime juice to it. Stir in sugar as per requirement and serve it chilled.
With winter setting in, the market is flooded with fresh spring onions. I was tempted to make a Zhunka to go with the phulkas for dinner. Zhunka is basically a term used for a dish made with roasted Chickpea flour. Capsicum, onion or any vegetable of choice is used. The flavour of Curry leaves holds sway though ginger and garlic are used in the dish. Traditionally served with Bhakri, it goes well with rice and dal too.
2 bunches spring onions chopped fine
1 large onion
3 tbsps oil
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 green chilly
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 inch piece of ginger grated
5 garlic cloves grated
1 tsp chilly powder
A pinch of haldi/ turmeric powder
4 tbsps Besan/ Chickpea flour
Dry roast the Besan on a slow flame till it gives out its aroma. Keep aside. Heat oil. Drop in the jeera and after it splutters add the slit green chilly, Curry leaves and the grated ginger and garlic. Toss till the raw aroma goes away. Add the sliced onions, finely chopped spring onion greens and salt. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the coriander, chilly and turmeric powders. Toss. Add the Besan and mix thoroughly. Tip in half a glass of water and cook the Zhunka. Switch off and garnish with coriander leaves.
Enjoy this pomegranate and apple raita with Biryani, Pulao, Roti or even with Dal and Rice. The tang of pomegranate seeds, the sweetness of apple, the aroma of freshly chopped coriander leaves blend well with the thick yoghurt. A personal favourite, I sometimes have it as a meal by itself.
1 small bowl of pomegranate seeds
1 small bowl of apples chopped fine
1 green chilly minced
2 tsps sugar
250 gms thick yoghurt
Crush the minced green chilly with salt and drop it into the yoghurt along with the sugar, pomegranate seeds, apple and finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and serve chilled.
An accompaniment of a simple stir fry of Farmyard Beans / Chawli /Alsande to Dal and rice or even Rotis is my idea of a comfort meal. I have already posted a stir fry of Farmyard Beans which is equally delicious. One can make a meal of it too, just as I do!!
250 gms Farmyard Beans
1 large potato
2 dry red chillies
1 tbsp Parachute Coconut oil
1 tsp mustard
A pinch of Hing/ asafoetida
String the Beans. Peel the potatoes. Wash and chop both fine. Heat oil in a pan., add the mustard. After it splutters add the broken red chilly bits and toss. Immediately add the chopped vegetables, salt and a small glass of water. Cook till done. Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot.
Tomato Saar is an aromatic preparation which can be served as an appetizer or as a mixer for rice. The basic ingredient that is used here as the name indicates is Tomato. What makes it different is that it can be seasoned in a variety of ways. Each seasoning lends its own unique taste to the Saar. Here I have seasoned it with garlic. You may also try seasoning it with finely chopped onion or a simple one of asafoetida, mustard and curry leaves.
3 medium sized tomatoes
1 litre water
1 tsp tamarind paste
3 tsps sugar
2 tsps Sambhar powder
20 garlic cloves
2 tbsps ghee/ clarified butter
Chop the tomatoes fine. Drop them into the boiling water along with the tamarind paste, salt, sugar and sambhar powder. Cook till soft. Heat ghee and add the lightly crushed garlic cloves to it. Roast to a rich golden brown. Tip the seasoning into the boiling Saar. Boil for a couple of minutes to allow the aroma of the garlic to infuse into the Saar. Switch off. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Note : The recipe to the Sambhar-powder can be found under the catagory of Spice powders of this website. You may also use the store bought one too.