Kondai Kadalai Theeyal – Visual recipe
Theeyal literally means “burnt dish”, a kerala recipe which is typically made out of roasted coconut and other masala ingredients. Every community has their own recipes and there are many variants of Theeyal dishes that differs with the various ingredients used but the base ingredient of all theeyal remains the roasted coconut and tamarind paste that gives it the typical taste. Here is one theeyal recipe from our community kitchen which is made with Channa as the main ingredient, this also happens to be one of my favourite dish that I relish with main traditional dishes like Aapam and Puttu.
Ingredients for Kondai kadalai theeyal
Kondai kadalai (Channa / chickpea) – 1 cup
(you can use either black or white channa)
Coconut - 1/2 cup shredded
Coriander seed – 3 tea spoon
Red chilly – 10
Curry leaves – 12 – 15
Tamarind paste – as per taste
Cooking oil – 1/2 tea spoon
Steps to make Kondai kadalai theeyal
For masala, we need coconut, coriander, red chilly and curry leaves.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil in fry pan and throw in all the masala ingredients and roast it till coconut turns brown.
Add little water and make a fine paste out of the roasted masala in mixer grinder.
Pressure cook the already soaked channa. Add little salt while pressure cooking. Its better to soak the channa before hand for 4-5 hours in water for easy cooking.
Transfer the pressure cooked channa into a cooking pan. Add the masala paste.
Add tamarind paste as per taste and also add little water for the gravy. Taste the gravy and add salt as per your requirement.
Let it cook till the gravy thickens…
Kondai kadalai Theeyal is ready to be served.
Appam and kondai kadalai theeyal !
Kondai kadalai theeyal goes well with Aapam, Puttu, Idly and dosa.
Instead of Channa, you can also make mixed veg theeyal by replacing channa with mixed vegs like brinjal, bhindi, drumstick, yam, onion and green chilly. You can also throw in little channna optionally. Mixed veg theeyal tastes well with rice.
Roasted Peppers and Pan seared Tomatoes – recipe
Here’s a fantastic dinner for two!
Pan seared tomatoes:
Get your non-stick frying pan (preferably one with a thick bottom) screaming hot but not smoking. Drizzle some olive oil (extra virgin preferably as that does have a rather nice flavour) and once hot enough, just add tomatoes which are smallish in size (I used cherry tomatoes). Smallish in size because it’s all about the volume to surface area thing — smaller the size, better they sear! Throw in a pinch-full of any spices that you may choose EXCEPT salt. Add salt once you are ready to serve. (‘Coz adding salt too early just leaches out the oil and you have congealed red gunges instead of pan seared tomatoes).
I prefer red bell peppers over green peppers but you are free to choose the peppers of your liking; red, green, blue… whatever does the trick for you! I sliced my peppers in halves as my oven has heating from the top and bottom. Chopping them in halves increases the surface area that you expose to the heat.
Pre-heat your oven to 400F (roughly 200C), grease a pan and the peppers and pop them in the oven until they look close to getting charred. You can get them out of the oven earlier if you’d prefer.
In the mean time, dice some parboiled potatoes and fry them in your beloved frying pan. But this time WITH VEGETABLE OIL!
Here is why: To brown potatoes, you need a temperature of about 375 F. You CANNOT use olive oil because it starts SMOKING at 325-330F (which is a bad thing unless you are trying to reduce your potatoes to black dust). Vegetable oil doesn’t smoke for a bit beyond 400 F so you are quite safe. Toss in any spices of your liking and once done, spread out on paper napkins to soak up any excess oil from the potatoes.
Stuff your partially roasted peppers with the fried and seasoned potatoes and pop back in the oven which is still at 400 F until done (if you’ve got so far in this recipe, you should be able to tell when they are done!)
HINT: The peppers are done when they are partially shiny, partially burnt and generally sizzling! Of course, there is no rule against getting the peppers out of the oven, testing them for completeness and then popping them back into the oven!
PS: I used Mozzarella cheese strips to make a cage over the openings of the peppers!!
Oriental Style Coconut Rice – Visual recipe
Recipe contributed by Purba Ray, who in her own words “A woman who can’t make up her mind, change has been a constant factor in her life” She blogs at A-Musing - a blog that is a little sweet, a little tangy and very very spicy.
I cup of rice – soaked for 15 minutes in water
Pineapple bits – 1 cup
A fistful of cashews
Whole Star Anise – 2-3 pieces
I tetra pack of coconut milk / Home made coconut milk
Salt to taste
5 Easy steps:
Step 1: Fry cashew on low flame till they turn a golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
Step 2: In a pressure cooker temper the star anise in a tablespoon of oil. Add the drained rice and fry it on a low flame till the moisture evaporates. Add salt to taste.
Step 3: Now add two cups of coconut milk. If the quantity in the tetra pack is not enough, you can dilute it with water.
step 4: Pressure cook it – 1 whistle and then 3 minutes on low flame
step 5: Once the lid comes off (it should take about 15 minutes), mix the fried cashews and pineapple bits.
It’s a meal on it’ s own but goes well with spicy fish/ lemon chicken as well.
Note from Editor: Thanks Purba for a wonderful yet easy to cook recipe. I tried it at home and it tasted delicious. Though the rice got bit stickier thanks to a new variety of rice I picked from market. Do enjoy the recipe and trust me, it is tasty and yummier than how it looks in my pictures.
Cashew golden fried and pineapple chopped.
Got the star anise to flavor!
Tempering star anise in tablespoon of oil…
So now we add the drained rice and fry it on a low flame till the moisture evaporates. Don’t forget to add salt to taste.
Coconut milk is ready for the next step!
Add rice to the coconut milk and pressure cook it…
Now mix the fried cashew nut and pine apple to the cooked rice…
That’s it! Delicious oriental style coconut rice is ready to be served! Ok, you can see the rice is bit sticky and gluey thanks to the new rice I picked from market. It happens! After all, Kitchen is a place to experiment and learn
Idli Batter Pakoda – Visual Recipe
A lazy weekend and suddenly you feel to the urge to have something hot and crispy, you child comes back from school and demands a snack, you find sudden guest knocking your door and you want to make something? Here is a quick recipe everyone would love to bite. But wait it is an instant recipe provided you have idly batter ready at home. You have it ? Well, then time to treat yourself and your family with a quick , crunchy and tasty snack.
- Idly batter – 2 measures
- Rice flour – Half measure.
- Channa dal (kadalai parupu) – Quarter measure
- Onion – 2 big
- Green chilly – as per taste
- Red chilly powder – as per taste
- Curry leaves – 8-10 leaves
- Salt – as per taste
- Asafoetida powder – a pinch
- Baking soda (optional) – a pinch
Step 1: Mix Idly batter and Rice flour (ratio of 2 : 0.5) along with other ingredients. Make the dough to a thick consistency (like you make for roti or poori)
Step 2: Keep the mixed dough aside and heat the cooking oil in a pan.
Step 3: Make small balls of the dough with your fingers and fry it golden brown.
Step 4: Crispy, tasty instant vada is ready to relish.
Home made Pizza – recipe
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour(maida),
2 cups warm water,
1 packet(2 teaspoons) of dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar,
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 Tbsp Olive oil,
1 cup Pizza sauce,
1 cup shredded cheese(mozzarella)
Cut Vegetables of your choice
Method for preparing dough:
Step 1: Add sugar and dry yeast to warm water and set it aside for 5 mins to allow it to bubble.
Step 2: Add flour,salt,oil and the mixture(prepared in step 1) to the Food Processor. Mix the ingredients and prepare soft dough. If you do not possess a Food Processor,use your hand to knead the dough for 15-20 minutes.
Step 3: Smear olive oil in a bowl and place the dough in it.
Step 4: Roll the dough in that bowl for oil to be spread evenly.
Step 5: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep aside for 1 hour 30 mins in a warm place such that the dough doubles itself
Step 6: Punch down the dough and divide the dough into 2 balls.
Step 7: Keep the dough balls seperate bowls for 10 minutes.
Step 8: Place the Pizza Stone and preheat the oven for 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes
Method for preparing Pizza Crust:
Step 1: Take the dough and press and pat it to make a circular base about 10 -12 inches wide and thickness about 1/2 an inch.
Step 2: Take a cutting board and sprinkle some “corn meal” on it. Transfer the Pizza base on it
Step 3: Apply olive oil on the Pizza base.
Step 4: Add 2-3 Tbsp of Pizza sauce, 1/3 cup of cheese and cut vegetables on the crust.
Step 5: Again sprinkle some “Corn meal” on the Preheated Pizza Stone,place this pizza crust on it and bake for 15 minutes.
Delicious, yummy home made pizza ready to eat!
- Guest post by Swathi Pradeep . To visit her food blog click HERE
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Aval Urundai /Poha Laddu – Visual Recipe
Aval Urundai (அவல் உருண்டை) or Poha laddu is an easy to make sweet dish. Believe me it just takes less than 10 minutes to make! Not just that it also makes a healthy indulgence.
Poha (flattened rice) – 3 Cups
Grated Coconut – 1 cup
Sugar – Half cup or as per taste (you can use sugar substitute if you are on strict no-sugar diet)
How to make Aval Urundai:
Slightly roast Poha in a tawa. (In the picture, I have used red rice poha, you can use the commonly available white poha instead)
Grind first the roasted Poha and Sugar together finely. When the mixture grinded fairly fine, add the grated coconut and grind all together.
Make the mixture into balls. Delicious Aval urundai or Poha laddoo is ready to eat.
Enjoy the delicious, healthy snacks!
The Perfect Ginger Chai
Its official. My wife has crowned me the best Ginger tea maker . For a loving , dotting husband that is a real wonderful certificate bestowed ! So I don’t mind making endless cups of tea for my wife even if she would request a cup of strong piping hot chai at the oddest hours , buziest hours or the laziest hours . I feel I have become sort of self addicted to my own brew of tea that cups of chai made by others fail to excite my taste buds oflate.
Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage
Truly said ! Sipping Tea , I don’t know about others but it does makes me drift away to a world of my own. Sitting on an window side on a rainy day and sipping a cup of tea , reading a novel over a cup of chai , brooding with a cup of tea for a company sure does take one to an imaginary voyage , I guess you would agree !
Art of brewing the finest Ginger tea :
Ok , now for all those husbands , wives , boy friends , girl friends , just friends and simpletons and singletons who want to impress others or impress themselves with a great cup of perfect ginger chai , read further , I am going to share my chai secret. The procedure may seem simple and common but it guarantees a special cup !
For one cup of Chai :
Step 1 : Boil half cup of water .
Step 2 : Take half inch finger sized ginger . Crush it . We have a kharal ( mortar and pestle ) to crush it . If you cannot find it , use the base of steel cup or any other hygienically handy kitchen tool that would serve the purpose of crushing.
Step 3 : Add the crushed ginger to the boiling water.
Step 4 : Allow the water to simmer in low flame for 2-3 minutes.
Step 5 : Add 1 tea spoon of tea leaves. I prefer TATA Premium Tea leaves.
Step 6 : Allow the tea leaves to simmer further 2-3 minutes.
Step 7 : Add sugar of your choice. Personally , I don’t like my chai to taste too sugary. So make sure you don’t over indulge on sugar in tea and allow it to over power the natural flavour of tea leaves.
Step 8 : Finally , add half cup of milk.
Step 9 : Allow it to boil . Once the milk raises , reduce the flame of the stove and allow it to simmer for a minute or two.
Step 10 : Switch off the stove . Use a strainer and pour your garam perfect chai in your favourite cup . Enjoy the drink !
Simple isn’t it ? Oh well , I forgot to share the most important ingredients . Love and Patience. Yes , they are the simple but the vital secret of the best cup of chai . Love for making chai or for that matter whatever you venture in your kitchen and patience to see through the entire process. The love within you transcends to your cup of chai and adds to that special taste in the cup of joy !
So do tell me how you enjoyed your cup of wonderful chai !
If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.
Congee / Kanji for body and soul
Last one week I was down with cough, cold and fever thanks to unpredictable Bangalore weather! Blame it on global warming but the fact is down the years Bangalore weather has become unruly. We get four seasons in the same day nowadays! It’s autumn in the morning, summer in the noon, spring in the early evening and winter at night! To add more drama into it, temperature inside home and outside is quiet different. It’s been 10 years in Bangalore and I can experience the weather being worsening year by year thanks to global warming, local warming, tree slaughtering and vehicle pollution, effects of concrete jungle.
Well, so I was down with fever, cough, and cold and was in bed rest for most of the week. We always feel that we should laze around doing nothing but when we end up in bed rest cause of sickness, we hate being on bed.
The combination of cough, cold and fever made my craving for food less. During these days I relished only one food which proved to be the miracle food for my body and soul! Soothing and easy for stomach definitely – it’s the very south Indian Conjee/kanji! The popular poor man’s food!
Kanji is a poor man’s food of south especially Tamil nadu and kerala! Kanji is rice porridge, which is easy to cook with most minimal requirement and can be eaten even with green chilly as accompaniment. In kerala, Kanji is made with typical red rice. In Tamil nadu it’s made of the white rice. Nevertheless the preparation is an awesome, wonderful food especially when we are sick and in bed like I was this one week!
How to prepare Kanji:
Kanji does not require any miracle recipe. One need not ransack the kitchen for various masala. It’s a frugal meal with limited requirements to cook.
Take the required quantity of rice. Clean it. Add water in the proportion of 5:1 i.e., 5 measures of water for every one measure of rice. Cook them in a steam cooker. You don’t have to worry if the rice would be over cooked coz it doesn’t matter. I typically keep it for 5 whistles and then switch off the stove. After 5 minutes you can open the stove and pour the content in a bowl. Optionally, you can add shredded coconut a spoonful while serving. I typically like it this way.
Side dishes: Kanji is a simple dish that can go along with almost everything. Pickles, roasted chilies, onions, papads, and dal curry well almost everything goes with it. My favorites are pickles and papads diced, roasted and with sprinkled with chilly powder and salt added.