Thursday, September 6, 2012

before you throw it away..

 Peerkangkai thol thuvayal (Chutney from Ridge gourd peels)

Peerkangai peels  - from 2 gourds
urad dal                - 2 tsp
Tur dal                  - 2 tblsp
Red chillies           - 3
Tamarind               - the size of a marble
Oil                         - 1 tblsp
Asafoetida             - a pinch
Salt                        - to taste

In a pan, heat 1 tblsp oil and add the dals. Once they turn light brown add the red chilles and tamarind and hing. fry for a minute, drain and keep aside.
In the same pan , add a  little more oil and saute the ridge gourd peels till they become soft.
Turn off the flame and add to the fried ingredients and grind to a soft paste with enough salt and water.
Note 1: You can eliminate tur dal and add some coconut if you prefer it.
Note 2: you can make a chutney with the gourd's pulp in the same way. You can actually mix both and make the chutney. saute them separately as the pulp cooks much faster.
Note 3: If the peel is bitter, do not use it for the chutney.

Snake gourd seeds chutney ( pudalankAi vithai thuvayal)

Take out the seeds of snake gourd. Make sure that they are not hard or red. Tender ones are best for this.
In a little oil fry the seeds till  you get rid of their raw smell. drain and keep aside.
For half a cup seeds, fry 2 tsp urad dal till  golden brown. Fry 2 or 3 red chillies. Add asafoetida and take off heat. Cool
Add 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut, a small marble size of tamarind and salt  to the fried ingredients and grind to  a paste.

Nenthirangkai peel Thoran:
Your neighborhood chips shop guy will happily give these to you.
Cut the peels into bite sized pieces. Keep them soaked in water to prevent them from turning brown.
Pressure cook 1/4 cup moong dal. let it not get mashed.
In a pan heat oil . Add mustard seeds and urad dal.
Add the  peels, a little turmeric powder and salt.
using a pestle roughly pound together 3 tablespoon grated coconut, two green chilles and 1 tsp cumin seeds . you can pulse it in a mixie too.
When the peels are cooked, add the dal and pounded spice to the peels. Mix well and take off the stove.

Thoran can also be made using Raw papaya:
Cut raw papaya to bite size bits.
Heat 2 tsps oil. Splutter mustard seeds and Urad dal. Add raw papaya pieces, turmeric powder and salt. close and cook till the papaya is cooked.
Pound 3 tbsp freshly grated coconut along with green chillies, a small piece of ginger and a tsp cumin seeds. Add 1/2 tsp sugar (optional).
Add to the cooked papaya, mix well and take off heat.

Keeraithandu Sambar:

Save the tender stems of amaranthus greens (thandu keerai) after using the greens. Cut them to 2 inch pieces.

Keerai stems                     1/ 2 cup
Tur dal                               1/2 cup
Tamarind                            size of a marble
Sambar powder                  2 spoons ( recipe here)
Salt                                     to taste
OIl                                       1 tsp
Mustard seeds                    1/2 tsp
Asafoetida                           a pinch
Curry leaves                        a sprig

soak tamarind in 2 cups water and extract juice.
Pressure cook the dal, mash it and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they splutter. Add the keerai stems and saute for a minute. Add asafoetida and curry leaves.
Add sambar powder, mix well and add the tamarind juice and salt
Boil on slow flame for about 5 minutes.
Once the smell of tamarind evaporates , add the mashed dal .
Boil again for about 3 minutes.
Take off heat.

Keerai stems can also be used in Morkuzambu ( recipe here) and in moilaguttal or keerai masiyal ( recipe here)

 Parangkikkai thuvayal ( chutney from the fiber of red pumpkin)

Usually we throw away the tender fibrous part that is found  along with seeds right in the center of red pumpkin. These can be made into a tangy chutney.
Remove seeds and  take only the fiber.

Pumpkin fiber                    1 cup
Urad dal                             2 tsp
Tamarind                            size of a small marble
Red chilies                         3
asafoetida                          a pinch
Oil                                      1 tsp

Heat oil. Add Urad dal and fry it till they turn golden brown. add red chillies and fry just so that they become crisp. Add asafoetida and turn off heat. Drain.
In a little oil saute pumpkin fiber to get rid of raw smell.
Add the fried ingredients to tamarind and salt and grind to a chutney.

Mullangi keerai (Raddish leaves) in dal:
Ask your neighborhood green grocer to give you radishes with their leaves intact. Use them in your dal or sambar. They are a very good source of magnesium.

Inputs from 220 members:
Sheela DMello one more - peel only the outer tough skin from watermelon shells, and cook the fleshy white part like you do with bottle gourd.
Nicoleta Alina: My mother used to do a yummy jam from watermelon rind:)

Chandan Dev: not just ridge gourd,we even use the mangalore cucumber,chow chow peels as well to make chutneys.delish!

Asha Shenoy:Tender stems of Cauliflower can be used in Sambar.
( My note: They can also be used in stuffed Paranthas.)
Ridge gourd peel and potato cut fine, season with red chillies,mustard makes a tasty poriyal.
Devika Ramaratnam reminded me of Orange peel puli pachadi. Here goes the recipe: 
Peels of orange cut to small pieces : 1 cup
OIl                                                    : 2 tbsp
Tamarind                                          : size of a small lemon 
jaggery                                             : size of a small lemon
sambar powder                                : 2 tsp
Salt                                                  : to taste
Mustard seeds                                 : 1/2 tsp
Urad dal                                           : 1 tsp
Heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Add Urad dal. When it turns golden add the orange peels  and saute till they become tender.
Add thick juice of tamarind, salt, sambar powder and jaggery and let it boil on slow flame till it thickens. ( about 8 - 10 mins on slow flame)
Instead of sambar podi you can also use mensina podi/ gojju podi. (recipe here)
Or you can fry 2 tsp dhaniya seeds,1 tsp channa dal, 4 red chillies in a little oil. dry fry 1 tsp til. Add  1/2 tsp jeera and powder them together. If using this, there is no need to boil it in tamarind water. This can be added in the end before turning off heat.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Inji pachadi and Puli Inji

Ginger                        the size of a finger

Red chillies                 3-4

Coriander seeds         1tsp

Tamarind                    the size of a large marble

Grated Coconut         3  to 4 tblsp

Salt                            To taste

Mustard                     1 Tsp

Urad dal                    1 tsp

Oil                             2 tblsp

Jaggery                      a small piece or 2 tsp powdered.


Peel the skin and saute the ginger in a little oil till it turns brown
Fry the red chilly, Coriander seeds and grated coconut  separately
Grind the ginger along with these and tamarind. Add salt.
In a pan heat the rest of the oil, temper mustard seeds and urad dal.
Finally add the ginger paste and  saute them together till it thickens.
Switch off and add the jaggery.

A variation of this is 
Puli Inji

Tamarind                     Size of a lemon
Green Chillies             1Cup (Chopped Fine)
Ginger                         ½ Cup (Chopped Fine)
Oil                               2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds           1 Tsp
Asafoetida                   ½ tsp
Turmeric powder         ½ Tsp
Jaggery                        a small piece

Soak Tamarind for a few minutes and extract thick pulp.
Heat oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the ginger and Green chillies and turmeric powder. Saute for 2 minutes.
Add the tamarind extract and salt.
After it has boiled well add Jaggery.  When it is thick like a pickle remove from fire.


Split Moong                                1/4 cup
Green Chillies                             2 or 3
Cucumber(cut  into tiny pieces)  1/2
Raw mango (Chopped Finely)   1/4 cup
Asafoetida Powder                    1 pinch
Oil                                              1 tsp
Mustard                                     1 tsp
Curry Leaves                             A few
Salt                                           To taste

Wash and Soak the Dal for half an hour. Drain
Add chopped mango and Cucumber.
Heat oil. Add Mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add  the green chillies, asafoetida  and Curry leaves and pour over the Dal- vegetable Mixture. Add salt.

Chenai Kadi

Chenai (elephant Yam)            : 1/2 Kg
Ginger                                      : 1 " piece
Green Chillies                          :  2
Tur dal                                      : 1/2 cup
Grated Coconut                       :  3 tbsp
Coconut oil                               : 1 tsp
Salt                                           : to taste
Curry Leaves                            : a few
Mustard seeds                          : 1/2 tsp
Clean , peel and cut about ½ kg elephant yam. The pieces don’t have to be of the same size. They can have a minced look.
Cut a few green chillies and a piece of ginger Add to the minced Yam pieces and pressure cook. Take out , add tamarind juice and cook together for a few more minutes till the raw smell disappears.
Pressure cook tur dal ( about half cup) separately.
Grind a handful of grated coconut.
Add the dal and coconut to the yam mix and cook together for a few more minutes.
Heat coconut oil. Splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves and pour over the kadi.

Ellu kuzmbu

Vegetables                         : 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds / Ellu/Til      : a fistful
Dried Red chillies                : 3
Urad dal                              :1 tsp
Shredded coconut               : 1/4 cup
Tamarind                             : size of a small lemon
Salt                                      : To taste

Suitable vegetables for the dish: elephant yam, brinjal, ladies finger, drumstick.
Take a  fistful of black til. Dry fry it .
In a little oil fry dried red chillies, urad dal,  and shredded coconut.
Add the fried til to the above ingredients and grind to a paste.
Boil vegetables in tamarind water along with turmeric powder and salt. Once the vegetables are cooked add the ground paste and cook till the mixture thickens.

Jeeraga rasam / seeraka rasam


Tamarind                   : size of a large marble
Cumin / jeera            : 1 tsp
Tur dal                      : 1 tsp
Red chillies               : 2
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds          : 1 tsp
Ghee                         : for seasoning
Asafoetida                 : a pinch
Salt                            : to taste


Soak tamarind in 2 cups of water and extract juice.

Soak cumin seeds, tur dal and red chillies in a little water for about 15 mins and then grind them to a smooth paste.

Boil tamarind water and salt till the raw smell of tamarind evaporates.
Add the ground paste and boil till the top gets frothy.
Take off stove.
Heat a spoon of ghee . Add mustard seeds and asafoetida and pour over the rasam.

Note: Optionally one chilli can be reduced and you can add 4 or 5 pepper corns.

Omam kuzambu


Omam (ajwain)                     : 1 Tsp
Red chillies                           : 4
Tamarind                              :  large marble size
Sambar podi                         :  1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder                  :  1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds                     :  1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
OIl                                        :   2 tsp
Salt                                      :   to taste
Rice flour                             :  1/2 tsp


Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. split chillies into small bits and add them to then oil. Add omam seeds.
Extract juice of tamarind to make a cup and half. Add this to seasoning.
Add sambar podi, turmeric powder, salt and curry leaves and boil it on a slow flame for about 5 minutes.
Mix rice flour in a little water and add it to the kuzambu and bring it to a boil.
Remove from fire.