Boiled Peanut Salad

Boiled-Peanut-Salad-Recipe

French fries with a cup of ginger tea. This was our routine tea time snack at office with my colleagues when we moved to a new location which had a variety of food outlets. Don't ask me how much I gained out of this junk food. But I badly wanted to change this habit. I am not able to figure out how french fries doesn't lose its popularity among my colleagues even after routine eating.

Though I used to bring some fruits as snacks, I get tempted when my colleagues buy the fries and I end up grabbing some from their plate. Do you know my hands won't listen my mind!! :-) Days passed, everyone felt guilty over a period, most of my colleagues slowly changed to juice and other alternate snacks. That's how this boiled peanut salad was introduced to us. It doesn't mean that I am new to it, but want to convey the changes from junk fries to a healthy salad.

The ingredients that goes into this salad are very simple ones and aids me to prepare it often back at home for my family. I also prepare the same salad using mayo adjusting other spices. The options are endless when it comes to any salad.

Easy-Indian-Peanut-Salad


Basic Information:
Soaking Time: 1-2 hours (see notes)
Preparation and Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Boiled-Peanut-Salad

Ingredients:

Peanuts / Verkadalai - 1/2 cup
Cucumber - 1/3 cup, cubed
Carrot - 1/3 cup, cubed
Green Capsicum / Bell pepper - 1/3 cup , cubed
Tomato - 1 no, small size, finely chopped
Salt - to taste
Black pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Chaat Masala - 1/4 teaspoon
Lemon Juice - Juice from half lemon

Mehod:

1) Soak peanuts for 1-2 hours in water. After soaking, pressure cook it for 3 whistles adding some water(just to immerse) with salt. When pressure release, drain the water and set aside.

Boiled-Peanut-Salad-Step1

2) Chop cucumber, carrot, capsicum into a small cubes as shown in the picture.
3) Remove the seeds from tomato and chop into small cubes.
4) Transfer all ingredients (Boiled peanuts, cucumber, carrot, capsicum and tomato) in a mixing bowl.

Boiled-Peanut-Salad-Step2

5) Add black pepper powder, salt to taste. Add chat masala and lemon juice. Mix well.
6) Cover for 1 minute and serve.

Peanut-SaladNotes:

1) You can either use boiled fresh raw peanuts or go with soaking the dry peanuts in water and pressure cooking it.
Adjust the added black pepper powder and chaat masala according to your taste.
2) Serve the salad as soon as you prepared it, otherwise it tend to release water content.
3) You can also add cut mango or any vegetable of your choice to it.

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Sura Meen Puttu / Scrambled Shark Fish

Sura Meen Puttu

Happy week Everyone!!!

Hope you are all back on track after Pongal Holidays. It was a kind of hectic weekend for me on a personal front as little D was not keeping well. I didn't get a chance to cook different dishes and just stayed around cooked sweet and sugar candy pongal and offered the same as 'Neivaidhyam' (offering to God) on the day of Pongal (Harvest Festival).

I was just recollecting the memories of last year with all my family members at my native. I was unable to make it up this year, but all my aunt and cousins kept on updating things over phone with me, which in a way was a kind of live commentary. Thanks to my aunty due to whom I felt I didn't miss much of the fun at my native.

Memories apart, I'll come to today's recipe - Sura Meen Puttu. This was again introduced by my hubby through one of our family friends. It all started by his instant dislike towards the dish when it was suggested as a natural remedy for improving the lactation of feeding mothers. Whether it helps the purpose or not, I'm really not focusing it here. I made it once when my cousins were around as it involves simple yet, little time consuming procedure. I prepared it similar to that of a Tuna fish Stir Fry.

All of a sudden everyone enquired what this dish was (my family members were not exposed to many variety of sea food recipes) and gave a good feedback. What else makes the cook to feel happy other than getting good feedback! An impulse to cook it again and again. Agree?

Scrambled Shark Fish

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Fish Puttu

Ingredients:

For cooking the fish:

Shark fish / Sura meen – 250 grams
Water – 2 cups
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

For fish puttu / Scrambled fish:

Oil – 1 tablespoon + as required
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Red onion – 1 no.,  medium size, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
Red chilli powder – 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder – a generous pinch
Salt - to taste (see notes)

Method:

For cooking the fish:

1) In a saucepan / cooking pot, add water, salt and turmeric. Bring it to boil.
2) When it is roll boiling, add the fish fillets to it.

How to make Sura Puttu-Step1

3) Let it cook for exactly 5 minutes. If you have added big sized fillets, check it after five minutes and extend the time if require.
4) Remove the fish fillets from the water and discard the water. Cool the fish fillets.

How to make Sura Puttu-Step2

5) Once the fish fillets cool down, peel off the skin and remove the bones, if any. Discard the bones and the skin.
6) Scramble the fillets using your hand.

For fish puttu / Scrambled fish:

1) In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds when it is hot and allow it to splutter.
2) Add curry leaves followed by onion. Saute till the onion becomes soft.

How to make Sura Puttu-Step3

3) Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off.
4) Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Cook for few minutes.

How to make Sura Puttu-Step4

5) Add the scrambled fish fillets. Mix it well.
6) Drizzle some oil and continue cooking till the scrambled fish and masala blends well.
7) In fixed intervals of say 1 minute, drizzle some oil till the fish is cooked well.

How to make Sura Puttu-Step5

8) Turn off the flame and serve this dish with rice or roti.

Sura Meen Puttu

Notes:

1)  Any fish can be used, preferably with less bones. If you are using shark, follow the above method for cooking it otherwise simply steam the fish.
2) I used freshly minced ginger garlic paste. If you are using a store bought product, increase/decrease it as per your taste.
3) Make sure to add less salt in this recipe as we already added salt while boiling the fish. At the end you can adjust the salt level by tasting it.

Broken Wheat Sweet Pongal / Sweet Dalia Pongal / Samba Gothumai Sakkarai Pongal

Broken Wheat Sweet Pongal-1

Last weekend spent well. Had a good time to revisit my very old recipes and looked the way how my cooking and  the pictures have changed.

One thing I noticed is that I haven't posted many recipes that my family  prefer to eat very often, we even make it often either for breakfast or dinner. Sweet pongal is one of it and I don't remember having a festival (that are very traditional), special family occasions without the presence of it.

Traditionally, it is prepared using raw rice and moong dal without using milk. But for other variations we make it with milk, rava, gothuvai rava and karkandu(kalkandu). Even for the Koodaravalli that comes in the tamil month of Marghazhi, I decided to make it but my aunt saved all my time in the kitchen, sent me the box of tasty, sweet pongal.

On my part, considering the upcoming pongal festival, I cooked the Sweet pongal again using one of the ingrdients - broken wheat, that my grandpa likes as Upma to eat it with curd, my husband likes it with Rasam(?), my MIL likes to have as a Spicy pongal, myself like it with vegetables and the list never ends as my family is considered...This ingredient is favorite not only to my family members, but also for others whom and all I know. It is one common ingredient that is been used by all for its health benefits compared to white rava (semolina). Here is my preparation of sweet pongal using it.

Broken Wheat Sweet Pongal-2

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3

Sweet Dalia Pongal

Ingredients:

Broken Wheat / Dalia / Samba Gothumai Ravai - 1/2 cup
Yellow Moong dal - 3 tablespoons
Water - 3 cups
Jaggery / Paagu vellam / Mandavellam - 3/4 cup
Green cardamom powder - a pinch
Kadukkai powder - a small pinch (optional)
Cashewnuts - 7 nos., split into two
Raisins - 7 nos.,
Ghee - 2 tablespoons

Method:

1) Dry roast the broken wheat in a thick bottom pan till you see tiny white parts here and there and releases nice aroma.Transfer it to a plate.

How to make Dalia Sweet Pongal-Step1

2) To the same pan, add yellow moong dal and dry roast till it slightly changes in its colour.
3) Add both the roasted ingredients to the pressure cooker. Add 2 and 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook for 4 whistles. You can alternatively cook in the open pan itself.

How to make Dalia Sweet Pongal-Step2

4) Once the steam suppresses, open the lid and mash it well.
5) Melt jaggery by adding 1/2 cup of water. when it is about the boil, filer it to remove impurities and add to the pressure cooked mixture. Mix well.

How to make Dalia Sweet Pongal-Step3

6) Add kadukkai powder and cardamom powder.

How to make Dalia Sweet Pongal-Step4

7) Heat ghee in the pan. Roast cashew nuts and raisins.

How to make Dalia Sweet Pongal-Step5

8) Add to the pongal along with the ghee. Mix well and serve hot.

Cracked Wheat Sweet Pongal recipe

 Notes:

1)  Mash the cooked dalia when it is hot and as soon as you open the lid of pressure cooker, otherwise it tends to separate as grains.
2) Add hot water if you pongal is very thick to the given water consistency. It becomes thick when it cools down. So decide accordingly.

Thiruvathirai Kootu / Ezhukari Kootu / Thalagam / Thiruvathirai Kali Kulambu

Ezhukari Kootu

As I said here in my Thiruvathirai kali recipe, I got a help from my colleague Venkat for the recipes of kali and kootu. He went beyond my expectation and sent the recorded audio recipe just straight from his Aunt. The way of explanation was very authentic and so the recipe.

Since we don't make kootu on thiruvathirai day, I was not aware of its preparation. Upon hearing the audio recording he sent, it was all the kootu we prepare on pongal day.  It has various names like Thiruvathirai Kootu, Kali Kulambu, Thiruvathirai Sambar, Thiruvathirai Kulambu, 7 Kari Kootu, Pongal Kootu and Thalagam.

7 Kari Kootu
Basic Information:
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Thiruvathirai Kootu
Ingredients:

For the Kootu:

Mixed vegetables - 3 and 1/2 cups
( I added yellow pumpkin, ash gourd, elephant yam, raw banana, sweet potato, avaraikkai(flat beans) and mochai(field beans))
Tamarind - 1 lemon size ball.
Root dal - 1/4 cup
Salt - a pinch
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Water - approximately 3 cups
Jaggery - 1/2 teaspoon (Optional)

For Roasting and Grinding:

Oil - 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
Channa dal - 3 teaspoons
Dry red chilli - 7 no.,
Grated fresh coconut - 1/2 cup

For Seasoning:

Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Asafoetida - a big pinch

Method:

1) Soak tamarind in a cup of water for 15 minutes and extract the juice from it. Keep aside. Pressure cook the toor dal and mochai. I kept in two bowls in a single pressure cooker.

How to make 7Kari Kootu-Step1

2) Meanwhile, clean and chop vegetables as cubes. I used loosely packed 1/2 cup of all the vegetables I mentioned in the ingredients list. Keep them immersed in water. Keep ash gourd and pumpkin separately.
3) In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil. Roast coriander seeds and channa dal.
4) When both are roasted and releases nice aroma, add dry red chillies and grated fresh coconut. Roast till the coconut turn golden brown.

How to make 7Kari Kootu-Step2

5) With the help of little water, grind it to a paste and keep aside.

How to make 7Kari Kootu-Step3

6) In a wide pan, take all the vegetables except ash gourd, pumpkin and mochai. Sprinkle turmeric powder, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Cover, cook till the vegetables are half cooked.
7) Add Ash gourd and pumpkin. Gently mix and cover again to cook it. Since both Ash gourd and pumpkin tend to cook faster, I added in between when other vegetables are half cooked.

How to make 7Kari Kootu-Step4

8) After few minutes, add mochai and tamarind extract. let it cook uncovered till the raw smell of tamarind goes.
9) Add ground paste. Use some water to rince the mixie and add it to the pan.
10) Add the ground toor dal. Mix gently. Add jaggery if using, Give a boil and simmer till you get the desired consistency. Generally the consistency would be neither thick nor thin.

How to make 7Kari Kootu-Step5

11) At last, In a seasoning pan, heat the oil given for seasoning.
12) Throw mustard seeds, fenugreek and curryleaves and allow it to splutter.
13) Turn off and add the asafoetida. Pour this mixture immediately to the kootu we prepared.

How to make 7Kari Kootu-Step6

14) Cover till you serve to keep the flavour of seasoning.
15) Serve hot.

Thiruvathirai Kali Kulambu
Notes:

1) Any country vegetables can be used for this kootu. Try to use any root vegetable, for the authentic taste.
2) You can even pressure cook the vegetables and continue cooking the rest of the step as described above.
3) Don't reduce the coconut quantity and the measurement I have given is correct for the vegetables I used.
4) Adding Jaggery is optional. Since I added sweet potato, I skipped adding jaggery.
5) Though it is traditionally served with Kali, it can also eaten rice plain rice or roti.

Thiruvathirai Kali

Thiruvathirai Kali

It is thiruvathirai Day today. Last year, same day I made Urad dal and rice kali in my family style. This year I wanted to try the typical Brahmin style kali. So the moment I came to know the thiruvathirai date, I immediately picked my phone to inquire the recipe details from Venkat, my colleague having heard from him that they used to prepare this dish at his home.

Meanwhile, we visited my hubby's friends home, where his Mom was in the progress of making the kali and explained me the entire stuff of it. I simply followed her recipe except the point where she asked me to pressure cook the kali whereas I cooked the dish in the kadai itself to avoid unnecessary cleaning of vessels.

So, feel free to go as per the method you are comfortable with and enjoy the thiruvathirai day.

Thiruvathirai Kali

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Thiruvathirai Kali


Ingredients:

Raw rice / Pacharisi - 1/2 cup
Jaggery / Vellam - 1/2 heaped cup
Water - 3 cups
Grated fresh coconut - 3 tablespoons
Cashes nut - 2 tablespoons
Ghee - 2 tablespoon
Green cardamom powder - a pinch

Method:
1)  In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast raw rice till it becomes nice golden brown. The flame should be in low for even frying. It takes approx.10 minutes
2) Once done, cool and make a coarse powder. It should be like fine rava texture.

How to make Thiruvathirai Kali Step1

3) To the same pan, add jaggery and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well till the jaggery completely dissolves.
4) Filter the jaggery dissolved water to remove impurities.

How to make Thiruvathirai Kali Step2

5) Bring it back to the same pan, add coconut and cook few minutes in low flame.
6) Add powdered rice to it stirring continuously.
7) Add remaining water(2 and 1/2 cups) and mix well without any lumps.

How to make Thiruvathirai Kali Step3

8) Simmer the stove, cover and cook till the water get absorbed and the rice is also cooked well. When you touch it is gives soft feeling once it is done.
9) Add ghee, cardamom powder and roasted cashews. Mix well and continue stirring till you get the desired texture.  If you want to skip the stirring part, you can transfer the entire content to the pressure cooker after adding water and leave for 3 to 4 whistles and then add cashes, ghee and cardamom powder, finally mix well.

How to make Thiruvathirai Kali Step4

10) Thiruvathirai Kali is ready, offer to god and enjoy. (PS: The final picture shown above has colour balance issue due to my kitchen light and hence the color change)

Thiruvathirai Kali
Notes:

1) Adjust jaggery quantity as per your family preference. The colour of the kali is based on the colour of jaggery you use.
2) Pressure cooking the kali makes the job easier but to avoid washing many utensils, I skipped that part and cooked the kali in Kadai/Pan itself.
3) Adjust water quantity as per the final texture you need. 

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