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Friday, September 30, 2005

South Indian - Part 2

After the initial hurdle of "Sambhar" out of the way, the next filling delicacy on the line is Uttapam. And it can be made of rice or daal or semolina *rava or suji*. And personally rava Uttapam is my favourite as its the fastest one to make.

So without further ado.... here we go!

Rava Uttapam or Semolina Uttapam

Ingredients --
2 cups of Semolina
1 tomato finely chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 green/red chillies finely chopped
1/2 green capsicum finely chopped
1 cup of natural yogurt
1 spoon of Eno *yes the bubbly thing for upset stomach!* :)
Chilli flakes
Salt to taste

Method --
*There are two ways to do this -
a] You mix all the above ingredients and geta thick paste and will be spread on a flat girdle *tava* and cooked.
b] You mix everything except the vegetables. Then spread the mixture on the flat girdle and sprinkle the vegetables on top and press them so they bury in the mixture.

Both work just as well!! Depending if what is easier for you to flip over.

1. Mix your ingredients chosing one of the options above. Add the yogurt to other slowly... ensuring that the paste does not get too runny and it may not stay together!
(Insure that if you are chosing Option B - to have a thicker paste as all your veggies on the top will make the thing heavy on one side.)
2. Heat a flat girdle and spread some oil.
3. Take a large spoonful and spread the mixture as around over the girdle. Sprinkle oil at the edges of the uttapam.
4. Can check the bottom by lifting slightly from the sides. When cooked medium brown, flip to the other side and let it cook.

READY!! You can enjoy this with Sambhar or Coconut Chutney or my Yogurt Coconut Dip coming up next!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

South Indian.....made easy! - Part 1

Before I even begin - lemme tell you - I absolutely love South Indian food and the recipes below are my version of my favourite south Indian delicacies. The output will be a very very very similar *insome cases exactly same!* taste to the authentic original feast you remember eating last at your favourite Southie food joint.

And so.... all north Indians and non-Indians reading this, please note - This is the closest *I reckon* one can get without doing all the hours of hard work and get the best tasting Southie food.

And all South Indians - all your tips, tricks and suggestions are highly regarded. Make sure you comment here and tell me what can be improved.

*phew* OK!!

Sambhar - South Indian Lentil & Vegetable curry

Believe me when I say this is easy - you boil - you cook and its ready!! All the steps just follow one another and its the fastest thing I can make if I have the veggies and the masalas.

Ingredients --

For boiling mix -
1 cup Yellow Lentil or Toor Dal *arhar dal*
2 medium onions chopped into long slices.
1/4 pumpkin peeled and cut roughly into 2cm cubes
2 tomatoes chopped
1 caroot peeled and sliced into wheels
1 cup frozen green beans (that are already cut into 1 inch pieces)
OR can use fresh if you have 'em.

For Tadka -
2 tablespoons of MTR Sambhar Masala <-- This is the super ingredient!! Thank God for MTR that they have taken all the hard work of creating the awesome sambhar masala from people like us and given us this excellent ingredient!

1 tiny pinch of asafoetida *heeng*
2 teaspoons of turmeric powder *haldi*
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds *rai*
a few curry leaves
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

For the zing! -
Tamarind juice or Tamarind pulp.
If using tamarind pulp - soak one large table spoon in a small bowl of water and put aside. When everything else is done - return to this mixture and mash the pulp with fingers. Can get rid of the chunky tamarind pieces/seeds - if there are any.

Method --

Boiling Mix -
1. Wash the toor dal thouroughly in a large bowl and put aside.
2. Take a large pressure cooker. And add the toor dal and all the vegetables.
3. Add water for boiling - enough that ingredients are totally covered and bit more.
4. Add salt and turmeric powder. And let is cook till 3-4 whistles *or till most of the vegetables become totally cooked to the point of falling apart.
5. Put aside.

Tadka -
1. In a large pan, heat oil, add asafoetida and mustard seeds. Wait a minute till the seeds begin to splutter.
2. Add the curry leaves, turmeric powder, chilli flakes and MTR Sambhar Masala.
3. Add the boiled lentil and vegetable mix to the pan. If the mixture is too thick, add half a cup of water in the cooker and swirl to get the remaining veg/lentils and then add that to the pan as well.
4. Let the whole thing boil for 8-10 mins.
5. Add the tamarind pulp to the boiling mix. Add salt to taste. And cook for another 5 mins.

All done!! Enjoy with steamed rice OR Idlis (if you have 'em!) :)

* You can add more MTR sambhar masala after adding the tamarind pulp if you think its not tasting *that* taste yet - just cook for another 3-4 mins.
* You can add other vegetables if you like. These ones above I reckon boil and cook really easily and really well with the sambhar and they taste great too. But you can add okra *ladies finger*, eggplant *brinjal* and others if you into all those veggies.

Coming next is - easy Uttapam!! :)
Happy Eatin'