Friday, February 25, 2011

Shallots in Tangy Stew or Small Onion Gravy

--AKA Sambar Vengayam kuzhambu/Chinna Ullipaya Pulusu--
Continuing the `Pulusu` special..this shallot gravy is yet another creation from my mom, which she use to frequent in my childhood. As a practise, I usually add shallots when I make sambar, but once in a while for a change I manage to make this spicy tangy onion gravy. The sweetness of  tendorly caramalized shallots is complimented by spice of red chilly powder and sour of  tamarind juice. The result one aromatic gravy that you can`t wait but to gobble with rice.
I must mention though, that the best sides for this gravy with plain rice are Boiled Stir fried Eggs, Fried dried salt Fish or if you don`t have them handy, our keeper papads/appalam would do. So friends and readers who have not yet attempted this south Indian, Andhra special gravy, don`t forget to pick a small bag of shallots when you grocer next, in an Indian/Asian store and try it for a change.

The recipe is no different from a regular tamarind gravy/pulusu/kuzhambu recipe. It more an idea of making the gravy with the main ingredient as the whole shallots.
1/2 lb or  a small pkt of Shallots/sambar vengayam/chinna ullipayalu
1 Tbsp - oil
1/2 Tsp - Onion seeds/Kalonji
3-4 Green Chillies
10-12 Curry leaves
2 Tbsp -Tomato Puree
1 tsp - Red Chilly powder
1 tsp - Cumin powder
1 tsp - Coriander powder
Soak Lemon size Tamarind/Puli/Chintapandu ball in 2 cups hot water
Finely chopped coriander leaves - a small bunch
Method :
In a pan or kadai, add oil, when heated add Onion seeds.
Fry a little and then add the green chillies, shallots, curry leaves and keep stirring till onions turn their color.
Now add the tomato puree and cook for about 1 - 2 minutes.
Add all the masala powders, mix and cook another 2 minutes or till the mixture leaves the container.
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Now squeeze the Tamarind/Puli juice from the soaked tamarind & water into the cooking mixture.
Mix this well and bring it boil,
Once the gravy seems to attain a good consistency add the coriander leaves and remove from heat.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Methi Masala / Fenugreek Leaves Gravy

AKA Menthukura Pulusu / Venthaya Keerai Kuzhambu.....
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Regular calls to Amma(mom) back home, are not complete without an exchange of a recipe or what was the menu that day, how my Father liked it, or how my visiting brothers enjoyed her dishes. So much so that the making of this dish is totally inspired by her. Nearly every time she cooked it and my call came in, she would say how good it turned out and that I should give it a try.

Well, this is a common gravy/pulusu in Andhra, but somehow I always throw methi into dal to makes things easier rather than cooking it separately. But honestly this is one gravy you would really want to try if you havent' yet especially if  hail from Desh and love the combination of sour and sweet. The flavour is enhanced by adding fenugreek seeds and to the tangy tamarind gravy a hint of sweet is added to balance the taste that your taste buds will remember. Too bad that I end up eating extra rice when this is on my menu :(

Ingredients :
1 Bunch Fenugreek leaves /Methi
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
3-4 Garlic cloves, cut thin.
1 medium onion
2-3 Green & Red chillies each
8-10 curry leaves
1 smal lemon size Tamarind ball
2 Tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp each of chilly, coriander (CC)powders
1 tbsp crushed jaggery, you can substitute with sugar too
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for about 1/2 hour. Squeeze the juice into 2 cups of water. Keep aside.
Separate the fenugreek leaves from their stems, wash and chop them . Keep aside.
Heat oil in a wide pan/kadai, allow mustard to splutter, add fenugreek seeds, wait for a few seconds till a little color change and roasted fenugreek aroma comes out.
Add garlic and saute' till color changes slightly.
Add both the chillies, curry leaves, saute'
Add onions, and fry till translucent.
Now add the tomato puree, and cook till raw tomato smell is gone.
Add the CC powders and mix well and cook for 2 minutes
Add the chopped methi(fenugreek leaves), saute' for a minute, add salt and cook till greens are almost done.
Now add the tamarind juice, and bring it to boil.
Add the jaggery or sugar to the boiling gravy.
Here is the step by pictorial demo.
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Once the gravy is thick enough like the last picture in the above grid, you can remove the gravy from heat.
Add coriander leaves if desired.
Serve with hot plain rice, biryani, roti, paratha or chapathi.
Don't forget to include crunchy papadams when eating with rice.

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P.S. If you are unable to make egg plant gravy as a side dish to Biryani, I found out that this gravy goes too good with any type of biryani.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Potals Tomato Curry / Tamatar wale Parval

Yet another recipe from Grandma Bhanu's collection, is this Potals Tamato Curry. Don't know about rest of the family but I use to ardently love this curry whenever she made. No doubt I use to experience the warmth in her serving. Regular readers of my blog would know how I brag about her in some of my posts which are straight from her kitchen. Well, can't help it..she is that dearly special person to me. The memory of her cooking is so fresh in my mind that I got to let it out now and then. Okay, before I side track to emotion, let my focus return to the recipe.

For those who have missed my first post of this vegetable, here is the sneak peek. The best part with this dish is it doesn't need a stew or a condiment to be served along, just enjoy it with plain rice or roti, pita bread or tortilla. Unlike the sleek cut that we give to this when stir frying, here we just have to cut each potal into four or six pieces depending upon the size. The recipe is pretty much simple.
1 lb Potals/Parval
1 Tsp Oil
1 big Onion cut length wise
2 large Tomatoes or 1 cup Tomato puree
3 Green chillies slit
8-10 Curry leaves
1 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
Salt to taste
Finely chopped Coriander leaves
Method :
Heat oil in a Pot/Skillet and add sliced onions, green chillies, curry leaves and saute till onions are cooked.
Add cut vegetable pieces, give it a stir.
Add chilly and coriander powders, salt, and mix well to evenly coat the potals
Sprinkle some water and cook covered in steam till potals became soft, say about 15-20mins
Occasionally open the lid and mix.
Sprinkle more water if needed.
Once the vegetable is soft add the tomato puree or mashed tomatoes, mix well.
Cook for another 5-7 minutes or till all the tomato is absorbed by the vegetable and the raw smell is gone.
Add coriander leaves, mix and remove from heat.

Serve this with hot rice or chapathi.