Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Vaazhakkai Fry

  1. Vaazhakkai (Raw Banana) - 4 Nos.
  2. Chilli Powder - 2 tbsp
  3. Dhaniya (Corriander Powder) - 1 tbsp
  4. Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  5. Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt - To Taste
  7. Oil - 2 tbsp

  1. Peal the skin off the Raw Bananas and cut them into round pieces (as shown above)
  2. Add the cut pieces onto a pan with some oil with all the powders and keep sautéing it until the spices are properly cooked
  3. You can add more oil as needed to roast it really well.
  4. That's about it

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Paruppu (Lentils) Thogayal

  1. Toor dal - 3 tbsp
  2. Channa dal - 2 tbsp
  3. Fresh coconut - 1 tbsp
  4. Black pepper - 1 tsp
  5. Red chillies - 2
  6. Asafoetida - A small pinch
  7. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  8. Curry Leaves - 5 or 6
  9. Salt - To taste
  10. Oil - 1 tsp

  1. Take a pan, preheat the oil and fry ingredients (#1 thru' #5) until it turns golden brown
  2. Let it cool and grind them all together adding a little bit of water and salt to it. It should be pretty viscous
  3. When its nicely ground, do a Tadka with mustard seeds, curry leaves & asafoetida and garnish the Thogayal
  4. It makes an ultimate combination with a Vatha Kuzhambu

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Vatha Kuzhambu & I...

... are like nagamum-sadhayum.

I used to get this in a dabara soon after Amma is done preparing it and will just drink it as if it were a soup. I don't remember when I started eating this, but I for sure remember when I first made one all by myself. Well, I had to call another prodigy to ask how to do it, as Amma used to be in Pondicherry at that time. (I will talk about prodigies sometime later, as there are quite a few people who deserve just more than a mere mention in this space, who were, in some way or another, an inspiration to me.)

When there is Vatha Kuzhambu at home, you can easily find me doing one (or) more of this --
  • Plain-a, verum-na, dabara la oothi, spoon pottu soup madhiri kudipaen
  • Vadaam, Poricha Appalam, Thaenkoozhal, Murukku - idhula edhavadhu onna eduthu Vatha Kozhambu la thochu-thochu saapiduvaen (I understood from my Manni the other day that Sid is doing the same thing these days, well, prodigies seldom differ!)
  • Edu vaazhai ilai-la (literally, all right), suda-suda sadham pottundu, paruppu, nei oothi pesanju, side-la konjam/neraya Vatha Kuzhambu oothi, thottu-thottu saapta - aah..ha... "Sorgame Endralum..."
  • Adhe Edu vaazhai ilai-la (pinna, ovvuru saadhathukkum elai maathuvaangala?), suda-suda sadham pottundu, nall-ennai (Gingely Oil) vittu, Vatha Kuzhambu oothi pesanju, Poricha Arisi Appalam-oda (they say Sutta arisi appalam is the best combo, but I like it this way) thottundu saapta, it will be heavenly divine!
  • Aprm, Adhe Edu vaazhai ilai-la, sadham pottundu, nalla gettiya thayir vittundu, pesanjuttu, oru pidi thayir sadham eduthundu, right hand nadu viralala kuttiya oru kuzhi madhiri pottukanum (Just like you would while doing Ulundhu Vadai). Andha kuzhi-la Vatha Kuzhambu oothi gulp-nu vaaila pottunda, ada ada ada - pramadhama irukkum. I used to be a spoilt kid when it came to food and Amma would never let me eat anywhere else, ellarum naan saapidaradha paathu kannu pottuduva appadinu, as if their kannu-pottufying will elachufy me! anyways, the spoilt part is, i would ask amma to oothify the vatha kuzhambu in that kuzhi while i am eating thayir sadham, and amma would diligently do it for me though. Chae, adhellam oru kaalam...
Idhellam panninaaaa.... train vandhurum (purilena, Anbe Sivam poi paarunga!)

  1. Puli (Tamarind) - a small lemon size
  2. Kadalai Paruppu (Channa Dhal) - 1 tbsp
  3. Vendhayam (Methi seeds) - 1/2 tsp
  4. Perungayam (Asafoetida) - 1/3 tsp
  5. Milagai Vathal (Red Chilli) - 5-6 (Sometimes, I use 10 to make it real hot!)
  6. Karuveppilai (Curry Leaves) - 5-6
  7. Kadugu (Mustard Seeds) - 1/3 tsp
  8. Vellam (Jaggery) - 1 tbsp
  9. Sambhar Powder - 2 tbsp
  10. Manjal Podi (Turmeric) - 1/4 tsp
  11. Oil - 3 tbsp
  12. Salt - As much as you want
  13. Any of these vegetables - Onion, Drumstick, Okra, Egg Plant, Sweet Pumpkin

  1. Put the tamarind in boiling hot water with salt and leave it for 15 minutes. This will ease your work of squashing the tamarind and getting the water out of it
  2. While the tamarind is soaked, put a heavy vessel on the stove (Typically, I use a vaanali / uruli. Amma had a kal chatti and this requires "special" care. I neither have the patience nor the knowledge to use that, so I just stick to my vaanali/uruli)
  3. Add the oil in the hot pan and the mustard seeds, curry leaves
  4. After the splattering, add Kadalai Paruppu, Vendhayam, Red Chillis, Asafoetida and fry it in the oil
  5. When it turns golden brown, add the vegetables (say, onion), curry leaves and turmeric powder on top of it
  6. Fry it till the onion turns golden brown and add the tamarind water to the whole mixture
  7. Add sambhar powder & salt to the boiling contents and let it boil till the viscosity increases, keep the stove in medium flame (The more you keep the more viscous it gets!)
  8. Just before you switch off the stove, add the jaggery to the Kuzhambu and let it boil for exactly 2 minutes (This is just to add flavor and trust me, this wont make the kuzhambu sweet!)
Variations: You can add manathakkali kaai, appalam, sundakkai vathal, thaamarai kezhangu, kothavarangai vathal instead of the vegetables. Basically, you will fry any/all of these and add it in the boiling kuzhambu.

Your Vatha Kuzhambu is all set and it just has to be attacked with any of the options I would normally do as mentioned above.

Note: The Vatha Kuzhambu in the picture was made by Anu yesterday. I better give her the credit, if not I ain't gonna get one such in the near future!