Friday, November 16, 2007

Milagai (Mirch/Chilli) Bajji

  1. Mini Bell (Green/Red/Orange/Yellow) Peppers - 5
  2. Paprika powder - 2 tbsp
  3. Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
  4. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Corriander Powder - 1 tsp
  6. Crushed Peanut Powder - 2 tsp
  7. Besan Flour / Chick Peas Flour / Kadalai maavu - 1 cup
  8. Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt - To Taste
  10. Oil - 1/4 lbs.
Before Frying...

After Frying...

  1. The smartest way to make this Bajji is to buy the right kind of peppers. If you buy an Anaheim Chilli or a Jalapeno, you can reserve the loo for the next morning and take the day off from work, because you ain't coming out of that haven. Try to select mini bell peppers or pepper specifically for the the Bajji. You can check this in your Produce department and they should be able to help you with the Pepper's spiciness level.
  2. You have to make a batter with Besan Flour, Chilli Powder & Salt. Make it a little viscous.
  3. Make a paste/mixture with the rest of the powders (Paprika, Cumin, Turmeric, Corriander & Crushed Peanut Powder) & oil
  4. Now, cut the peppers length wise and stuff the above mixture onto the peppers
  5. Dip the above stuffed peppers onto the batter and deep fry them
  6. This would be a wonderful afternoon snack especially when its cold outside. Ofcourse, its not a healthy snack, otherwise it wouldn't taste this good.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ennai (Oil) Kathirikkai Kuzhambu

This is not just another variation of Vatha Kuzhambu, but a truly enriching experience, both to cook and eat with suda-suda sadham. I learned this from Harini's Amma, and if you don't know Harini or her Amma, wait for some more time. Harini's Amma is one real important person in my cooking life. Will come to that later and lets take a plunge onto the details... (yea, kelambu kelambu kaathu varattum dhan...)

  1. Kutti Kathirikkai (Small Brinjals a.k.a. Egg Plant) - 5 or 6
  2. Puli - a small lemon size
  3. Kadalai Paruppu - 2 tbsp
  4. Milagai Vathal - 6 or 7 (For, 'sema hot machi', use 9 or 10)
  5. Dhaniya - 2 tsp
  6. Perungayam - A small pinch
  7. Kadugu - 1 tsp
  8. Oil - 4 tbsp (Use this
  9. Karuveppilai - 5
  10. Salt - As much as you want
  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 (As usual, I used my vaanali!)
  3. Add a few drops of oil in the hot pan and add the Kadalai Paruppu, Dhaniya, Vatha Milagai
  4. Fry till it turns golden brown and transfer the contents to a mixie. Let is cool for sometime and grind it to a coarse powder (The less oil you use for frying, more powderized it is!)
  5. Wash the kathirikkai nicely in running water and cut the stem. Make sure the kathirikkai's are small, say the size of a plum fruit that we get in India
  6. Now, make 2 cuts in the center of the kathirikkai's, from the top, so that the two cuts are perpendicular. Remember, don't cut it fully and the kathirikkai should be as a whole
  7. Stuff the powder that you just ground in the mixie, in the kathirikkai's (Remember, how a kezhavi in front of our schools would stuff milagai podi in the mango? Do just like that. If you don't know how she would stuff the milagai podi, go to school again and trust me, you've missed a few delicacies in life!). Stuff the powder in all the kathirikkai's and keep it aside. You should have some powder left at this point in time, keep it safe, as we will need it later in the game
  8. Put the same vaanali in the stove and add 4 tbsp's of oil (yes, the kuzhambu should live upto its name, so, we need more oil!). Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and let is splatter
  9. Place all these kathirikkai's in the vaanali with great care, make sure the kathrikkai's doesn't break and ensure that the stuffing doesn't pop out totally. (Of course, you can't help a little bit of the powder coming out of the kathirikkai's, but don't turn it upside down and make yourself look like a clown!)

  10. In the meantime, get your tamarind water ready and add it to the vaanali after the kathrikkai's are well fried. Pour it carefully from the sides, so that the kathirikkai's doesn't break
  11. Add salt to taste and let it boil till the viscosity increases, keep the stove in medium flame (The more you keep the more viscous it gets!)
  12. Before you switch off, add the remaining powder and perungayam

Your Ennai Kathirikkai Kuzhambu is all set to be attacked with any of the options I had listed for Vatha Kuzhambu.

Variations: You can add 5 or 6 black peppers with the red chillis, to increase the spice and flavor. (I would be debarred by Harini's Amma though!)