Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maagaali Kizhangu, Thayir Oorugai (Pickle)

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This pickle is my son's/my family's favourite and I was asked by many in the family to give the recipe for a long time and here it is.
Maagaali Kizhangu (Decalepis root) pickle - this is a very famous pickle in South India.  In Kannada, we call it Maagaali beru, in Tamil, Maagaali kizhangu.  This is a root vegetable, which has got a very strong smell (flavour) which some people do not like and people who like the smell, love it.    This pickle can be prepared in two types.  Let me  give you the pickle recipe in which curd is used.

The photo of the maagaali kizhangu above, was taken after it was washed, so looks glossy!

This root is available in the vegetable markets during season, around September to January, I think. Trichi in Tamilnadu (as far as I know), is famous for this root vegetable.  We have to select the roots by scratching the skin of the root.  It should be tender and nearly white inside. If the root is not tender, it will not soften after we prepare the pickle.   I bought 1 Kg. of this root. But after cleaning, I got only 3 cups of cut pieces.  So I will give the ingredients for 3 cups of pieces.

First step:

Soak the roots in a tub of water for sometime.  The mud, which is sticking, should come out. Then peel out the outer skin and drop them, one by one, immediately in a big vessel filled with water in which a half cup of butter milk is added.  Butter milk prevents the root from becoming dark brown in colour.

Second step:



This root has got a stick-like thing in the center (thandu).  So take a root from the water, slice it and cut into very small pieces, as shown in the photo.  Throw away the stick.  These pieces also should be dropped into another vessel with water and buttermilk.   No need to measure the water in the vessel because we will throw away this water, later! Only this step will take more time.


Cut pieces in curd and water mixture.

Let me give you the list of the ingredients now, for the third step:

1.  3 Cups of cut pieces of the root
2.  1 Cup  sea salt
3.  1 tsp. Turmeric (haldi) powder
4.  8 - 10 Green Chillies (sliced into two pieces - you can add more if you like)
5.  3 Tsp. Mustard seeds
6.  10 - 12 Red Chillies
7.  5 - 6 cups curd (no need for sour curd, if it is slightly sour also, no problem)
8.  3 Lemon (juice) - optional.

Third Step:



Measure the cut pieces of maagaali root.  Put them in a vessel.
Grind/powder, Mustard seeds and Red Chillies in mixer.  Now, add this powder and all the other ingredients into the vessel.  If you add more chillies, please remember to add more salt. If you like lemon flavour, add the lemon juice also.
Mix well and store in a glass or non-corrosive (tupperware - I was a tupperware dealer and has got this habit of recommending it and it is good for storing pickle also, really!) bottle.  I am storing it in an old 1 litre Horlicks bottle (I have got 2 for the past many years - old treasures!) for the past one year.  I am not storing it in the fridge but it is still good.  The curd has not become sour!

This root has got many ayurvedic properties and is used in preparing medicines, I believe.Wiki says so!

Try it and let me know if you like it.  I would also like to know if the way I write,  is easy to follow.
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Macaroni with Cheese and Tomoatoes

I had prepared this dish 5-6 times and the youngsters liked it very much. This recipe is from an old paper cutting of Hindu newspaper dated September '07! I don't know why I did not try all these times! It is very easy to make. I used 'True' brand wheat macaroni and the taste was very good. I took the photograph before adding the cheese.!





Now,the recipe:

Ingredients:

1. 250 gms. Macaroni

2. 2 tbsp. Butter

3. 2 Medium sized onions, finely sliced

4. 2 Capsicums, finely sliced

5. 2 Tomatoes, finely sliced

6. 3 tbsp. Tomato Ketchup

7. 4-5 tbsp. Grated cheese (add more cheese to taste better!)

8. 2 tsp. chilli Flakes (warm 6-7 red chillies and grind it coarsely in the mixie)

9. 3 cups White sauce

10. 1 tsp. Oregano

11. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

Boil 5-6 cups of water in a vessel. Add half tsp. of salt and a tsp. of any cooking oil. Add the macaroni and boil for 5 mts. The macaroni should not become very soft. Strain and keep aside.

Heat a tbsp. of butter in a frying pan and add onions. Fry for 2 mts. Add capsicums and fry for 2 mts. Switch off the fire.

Now prepare the white sauce in another vessel and keep it. If you prepare it very early, it becomes very thick and sticky.

Now, switch on the fire and add macaroni, tomato ketchup and white sauce to the onion and capsicums' pan. Add the tomatoes, chilli flakes, oregano, a tsp. of salt and a tsp. of pepper. (Taste it and see if the salt is enough!). Stir well. Cook on a low flame for 2 mts. Pour the mixture in a greased baking dish. Cover with grated cheese.

Bake it in a hot oven until the cheese turns into light brown. 180 degree C for the first 10 mts. and then 150 degree for another 10-15 mts.

Serve hot.

WHITE SAUCE:

Ingredients:

1. 2 tbsp. butter

2. 3 tbsp. Maida (Plain flour)

3. 3 cups milk

4. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

Melt the butter in a flat pan. add the plain flour and keep stirring on a low flame, without browning it.

Add the milk gradually, stirring continuously, until the sauce thickens. There should be no lumps. Add half tsp. of salt and half tsp. of pepper. The sauce can be made thin by adding more milk.

Preparation time for this recipe is very less. Any new cook can try this!

Comments are welcome!





Tomato sauce for Pasta

I am doing this sauce for Pasta, for the past one year. Everyone seems to like the taste. I took recipes from different websites and created a sauce of my own! Now, to the recipe:


Ingredients:

1. 2 Kg. Ripe Tomatoes

2. 2 nos. Medium sized onions, chopped finely

3. 4-5 flakes garlic, chopped finely

4. 1/2 bunch of spring onion (both bulbs and greens can be used), chopped finely

5. 1 Green Capsicum, chopped finely

6. 2 Carrots, chopped finely

7. 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Olive oil

8. 1 tbs. Oregano leaves

9. 1 tsp. Rosemary leaves

10. 2 Dried Bay leaves

11. 1 Stalk Celery, chopped finely

12. 1/2 Cup Basil leaves, chopped

13. 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter

14. 2 tbsp. Sea salt or according to taste

15. 1 - 2 tbsp. Freshly ground pepper

16. 1/2 tsp. Sugar

Method:

Boil water in a big vessel and immerse tomatoes, a few at a time and cover the vessel for 1-2 minutes. You can see a crack 0n the skin of the tomatoes. Keep cold water in another big vessel and take the hot tomatoes and drop them into it, one by one. You can use a ladle with holes for this purpose. When the tomatoes are a bit cold, remove the skin and keep them in a big plate/thaali. The second method is to keep the tomatoes in a glass bowl in the microwave 'high' for 3-4 mts. and then peel the skin. I follow the first method!

Heat the olive oil (fumes should not come) in a big non-stick vessel and add onion and garlic. Fry until soft and transparent, for 3-4 mts.

Add all the chopped vegetables and fry for 5 mts.

Add celery and basil leaves and fry for 2 mts. Add half quantity of the salt and pepper powder.

Now, put the tomatoes in a mixie, 2-3 at a time and grind just for half a minute, after removing the skin. It should not become watery. While removing the skin, take off the part of the tomato where the stem is connected because it will be a bit hard, with a sharp knife (hope, I am communicating what I think, correctly!). Pour them in to the vessel.

Leave it to boil for half an hour and then add the herbs, salt, pepper, bay leaves and butter. Butter is to remove the tangy acidic taste of the tomato. Taste and add more salt if you think so.

Boil for half an hour more or till the sauce thickens, in medium flame. The sauce should not be very watery or very thick.

When it cools down, you can store in an air-tight container in the fridge. The olive oil acts as a preservative and the sauce stays fresh for a week or two. You can take out the bay leaves, before storing.

This sauce has got vegetables also and so my son just boils pasta, adds this sauce to it and EAT!

Try this recipe and I would be happy to know if you liked it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ribbon Pakkoda/Oattu pakkoda - South Indian/Tamil Savoury - I

Ribbon Pakkoda (ரிப்பன் பக்கோடா)/Oattu pakkoda (ஓட்டுப் பக்கோடா):





This is a savoury from Tamilnadu, which is very tasty and easy to prepare:

Ingredients:
  1. 4 cups Bengal gram flour,
  2. 2 cups Rice Flour,
  3. 1/2 cup Butter or ghee,
  4. 3 tsp. Salt (diluted in 2 tbsp. of water),
  5. 1/2 tsp. Asafoetida/hing powder or solid hing diluted in some water.
  6. 3 tsp. Chilli Powder,
  7. 2/3 cups Oil for frying,
  8. Enough water.

Dough:

Mix the flours with butter, nicely, with your fingertips. Add hing, chilli powder, salt water and mix again. (Retain some salt water. Taste the first batch of the snack and you can add some more, if salt is less). Then add some more water and mix till the dough is like the chapaathi dough. It should not be very stiff or soggy.

Method:

Make a ball out of the dough first and then stretch it a bit, so that it fits the Cookie Press - 'murukku achchu' (M.A.)(முறுக்கு அச்சு) and close the lid.

Pour oil in a kadai/pan and heat it. It should be very hot first. Then slow down the fire and press the dough in the M.A. into the hot oil. Press enough dough, till it covers the oil in the pan. One M.A. dough can be pressed approx. twice. If you press more, it will not get cooked properly. Now keep the fire in 'medium'. When the ribbon is half cooked, turn it once. On the whole, it will take approx. 2-3 mts. for one ribbon to get cooked. When the bubbles die down, and the ribbon is golden brown, take it out and keep it in a drainer/paper napkin for a minute.

Once you start preparing this snack, don't stop, till the dough is finished. If the dough soaks for a long time, the snack will be very oily. Remember to keep the fire 'sightly high' while cooking.

Place some paper napkin or some brown paper at the bottom of an airtight container and store. Nice crispy savoury is ready.

You can reduce the rice flour to 1 and a 1/2 cup too. This will be a bit softer for the teeth!

While pressing the dough into the oil, hold the stem of the M.A. in your left hand and press with the right hand. This machine is very easy to handle.

If you want to prepare more, don't add extra flour to this measure. Prepare new dough. The dough should not soak for a long time.



I prepare this ribbon pakkoda in different ratios and the taste also varies  accordingly:

Variation 1:
 
1. 4 cups Rice flour,
2. 1 and 1/2 cup fried gram flour.
You can grind both the rice and gram together in the outside machine or buy the flours and use them. 

Variation 2:

1. 4 cups Rice flour,
2. 1 cup Bengal Gram flour,
3. 1/4 cup Urad Dhal flour. (the urad dhal should be dry roasted and ground in the mixie and sieved).

Everything else is the same as described in the beginning of the post.  You can differentiate the taste in all the three methods!



Renu, this recipe is for you! Enjoy and give me the feed back!


I updated it today (22.4.13), so that it would be easier to follow! The recipe is the same!