Saturday, April 26, 2014

Recipe : Korivikaram - Red Chilli Chutney - from Cooking at Home with Pedatha (Vegan)

At the market the other day, I saw these beautiful plump ripe red chillies and just bought them on impulse. Once I brought them home, I realised that I really didn't have a plan for them, as I have never cooked with ripe red chillies before.

Going through my favourite cookbooks (only 10 of them are currently unpacked in the new house), I found that Cooking at Home with Pedatha had a recipe for a Ripe Red Chilli Pickle. Since I was planning on making dosas too, this was the perfect recipe for me.

The recipe is quite simple and I was very happy with the final product. If I had to make any changes, I may deseed half the chillies next time. These seeds aren't spicy, they just get stuck in the teeth when eating the chutney/pickle since it is coarsely ground. Grinding the chutney fine, would make it lose its otherwise lovely texture. So what would work, I think is reducing the volume of the seeds.

I also think my problem could be because I used the plump red chillies (the not so spicy ones, the ripened versions of the chillies used to make bhajiyas), so they were less spicy and had more seeds than normal red chillies would.

These ripened red chillies are only available in the summer, so try it out now, before it goes out of season.

1/4 kg Fresh Ripe Red Chillies
1 tbsp thick tamarind pulp (I used the Dabur Homemade, but remember to readjust for salt)
2 - 4 tbsp oil
salt to taste

1st Tempering:
1 tbsp dhuli urad dhal (split and husked black gram)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds)
1 tsp heeng (asafoetida)
1 tbsp coriander leaves roughly chopped (hara dhaniya)

2nd Tempering:
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp heeng

Method : 
In a wok, heat 1 -2 tbsp oil and fry the chillies on a low flame for 2-3 minutes (ensure that every chilli is constantly in direct contact with the pan - fry it in batches if necessary)

Remove chillies from oil, drain well (place on absorbent paper if required, I prefer to leave it in a sloping pan and reuse the oil for flavouring) and remove the stalks.

In 1 tbsp oil (I reuse the oil in which the chillies have been fried), add the urad dhal, as it turns golden, add mustard and methi.

Turn off the flame, wait a couple of seconds, when the methi turns brown, add the heeng and coriander leaves.

Grind this first tempering with the tamarind pulp and salt to taste to a fine paste.
Then add the fried red chillies (deseeded if you prefer) and grind coarsel.
Move this paste to a serving bowl or to a bottle (if you plan to immediately refrigerate)

Heat 1 tbsp oil (leftover from previous tempering if you choose), add mustard and methi.
Turn off the flame, wait a couple of seconds, when the methi turns brown, add the heeng and stir for a few seconds.

Add this tempering to the chutney / pickle.

Serve immediately with idlis, dosas or mix into steaming hot rice with a dollop of ghee.

If stored and refrigerated in a clean dry airtight bottle, it can be preserved for months. (If it lasts that long)

Kim's Tip : I prefer to leave the stalks on when roasting the chillies, and remove them just before grinding. Leaving the stalks on, makes it easier to turn the chillies in the pan when roasting them.

Also this recipe goes for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge - April Week 4

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Recipe : Bocconcini Salad with Mustard Dressing from "The Sood Family Cookbook"

As most of my friends and family know, I have a ton of cookbooks. My husband jokes that even if I cook 5 recipes from each of my books every day of the year, I will never be able to repeat a dish. However, in reality, I normally end up cooking from memory, concocting something, following a recipe a friend has uploaded on her blog or referring to a few cherished books.

So, when I read about Srivallis Cooking from Cookbook Challenge I thought it was the perfect way to get me motivated into actually using "all" my accumulated recipe books. Not "all" the recipes, but at least "all the books"

So, this recipe goes for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge - April Week 2

Well, this month, I've just about set up my kitchen and given how badly we were eating during the actual moving process (late meals, greasy takeaways, tons of carbs etc), I'm currently making really light, easy to digest food.

The other day, I finally found Bocconcini in the market and knew I had to make a salad out if it. But, I couldn't find any basil, no matter where I tried. So I decided to combine it with lettuce and cherry tomatoes instead.

Instead of one of my regular dressings, I thought I would try something new. The Sood Family Cookbook is the most recent addition to my Cookbook Shelf, so I started randomly browsing through it and chose a mustard dressing from the book.

The Sood Family Cookbook is a brilliant collection of recipes by Aparna Jain, from various members of her Himachali family. While their roots might be Himachali, the recipes are much more global. She does share a lot of Pahaadi recipes from chaachwale alu and fiddlehead ferns to Rali mili dal and Pahaadi Mutton. The book is divided into Breakfast, Comfort Food (Pahaadi recipes and her favourite family recipes, there are a lot of Manglorean recipes in this section, courtesy her Sister-in-law Nita, the light and healthy section of salads (from where I got this recipe), from near and far (recipes range from I-won't-cook Tagliatelle to Hangover Vodka Pasta and Dushmani Chicken) soups, snacks, chutneys, drinks and desserts.

The index at the beginning of the book is easily color coded - green for veg, yellow for dishes with egg and red for non-vegetarian dishes. There's a very good balance of veg and non veg dishes in The Sood Family Cookbook.

The recipes are quite straightforward and easy to try, so this book makes a great addition to any collection.

Ingredients :
500 gms bocconcini
250 gms lettuce leaves
100-150 gms cherry tomatoes

Ingredients for dressing:
1.5 tbsp mustard oil
1.5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I'd run out, so I used a mix of balsamic and Navsari sugarcane vinegar)
1 red chilli slit
2 tbsp kasundi (Bengali style mustard)
1/2 tsp pepper powder
salt to taste

Method :
Roughly tear the lettuce leaves and place in a serving bowl
Tear the bocconcini into 2 (tearing gives a better texture and flavour than slicing in two) and add it to the lettuce.
Pick up the cherry tomatoes and holding them inside the salad bowl, press slightly (with the tomato facing downward)  and squeeze with youfingers, so they squish a bit and release their juices.
Toss Roughly.

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whip with a fork until it emulsifies.

Slowly fold the required amount of dressing into the salad, without disturbing or pressing down on the salad too much. Don't overdose on the dressing.

If you want to make a meal of it, serve with warm or toasty bread.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Recipe : Beetroot and Raw Mango Clear Soup (Vegan)

Very often when cooking beetroot, we normally just throw away the water in which the beetroots have been boiled.

Given that I have been looking up Ayurvedic (where water that vegetables are boiled in, is also nutritious) and Bengali recipes (which rarely throw away anything as waste), I decided to make a soup with the water this time. It tasted pretty good. The picture is ordinary, but it belies the taste of this nutritious soup.

1 kg beetroots - cleaned
1 raw mango - roughly chopped (or juice of a lemon - to taste)
1 large onion - quartered
2-4 green chillies to taste - roughly chopped
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp chaat masala powder (optional, but it ups the flavours if used)
pinch of chilli powder
salt to taste

Method :
Wash the beetroots thoroughly and cover with enough water in a pressure cooker.
Cook for 3 whistles and let the pressure release on its own.
Remove the beetroots and use in salads or any other recipe of your choice.
If you had washed the beetroots well, there should not be any need to strain the liquid.

To the beetroot liquid in the pressure cooker, add the roughly chopped onions, green chillies and green mangoes.
Also add the salt, pepper powder, chaat masala powder, chilli powder and salt.
Close and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Let the pressure release and then open the pan.

If you didn't have raw mango to start with, add the lemon juice to taste at this point.

Strain and serve hot.

You can garnish it with coriander leaves if you like, but I personally prefer my soups completely clear.

Kim's Notes:
I cooked the beetroots with the skin on after washing them thoroughly. If you aren't sure how clean your beets are, then you can skin them before you cook them, or just the skin where it seems encrusted in dirt.

Green mangoes are in season and I had a mango left over from pickling that didn't make the cut, as it wasn't crunchy enough. If you don't have raw mangoes on hand, just add lime juice at the end (after pressure cooking the other ingredients)

 If you want to make it a chunky soup. Add a bit of chopped beetroot, after the second round of pressure cooking.


Related Posts with Thumbnails