Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Ribbon Pakoda – Any time snack.

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Ahhh…the most loved anytime snack  – the ribbon pakoda is a family favourite. Ribbon Pakodas are an inclusion to all festivals and occasions  Those days Madurai amma would make a whole large aluminum tin, full of this delicious crunchy snack. Somehow, all of us cousins would invent reasons to visit the kitchen frequently and be extremely accommodating to the elders if they wanted us to get pickle or salt from the kitchen as it pronounced a chance to snack on the pakodas with a rock solid alibi!!!

These days, as is the family tradition, I also include it as a part of the “Bakshanam” for any festival, specially Deepavali. It`s a great snack to have on long drives or simply when the family gets together for a movie or a chat…My daughter loves it a lot, and I am sure you would too…

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Store Bought Rice Flour, seived.

3/4 Cup Besan, seived.

1/4 Cup Urad Flour.

1 and 3/4 Cups (approx) Water.

1 Heaped Tsp Chilli Powder.

2 Tsp Salt.

1/4 Tsp Hing .

2 Tbsp Butter.

PREPARATION:

  • Take a heavy flat bottomed vessel and pour in canola or refined oil and switch on the stove on medium low.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the butter, hing, red chilli powder and  salt and cream/mix  it together with your hands. This is the base of this snack so make sure that its creamed and mixed well.
  • If you overdo the butter, it gets too greasy that it does not get pressed out as ribbons. They would all fall out in little pieces…So more is not always good!
  • Measure out the flours and add them to the bowl of creamed spices. Mix it in dry for a couple seconds.
  • Add the water little by little and knead the dough in to a firm homogenous ball.
  • The ball should slightly soft and  moist.
  • Dole out a big piece on to the hand press and when the oil is hot enough, slowly press out the dough on to the oil in to a circle.
  • Try to press them in to a flattened circle taking care not to clump them up at any time.
  • When one side is a done to a golden yellowish brown,  turn over to fry the other side and place on a soft tissue to allow the excess oil to drain.
  • Store in an air tight container and enjoy lazy afternoons with hot coffee or chai!!!

HINTS:

  • The main hint for this snack is that it should be crisp but melt in the mouth.
  • One the oil needs to be hot when you put in the item to be fried. Keep your flame on medium high and put in the Ribbon Pakoda. When one side is well done, turn it over and fry on the other side too. Between putting the next bunch of ribbon pakoda to be fried, allow the oil to get heated again.
  • When you finish one bunch, drain it on a collander, allow it to come to room temperature, taste it, adjust salt, spice levels  etc and then proceed to store it in an air tight container.
  • In case the  “Acchu” has a thicker hole,  allow it to cook well. but not brown. It is preferable to have thin crisp Ribbon Pakodas.

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Kerala / Palakkad Recipes. · No Need of Onions!!! · Poriyals / Kootu Varieties.

Kathirikkai Podimas – Eggplant/Brinjals sauted in oil and coated in curry powder.

Brinjals are an all time favorite and render themselves to be cooked in a hundred different ways. It`s always been a pleasure for me to cook with good tender brinjals as they get done in minutes. I always pick up tender tiny brinjals from the Indian store or better still, use the Japanese Eggplant.  You can make Yennai Kathirikkai, Kathirkkai Podimas, Brinjal Pepper Kuzhambu , Kathirikkai Curry with  minimalistic masalas, vangibath, baingan bartha, baghara baingan, and Kathirikkai Poricha Kuzhambu. Each of them take a different taste because of the way they are concocted. My husband  loves the way, brinjals are cooked slowly over a medium flame and slathered with the mix of roasted spices. It`s also a favorite among my friends and a regular addition to all potlucks and get-togethers.

Brinjal Podimas.
Brinjal Podimas.

INGREDIENTS:

Brinjals/Eggplant            – Medium (10-12) or 1 Big Japanese Eggplant.

Salt

Hing

Seasoning:

Mustard, Oil, Urad Dhal, Curry Leaves.

ROAST IN OIL:

Boiled Rice          – 3 spoons

Bengal Gram      – 2 spoons

Dhania                  – 1 spooon

Red Chillis          – 4

Curry Leaves    – 3-4

Hing                      – A pinch.

PREPARATION:

  • Chop the brinjals in to slightly longer pieces as they cook very fast and you dont want them to get mushy.
  • Slow roast the mentioned ingredients in a spoon of oil, allow to cool and grind them to coarse powder and set aside. You can proportionately increase the measurements two fold depending on the number of eggplants. Extra powder can always get stored in an air tight container doubly sealed with cling film to contain the freshness and aroma of the ground powder.
  • Pour 2 spoons of oil in a kadai, season with mustard , urad dhal and curry leaves and throw in the chopped brinjal pieces.
  • Add salt, turmeric and hing and cook on medium flame for about ten minutes till the brinjals are cooked well.
  • Switch off stove and add ground powder for flavouring.
  • Garnish with chopped cliantro and serve HOT with Lemon rasam or Spinach Morkuzhambu.