Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Leftover Sour Curds? Use them in Alu Capsicum Masala.

Alu Capsicum Masala.

Sour Curds are not a very common phenomenon in our household as we all love our curds…Nevertheless, we do have old leftover curds sometimes, which prompts me to immediately try options like Rava Ildis,  Oats Idlis, Morkali, Mango Morkuzhambu or this Alu Capsicum Masala. This recipe calls for just about 3/4 of a cup so if you have loads more leftover then Morkali (Post follows) should be the best option!!!  The soul of this side dish is the sour curds and the spices that go in to it, for the marinade. Without further babble, on to the recipe…

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tsp Jeera.

1-2  Bell Peppers.

3 Medium Potatoes boiled and cubed.

Handful of green peas.

1 1/2 cup Tomato Puree.

2 Tbsp Kasoori Methi Leaves.

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

Pinch of Turmeric.

Salt.

Pinch of sugar.

Chopped Cilantro to garnish.

For the Marinade:

3/4 Cup Sour Curds.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Kitchen King Masala Powder.

1/2 Tsp Methi Powder.

1/4 Cup  chopped mint leaves.

1/4 Cup chopped cilantro.

PREPARATION:

  • Take all the ingredients under “MARINADE” in a bowl. Mix them together well and add the boiled and cubed potatoes to this. Allow to sit for a couple minutes until they are ready to be added to the kadai.

Veggies in the curd marinade.
  • In a kadai add a spoon of oil and allow the jeera to splutter. Now add the chopped bell peppers and peas and allow to saute for a few minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree to the kadai and mix in well. Keep the flame under medium low as the puree would splutter out of the kadai as it cooks.
  • Add turmeric, red chilli powder, salt, sugar and mix in well. Allow the tomato puree to cook in a little.
  • Then add the potatoes marinated in the spicy curd. This would make the resulting gravy very rich and creamy.
  • Keep the flame under low as we do not want the curds to disintergrate.
  • Add a small blob of butter and allow it to slowly melt in to the gravy.
  • When you slowly start seeing the butter coming out of the gravy, add the dried kasoori methi and give it a couple more minutes to cook.

  • When you see the oil seperating, its time to switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with Avocado Parathas or Peas Pulav.
Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Idli Molagaipodi – Gun Powder for Idli & Dosa.

MolagaiPodi

Any south indian meal is never complete without the fluffy Idlis and the spicy powder accompaniment – MolagaiPodi. As litle kids, whenever Maduraiamma used to give us dosas or idlis, the most favoured side would be the MolagaiPodi. Doused with nutty sesame oil which is well mixed in, nothing can ever beat this taste. Many times I would go for seconds of the podi rather than the idlis itself! This powder is not ground completely smoothly, but has a coarse grainy texture to it. with bits and pieces of the ingredients showing up here and there., which imparts an unusual taste to it. I always make a batch ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container for keeps!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 Cup + A a handful of  Bengal Gram.

1/2 Cup Urad Dhal.

15-18 Dry Red Chillies.

3/4 of 1/4 Cup of White Sesame Seeds.

1 Tsp Salt.

Hing.

3-4 Curry Leaves.

PREPARATION:

  • In a kadai add a little oil and roast the bengal gram on medium low flame until it turns a darker shade and you find the aroma of roasted dhal. Set aside in a dry mixer jar.
  • In the same kadai roast the urad dhal and the red chillies separately. Take care to see that the roasting is uniform and yet does not burn. Keep the flame low.
  • Add the urad dhal and the red chillies also to the mixer jar.
  • Finally roast the white sesame seeds and when its almost getting done, add the curry leaves and hing and salt.
  • Immediately transfer to the mixer jar.
  • Allow a couple minutes to cool and pulse to a near smooth powder.
  • Store in an air tight container and enjoy Molagaipodi with gingely oil along side of Cracked Wheat &  Oats Idlis, Masala Dosa or Adai.

Idlis with Molagaipodi.
Snacks & Tiffin Items

Cracked Wheat Pidi Kozhukattais.

Cracked Wheat Pidi Kozhukattais.

Its always an endeavor to cook with as less oil as possible, with as much fiber as possible, with as less calories as possible, with as much flavor as possible and so on and so forth. There is always a trade off here and with the mounting instances of lifestyle related diseases and  its only getting more and more difficult to make this possible. My aim is to not get too off the handle and restrict me and my family, but more to moderate the measure of any intake and yet to make it more interesting  by substituting rice with cracked wheat, oats , bulgar wheat, quinoa, cous cous etc. Here I take my traditional Pidi Kozhukkatais made with raw rice and make a healthier version of  it using cracked wheat. The results were astoundingly delicious as any dish gets masked with Hotel Sambar or Tomato Chuthey so, one never really knows!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Cups Cracked Wheat.

2 1/2 Cups Water.

1/3 Cup Toor dhal.

Handful Urad Dhal.

3 Green Chillies.

3 Tbsp Dry/Fresh Coconut. (Optional)

Seasoning:

Oil.

Mustard.

Cashew.

2-3 Red Chillies.

Curry Leaves.

Hing.

PREPARATION:

  • Soak the urad dhal, toor dhal and the green chillies in water for about 2-3 hours. The Urad Dhal is mostly a binding agent for bringing the kozhukattais together.
  • If the cracked wheat is a little too coarse for you, pulse it slightly. Set aside.
  • Grind the urad dhal, toor dhal and the green chillies using little water, to a smooth paste. Set aside. Measure out the fluid (apprx 1/2 cup).
  • To this ground paste add enough water to bring it to 2 1/2 cups measurement. Set aside.
  • Take your favourite kadai and splash in some oil. When hot, add the ingredients mentioned under “Seasoning” and mix away until they are lightly roasted.
  • Now bring down the flame to a medium low and add the ground paste. Take care to see that it does not catch the bottom.
  • Immediately add the measured water + paste (2 1/2 cups)  and allow it to mix in with the seasonings.
  • Now add sufficient salt and wait until the water just starts to boil.
  • Bring down the heat and slowly add the pulsed cracked wheat and the dry coconut.
  • With a whisk bring it together until its almost resembling a thick upma.
  • Switch off the flame and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • When its a little more easy to handle, make little balls by holding them inside your palm and closing your fingers over the mass…..thats where the name comes from…”pidi”!!!

  • Grease the idli plates and place all the kozhukattais on them all ready to be steamed.
  • Keep in the pressure cooker without weight , until you get heavy steam. Then bring it down to sim for about 6-8 minutes and switch off.
  • Serve with Molagai Podi or Chettinad Thakkali Chutney.