RED BEAN SUNDAL

I bought some Red China Beans from Little India sometime back with the thought of preparing something similar to the Dhal Makhni type but my husband is not too keen to have it. I broke my head for sometime not knowing what to prepare and finally settled for the simplest SUNDAL. It turned out to be a great evening snack that we enjoyed along with hot tea.

SUNDAL is the most welcoming dish that can be had on a typically hot summer day or during winter. It is one of the most popular mobile vended healthy snack right from park benches to beaches. Besides being popular its a good protein substitute and ideal for a mid morning or evening snack.


ATHIRASAM

I always used to avoid eating Athirasam until I tasted Rajalakshmi Paati's ( My Dad's Aunt) version when I had visited India this time. I changed my opinion instantly and also fell in love with it. It was really a bliss eating those crispy yet soft flat cakes and I admit I could not stop with one.Who is bothered about calories when there s something irresistible to eat. I said this to myself a couple of times before I gobbled a few more. A big thanks to Paati for not only making wonderful Athirasams, but also kept her promise and taught me how to make it. It was a great Learning tutorial with lots of fun and laughter and in between eating that I would like to share with you all. Try it. I am sure you 'll like it.
                                       
                                                              அதிரசம் 


VADUMAANGAAI / MAAVADU

Summer always brings back fond memories of "THOSE CHILDHOOD DAYS" and are beautiful moments herbariumed inside me. I lived in Hyderabad with my Parents when i was a child and looked forward to visit my Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle at Salem every summer. Throughout the 32 hr train journey I would keep on asking my mom every now and then as to when we would reach  and she would untiringly answer my questions. I also remember my Grandmother ( Radha Paati) would greet us and would be ready to serve us Curd Rice and Vadu Maangaai to beat the heat off the long train journey. Used to love those Vadu Maangaais that Paati used to prepare and store it for an year in large ceramic pots ( Peengan Jaadi) . I am not sure if those huge ceramic ones are even available these days.

                    

MINI IDLY & TIFFIN SAMBHAR - Step by Step recipe on how to make All purpose batter from scratch

I love eating in restaurants and I have tried South Indian in many places.( The list is too big and also includes roadside shops at hamlets).Having been raised in Coimbatore, I always compare the standard of Idly, Dosai and Sambhar with ones served at the unbeatable Shree Annapoorna , the best fine dine chain of restaurants in Coimbatore, initiated by Late, Shri Damodarswamy Naidu.  In appreciation of his work and dedication towards the Food Industry, his Birth Anniversary is celebrated as the Hotelier's Day till date.


KARADAIAN NONBU ADAI - Sweet and Savoury Version included

Karadaian Nonbu is an important festival celebrated by married and unmarried women in the South when the Tamil month Maasi ends and Panguni starts.  Married and unmarried women fast on the auspicious day and tie the "Sacred thread" or "Nonbu Charadu" around their necks praying for the long life and well being of their husbands and unmarried women pray for an ideal husband. The festival is celebrated in remembrance of Savitri who with her clever arguments fought with "Yama", The Lord of Death to win back her husband Sathyavaan 's life. It is believed that Savithri did a Gowri Pooja and offered Nonbu Adais to the deity before she fought with Yama that gave her back her husband. 



On this auspicious day, All women and girls do a similar Pooja and chant " உருகாத வெண்ணையும் ஓர் அடையும் தட்டி நோன்பு நோற்றேன், ஒரு நாளும் என் கணவர் என்னை விட்டு பிரியாமல் இருக்க வேண்டும்".  I used to giggle   while I chant this as a little girl and my Mother would glare at me. I would want it to be over soon as i would be impatient to get my hands on the  Sweet Adai and Salt Adai. The other interesting part would be the day after in School or College where everyone thinks that you are married overnight.  Ha! Ha!

Now over to the recipe. I know i am late in posting this one. I could take pictures only of the salt Adai that i made. I was too busy with many things in the morning so could not click pictures of the Sweet Adai. I have given the recipe and i will post the photos sometime later. 

SWEET ADAI
Ingredients
Raw Rice Flour................................................... 1 cup
Jaggery............................................................... 1 cup  
Cardamom.......................................................... 5 to 6
Black Eyed Beans............................................... roughly 50 gms ( soaked
Chopped fresh Coconut or Grated....................... 4 tbsp
Ghee.................................................................... To grease your Idly plates

Method
  • Soak Raw Rice for one hour  and drain the water. Towel dry it. Usually a white soft towel is used exclusively for this purpose. Do not allow the rice to dry too much.
  • Dry roast the rice say for 5 minutes till a mild toasted flavour arises and cool it.
  • Grind the rice in a mixer to get a fine powder and sieve it twice so that it becomes extra fine.Cool it for sometime and store in an airtight container.This procedure can also be done the previous day of the festival.
  • Soak the Black eyed beans for sometime and microwave it so that it becomes soft. Chop Coconut kernel to small pieces or grate coconut to get around 3 to 4 tablespoons of it. 
  • Now measure the flour in a measuring cup and take exactly the same measure of jaggery. The measurement is always 1:1.  Dissolve the jaggery in just enough water to submerge it and filter to remove all impurities. 
  • When the mixture starts boiling, add the black eyed beans and coconut into it and then add the rice flour slowly and mix to make a stiff dough.
  • Make Flat Adais out of this dough and place it on Idly plates greased with ghee and steam for 7 to 8 minutes. You can make around 15 Adais but may vary depending on the thickness. 
  • Your Sweet Adais are now ready for Neivedhyam. It is served with a dollop of butter on top of it. 



SAVOURY ADAI
Ingredients
Raw Rice Flour ..................................................... 1 cup
Black Eyed Beans ................................................. a handful ( soaked and cooked )
Chopped Coconut.................................................. 3 to 4 tbsp
Asafoetida................................................................ To taste
Mustard Seeds......................................................... 1 tsp
Urad Dhal................................................................  2 tsp
Channa Dhal............................................................  1 tsp
Curry Leaves...........................................................  2 sprigs
Corriander Leaves...................................................  2 to 3 sprigs
Green Chillies..........................................................  4 to 5
Ginger.....................................................................   1 inch piece grated
Oil........................................................................... To saute and temper
Salt.......................................................................... To taste

Method
  • Prepare the raw rice flour and soak and cook the black eyed beans as mentioned above.
  •  Heat Oil in  Kadai or Non stick vessel and add the asafoetida powder. Following this splutter the Mustard Seeds, Urad Dhal and Channa Dhal. Add the chopped green chillies, grated ginger, curry leaves, corriander leaves, coconut and the black eyed beans. Saute for one more minute and add water. This procedure is more or less similar to the Rawa Upma recipe.
  • Add water  and salt to this mixture. Once the mixture starts boiling, simmer the flame add the rice flour in small quantities with constant stirring. Lumps form quickly if the flame is high so be careful. Once you are done adding all the flour stir well till you get a smooth yet stiff dough.
  • Make flat Adais out of this dough and stack them on Idly plates greased with ghee and steam for 10 minutes. Serve hot. 

NOTES
  • Adding Corriander leaves or ginger to your Salt Adai is optional. I added because i like it.You can skip if you do not want to.
  • Adding grated coconut to the Sweet Adai makes your Adai taste like Coconut Pooranam used for Poli. Try it .

GARDEN FRESH NO CHEESE SALAD

Making Salad is a  super convenient way to make a simple yet healthy meal. I would say its the best way to shed extra pounds by simply adding it as a part of your daily diet. There are a lots of  Salad eating outlets across the globe and according to me these are very popular and densely populated by health freaks. You can make a wonderfully tasting salad in no time, without much mess and minimum cooking and yet not compromising on your health. The surprising element in a salad is that the indigestible fibre is the healthiest component that fights to keep your cholesterol and glucose low and ease out your bowels. I decided to have salad for dinner a couple of days back but had no plans of what to make. I had finished my vegetable shopping the previous day so pulled my vegie crisper to check my stock and in a jiffy decided what to do. I said to myself i am not adding any cheese to it.That was the only vow i took before the act. Practically you can add anything to your salad...... anything you desire but healthy be it fruits,vegetables, beans, mayonnaise, pasta or cheese. As Einstein rightly quoted "Imagination is more important than knowledge", all you need to be is creative and  the knowledge to add the right ones into your salad. Then your Salad works.


THENGAAI SEVAI/ COCONUT SEVAI

Sevai/ Santhagai or Idiyaappam is a popular South Indian Rice Noodle  made out of Parboiled rice specially in the Kongunadu belt. It is the most wanted and preferred breakfast recipe next to Idly, Vadai,Dosa and Pongal. Whenever i think of this dish it reminds me of my Mother taking pain to extrude the cooked dough out of the Traditional Sevai Press or சேவை நாழி  and calling out to my dad to assist her.  We rarely get to see this equipment these days or most of them have dumped it in their attic and have shifted to use the ready made instant Sevai from the super markets. The last that i remember seeing the Sevai Press was at a Wedding when i accidentally happened to go to the kichen. It is truly a marathon to extrude Sevai out of this equipment but would taste great after all the efforts taken and definitely gives you the best tasting end product. I used to love the colourful display of Thengai Sevai, Elumicham Sevai ( Lime), Ellu Sevai, Thengai Paal Sevai and Thayir Sevai but my personal favourites were the Thegai and Lime. 



STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE

I love Fruits and so do I love Strawberries. They are very succulent ,juicy  packed with antioxidants and a good source of Vitamin C and the flavour tempts you bloody too much to dip your teeth into it. Hmmmmmmm. I can smell them. I happened to pick a packet of King Strawberries yesterday at Cold Storage and promised my husband that i would make him Smoothie for breakfast today and I did. Smoothies are really stomach filling when you want to go liquid light for breakfast and the same time gives you the satiety of a wholesome breakfast. This smoothie is simply irresistible. So i suggest you to go for it... 


FLASHBACK

KADAMBA SAADHAM- MAARGAZHI MEDLEY

Today I am presenting an Tam Brahm Iyengar special recipe : Kadambha Saadham it is. This recipe is almost close to Sambhar Saadham  and mo...