Tag Archives: south indian

Fun with Amaranth

Amaranth leaves are found  in abundance in the Tropics and growing up, I loved dal, tamarind stews, and yogurt stews made with them. It was only a few years ago, I started to use Amaranth grain or flour.

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Amaranth is not really a grain, but a seed. It is highly nutritious, packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

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Here are some delicious recipes with this seed, flour or leaves that I posted previously:

Amaranth Grain Uttappam

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Amaranth Leaves cooked two ways

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Amaranth Dosa

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Amaranth Orange Cardamon Loaf

Amaranth Pumpkin Loaf

Amaranth Upma

The last few years I have been trying to grow Amaranth and Red Sorrel leaves in my patio garden, and it is challenging as well as highly rewarding!

Links:

Green
Patio Garden: Slow & Steady
Amaranth Plant
Amaranth Grain Nutrition
Health Benefits of Amaranth

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Bulgur Wheat Upma

I thought I will finish the list and add the Bulgur wheat upma as well. I decided to measure carefully and make this following the 21-day fix container method.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup bulgur wheat
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, chopped fine or grated
1 small potato, chopped
8-10 mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 small jalapeno, chopped
1 tsp oil
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
8 cashews
a few curry leaves

In a small pan heat oil. Add cashews, dals, mustard seeds and let cook for a minute until lightly browned. Add jalapeno and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Add onions and potatoes and continue frying for 1-2 minutes.

Add carrots and tomatoes and mix well and continue frying for another minute. Add 1.5 cups water and salt to taste and bring to boil. Reduce flame and let simmer for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables soften.

Add bulgur wheat and mix well. Continue cooking until cooked and all the moisture evaporates.  I like to increase the flame to medium heat, add a little ghee and cook for a minute or two to let the bottom brown a little.  That’s the tasty part 🙂

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Serve warm. Makes 1 serving.

I am not a 21-day fix expert, but I count this as 2 Greens, 1 Yellow,  1 Blue  and 1 tsp.

See Also:

Amaranth Upma
Millet & Beets Upma
Pearl Couscous Upma
Pearl Tapioca Upma
Red Rice Poha Upma
Quinoa Upma
Upma & Pesarattu

Baked Garelu or Plain Vada

I typically shied away from making vada, since it is a deep fried dish. While I was happy to eat it while my mother or other family member created it, I personally have never made this dish. That is until recently.

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After the success of baking masala vada, I have tried to recreate the plain vada with no success, until today. It can’t be re-created similarly. I ended up using a muffin tin, but if you have a donut tin that will do perfectly since Garellu are made with a hole in the center!

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Ingredients:

1 cup urad dal
Salt to taste
Oil

Soak the urad dal in water for 5-6 hours. Rinse and blend in a blender till smooth with some water to make thick batter, similar to what is needed to make idlis.  Season with salt and set aside to ferment,

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

When ready to make vada’s, generously grease a muffin tin with oil, adding 1/2 – 1 tsp oil and add 1-2 tbsp of batter  to each muffin cup.

Bake 35-45 minutes till golden.

Serve warm with some sweet and sour ginger chutney.

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Sweet and Sour Ginger Chutney

Raw ginger has a very pungent flavor. It needs to be tempered with tamarind juice and jaggery (or brown sugar) to make it palatable.

This is my first attempt to make this chutney. Contrary to the Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle, I posted a few weeks ago, this one is easy, short lived and goes well with vada. It is a very typical Andhra dish that is served during events such as weddings, funerals and other events. It is very often served with plain vada. Not to say  it can’t be served with other vada types.
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Ingredients:

2-4 in of ginger stalk, peeled and chopped
1/2-2/3 cup tamarind sauce
3-4 tbsp brown sugar or 1-2 cubes jaggary

Tempering:

1 tbsp oil
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chillies
dash of tumeric
dash of asaphoetida
a few curry leaves

I previously provided a recipe for the Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle that can last months and years. Contrary to that, this is a short lived recipe, that is quick to make and lasts up to a week.

Add the chopped ginger to a blender, along with tamarind juice and jaggery and blend till smooth. Adjust tamarind juice and sugar to personal preference. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Add turmeric, asaphoetida, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chilli. Fry till lightly golden. Add some curry leaves and leave for another minute.

Transfer to the bowl containing the ginger paste. Mix well. Adjust tamarind juice, sweetness, and salt.

Serve with some fresh vada!

Note: You can make a roasted sesame chutney, by replacing the ginger with roasted sesame which is another traditional chutney that is served at events.

Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle

One of my favorite South Indian pickles is sweet and sour ginger pickle. Ginger is available all year round,  and this pickle can be made all year round. In fact it can be  stored  in a jar,  and can last several months to several years. It is great with Upma, pesarattu and more.

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Ingredients:

2-3 ginger shoots, washed, peeled and grated
3-4 cubes of jaggery ( more if you have a sweet tooth)
1-2 cups of thick tamarind sauce
salt to taste
sesame or olive oil
red chilli powder to taste, and as needed
dash of asapoetida
touch of tumeric

To a pan, add some sesame or olive oil. Add grated ginger and fry till golden.

Meanwhile to a saucepan add tamarind juice and jaggery and continue to boil in medium low until the sauce thickens. Add grated and fried ginger and mix well. Remove from flame. Adjust jaggery, tamarind and ginger accordingly.

Meanwhile heat another saucepan with some oil, turmeric, asaphoetida, and red chilli powder for 1-2 minutes. Add to  sweet and sour ginger mix,  and mix well.

Season with salt and mix well.

Enjoy with Dosa, Upma, Uttapam, and more!

Note:

Always adjust salt and seasoning to personal preference.

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Tomato is one of my favorite vegetables/fruits. I always have several different varieties of tomatoes in my refrigerator on any given day: tomatoes on the vine, roma, mini heirloom (my current favorite), yellow tomatoes, green tomatoes to name a few.

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In South India, chutneys with a given vegetable are popular: such as eggplant, tomato, bottlegourd, snake gourd etc. So too are stews in yogurt sauce such as eggplant, tomato, bottlegourd, snake gourd and more. Do you notice a pattern?
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Ingredients:

3 tomatoes on a vine
a dash of turmeric
a touch of asafoetida
salt to taste
2 cups yogurt (or I like to use yogurt and buttermilk combination)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
a few curry leaves
1 sliced jalapeno
a little chopped  cilantro for garnishing

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Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped tomato and cook for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked and the moisture evaporates. Transfer to a bowl. Add yogurt and mix well.

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Add 1 tsp oil to a pan. Add turmeric, asafoetida, channa dal, urad dal, mustard, cumin and fenugreek seed. Fry till lightly golden. Add curry leaves and jalapeno and fry lightly. Add to the bowl with tomato and yogurt. Mix well. Season with salt and garnish with chopped cilantro.

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Refreshing with rice or with some roti.

See Also:

Spinach and Yogurt Stew
Snake Gourd and Yogurt Stew

South Indian Eggplant Curry with Onion (Ulli Karam)

I don’t make this often, but here’s another variation to the Eggplant curry

EggplantCurry

Ingredients:

2 Japanese Eggplant
1-1 1/2  onion chopped
Cilantro, chopped

Seasoning:

2-3 tbsp (or as desired)  South Indian Curry Powder
turmeric
asafoetida
1-2 tbsp tamarind juice (or as desired)
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp oil

Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a pan and add chopped onion and fry for 5-10 minutes, stirring as needed, until the onion are lightly browned. Transfer to the blender or food processor. Pulse gently to squash the onion.

Meanwhile, add 1-2 tbsp oil to the pan, turmeric, salt and add chopped eggplant and fry for 5-10 minutes, until browned. Transfer the onion to the pan. Add 1-2 tbsp tamarind juice. Mix well, cover with a lid and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Add South Indian curry powder as desired, season with some chopped cilantro and serve warm with some rice or roti.

You can also use this recipe with potatoes, tindora, chinese okra and more.