13 Happy Diwali!!!

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali/Deepavali. Enjoy the Festival of lights with lots of sweets and savouries with Family and Friends. Stay safe.



Here is my Diwali Platter



Wishes
Padma from Padma's Recipes
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6 DIWALI RECIPES - Sweets and Snacks

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6 ATHALAKKAI IN TAMARIND GRAVY

Athalakkai or Kaasara Kaaya in Tamarind Gravy/ Puli Kuzhambu / Pulusu

Athalakkai in Tamil(Momordica cymbalaria- botanical name) / Kaasara Kaaya in Telugu, Karsikayi in Kannada, Kattupaval in
Malayalam and in Marathi it is known asKadavanchi, Kuduhunchi.


Athalakkai looks very similar to small bittergourd but, both are very different in shape and taste. These are less bitter in
taste. South Indian recipes like Poriyal(stir fry), fry, pulikulambu( tamarind gravy) and vadagam can be prepared with this vegetable. Check this wikipedia link to know more about this vegetable here.




I had posted making Athalakkai Vathal here. You can use that vathal after frying in oil as a condiment with rice or use in curries or gravies. Can make this puli kuzhambu /pulusu/ Tamarind gravy using fresh and or dry vathal. Tastes good with rice.

At my house this gravy / kuzhambu / pulusu are made in 2 ways( Both Mom's recipes):-

The first method:-

Athalakkai - Fresh or dry vathal a handful
Small onions - 5 or 6
Sambar powder - 2 tbsp
Tamarind - one small lime size(soak in water and extract pulp)
Coconut - 1 cup grated
Oil(preferably gingelly oil) - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - few count
Urad dhal dhal - few count
Curry Leaves - few count
Garlic - 3 or 4 flakes
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - a small piece

Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil and add athalakkai. Fry till they pop out and crisp. Do not let it to darken. Add tamarind pulp and sambar powder. Allow it to boil. Reduce flame and let it to cook for 10 - 12 minutes.
In the meantime grind coconut with garlic and cumin seeds. Add this paste along with salt and turmeric powder. Allow it to cook till the raw smell leaves. In a different small pan heat the remaining oil and add mustard seeds, urd dhal and curry leaves. Once the splutter out add the small onions(roughly chopped) and fry till brown. Next pour it on the gravy and mix well. Serve with rice.




Second method:-

Athalakkai - Fresh or dry vathal a handful
Small onions - 10 to 12(roughly chopped) or red onion - 2 medium chopped fine
Tomato - 2 small chopped fine
Tamarind - one small lime size(soak in water and extract pulp)
Coconut grated - 1 cup
Sambar powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - a small piece
Mustard seeds - few count
Urad dhal - few count
Curry leaves - one sprig
Asafoetida - 2 to 3 pinch
Oil - 2 tbsp( preferably gingelly oil)


Heat oil add athalakkai fry till they are cooked or if using dry vathal fry till they pop out and crisp but not darkened.

Remove and keep aside. In the same oil or add if needed more add mustard seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves, asafoetida - wait till it pops out and add chopped onions. Fry till golden brown and add chopped tomatoes. Mash and cook till pulpy and oil floats on top. Add tamarind pulp along with sambar powder and turmeric powder. Allow it to cook for 10 - 12 minutes. Next add coconut paste and cook till the raw smell leaves. Also add salt and jaggery.

In this method you can skip using coconut .
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9 ATHALAKKAI VATHAL / VADAGAM

Athalakkai in Tamil(Momordica cymbalaria- botanical name) / Kaasara Kaaya in Telugu, Karsikayi in Kannada, Kattupaval in
Malayalam and in Marathi it is known asKadavanchi, Kuduhunchi.

 

Athalakkai looks very similar as small bittergourd but, both are very different in shape and taste. South Indian recipes like Poriyal(stir fry), fry, pulikulambu( tamarind gravy) and vadagam can be prepared with this vegetable. Check this wikipedia link to know more about this vegetable http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momordica_cymbalaria

This vegetable is very much common in our native. When we were kids my grandparents and few other close relatives used to send the fresh ones to us or bring it to us if they are visiting and some parts were cooked in salt water and sun dried and later used as a vathal/vadagam and had with rice and gravy or these sun dried vadagams itself were used in gravies or stir fry's.
So next time you see this fresh veggies, try to cook it fresh or sun dry them as vadagams and use it in your favourite fry's or gravies.


I will update this post with some picture of the fresh vegetable later but you can have a look at how the fresh vegetable will look like from this link https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Momordica_cymbalaria_fruits.jpg




Athalakkai - 1 kg
Water - enough for immersing
Salt - a handful

Clean and wash the fresh athalakkai. If needed can also trim the edges though not necessary.

Take a wide pan/vessel with lots of water and salt. Bring it to a boil. Add this veggie and half cook till they are soft.

Drain water and spread on a cloth or steel plate. Place under direct sun and sun dry for 1 - 2 days or check if they are crispy and fully dry or keep again for another day. Remove and store in a air tight container for late use.

Usually for sun dry items salt is added more than needed so that it does not get spoilt and can be used for many days. So when preparing any dish with it adjust salt accordingly.
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1 ebook-100 Yummy Diwali Recipes by Indus Ladies


The eagerly awaited eBook - "100 Yummy Diwali Recipes" is available for download @ http://www.indusladies.com/100diwalisweet.

 
"IndusLadies has compiled an eBook for this Diwali consisting of "100 Yummy Sweets & Desserts recipes", contributed by various Food Bloggers! Go ahead and download it @ http://www.indusladies.com/100diwalisweet.


You can see my "Ukkarai" recipe in this ebook.

Feel free to share it with your family & friends.

Have a wonderful Diwali!!"
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18 PUDINA ALOO BATH / MINT PALAV

Pudina(Mint) Aloo(Potato) Bath( Rice Variety) / Mint Palav or Pulao
 

Who does not love the aroma of some freshly plucked leaves right from our own garden and preparing it right away. I just love the smell of mint in anything and especially the smell that we get from frying the leaves, it just fills in the air.
This rice is so simple to prepare, all you have to do is just cook the rice seperately and mix in with the masala. You can make the masala way ahead and just mix in as and when needed. Can be had right away or leave it aside for 10 to 15 mts for the rice to absorb the flavor fully. Can be served with just chips or kosambari.


Basmati Rice - 1 1/2 cups
Mint Leaves - 1 1/2 cups
Onion - 1 Large
Green Chillies - around 6( increase if u need more spice)
Garlic - 6 - 8 flakes
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Coconut - 2 piece or 3 - 4 tbsp
Lime Juice - 3 - 4 drops
Potato - 1( boiled)
Fresh Peas - 1/2 cup(cooked)
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp


Wash and soak rice for 15 mts, next add 2 1/2 cups of water with little salt and cook till done. Once done cool.

Heat a tsp of oil and add the cleaned and washed mint leaves. Fry till the leaves shrink completely. Remove and keep aside.

For grinding:-
Take the fried mint leaves grind along with fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, green chillies and coconut to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil and add the onions( for extra flavor before adding onions can add a small piece of cinnamon, 2 clove and 2 cardamom and a tsp of cumin seeds - all optional). Fry till nice brown. Next add the cubed potatoes(cut the boiled potatoes into thin cubes) and fry for 1 - 2 minutes, then add the ground masala with very little water and saute till the raw smell leaves. Also add the cooked peas and salt. Once the masala looses the raw smell and has thickened remove from stove and cool. Just before removing add lime juice and mix( or can even add lime juice after mixing the rice). Add the cooked and cooled rice and mix gently. Leave aside for 10 - 15 minutes and serve.




Note:- You can also deep fry or shallow fry the cubed potatoes and add in the end, gives out a very good taste.
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26 GOOSEBERRY THAYIR PACHADI

Goose Berry / Amla / Nellikkai / Usirikaya Thayir(Yogurt/Curd) Pachadi

Gooseberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin A,
calcium, iron, and phosphorus.




Gooseberry - 4 or 5( fresh or frozen)
Coconut - 1/4 cup grated
Green Chillies - 4 ( as spice needed)
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Curd/Yogurt - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Salt as needed
Mustard seeds - few by count
Urad Dhal - few by count
Asafoetida - 2 pinch
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Oil - 2 tsp






Wash and grate gooseberry. Heat a tsp of oil and add the grated gooseberry and fry for 3 - 4 minutes. Add coconut paste( grind coconut, green chillies and ginger(can also add a tsp of cumin seeds)). Saute for another 2 - 3 minutes. Remove and cool. Next add salt and yogurt and mix well.
Heat remaining oil for tempering and add mustard seeds, urad dhal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour on the pachadi and mix.

If the pachadi is too sour, then add small piece of jaggery or few pinch of sugar and mix( this will reduce the sourness).

Serve with rice or chapathi/rotis. 


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