22 MENTHI SANKATTI / VENDHAYA KALI / FENUGREEK RICE BALLS

Menthi or Menthula Sankatti (Telugu)/ Vendhaya Kali(Tamil)/ Fenugreek(Methi Seeds) Rice Balls




This dish is very common in my house and usually prepared for breakfasts. When I was a kid my mom used to beg, threat and bribe us to eat this dish or atleast taste some, but I never even went near it which I regret now. I always wondered how they can have it for breakfasts and when I had them after so many years realized how good and filling it was. This dish is especially good to have in summer/hot climates or even when one is having stomach pain. This will help to cool the body and also reduce the pain in stomach for people suffering from heat. Do not worry that it will be sweet as you cannot feel that when you are eating and also you will not know the bitterness from methi seeds. So why not try this out as summer is nearing and you can have once in 15 days or once a week as you wish.

Recipe from Mom/Grandmom( Read an alternative method down below)
Raw Rice/Pachi Biyyam/ Pacha Arisi – 1 ½ cup
Methi Seeds/vendhayam/Menthulu – 1/4 cup or little less
Jaggery/bellam/Vellam – 2 cups or less about 1 ½ cups
Gingelly oil/Nallennai – 4- 5 tbsp

Wash and soak rice in water also add methi seeds along with it for 4 – 5 hours. Then grind in a mixie to a fine paste.

 

Heat a thick vessel or clay pot( for good taste) and add jaggery pour some water till it is covered and boil until it melts. Filter or strain the water/syrup. Take the water back in the vessel and switch on the stove. Pour the ground batter and cook continuously. Also add gingelly/sesame oil and mix well with a spatula seeing that it does not stick to the vessel. If needed add more gingelly oil. The consistency should come out like a thick ball. Dip you fingers in water and touch the balls it should come out without sticking. Once done remove and when still warm make balls and serve.
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At my house they add jaggery though sugar can also be added, but adding jaggery is better, you can read about this below this post. In place of jaggery can also use karupatti(palm sugar)

Another method to cook for people who want to use less jaggery is the one I am posting now. This is what my grandma and mom suggested.
Instead of raw rice boiled rice can be replaced( this also helps to cool the body or acidity).
For people who will be tasting it for the first time or trying or are doubtful of the qty above can reduce the amount of methi seeds by little from the above mentioned qty. 

Grind the rice with methi seeds to a fine paste. Add water just enough for grinding and once done add additional 3/4 - 1 cup of water or little more and add the ground paste in the vessel. Cook with stirring continously on medium high flame. When it come up to a boil, reduce and cook on medium low flame. Keep stirring and while the cooking add 1 tbsp of gingelly oil now and then so it does not stick the pan. Keep stirring and once it is little thick and raw smell leaves. Remove the consistency can be anywhere between thick to semi thick consistency. For people who are sugar conscious they can follow this one. 
Melt jaggery or Palm sugar(karupatti) in a pan with water. Once it is melted filter to remove impurities adn transfer back and boil it again to a thick syrup consistency. For serving can place a small amount of the rice balls/paste and pour this syrup on top. Mix both and eat. Taste equally good. Hope this helps you all. You can use the same amount of jaggery or karuppati as mentioned above or for sugar conscious people can use 1/2 of it as per the taste you want.


Benefits of adding jaggery instead of sugar:-


Jaggery is rich in iron and thus is highly recommended for anaemic people. It also contains many minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Manganese and Zinc. Since no chemicals are used in preparation of jaggery, some minerals and vitamins remain intact in it, compared to refined sugar.
Sugar is absorbed almost instantly in your body. Jaggery, being unrefined, is absorbed more slowly. Thus, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as rapidly as sugar.

The most common sweetener, sugar or sucrose, is extracted from sugarcane and refined in pure form through chemical treatment. An enzyme called sucrose (or invertase) converts sucrose into glucose and fructose which provide energy to the body. Insulin, secreted by the pancreas, stimulates transport of glucose into the cells through a membrane. In diabetic patients, glucose gets accumulated into the body due to insulin deficiency. Refined sugar in pure form is made up of only glucose and fructose. Its intake is more harmful than jaggery which is a natural sweetener prepared by heating and boiling sugarcane juice to a concentrate without using chemicals.
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12 SPICY or MASALA OBBATTU


Spicy or Masala Obbattu / Spicy or Masala Puran Poli / Kaaram Bobatlu / Kharada Holige / Khara Boli 

  
Ugadi is a festival of all tastes called as Shadrachalu and for this Ugadi let us have a very different type of Obbattu. This is a spicy version of obbattu or even call it as a stuffed or vegetable paratha. Whatever the name may be but, this is definitely that you should not be missing to make. You can have it as snack or even as a meal . The flavor and taste that you get from the ground fresh masala makes it more appealing and tastier. You can feel it right when you are cooking.

All purpose flour/maida – 2 cups(see note below)
Vegetables – Around 3 to 4 cups(see note below)
Onion – 1 medium chopped
Salt as needed
Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
Oil – 2 – 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves – a handful ( cleaned and washed)
Mint leaves – few ( cleaned and washed)
Green chillies – 4 ( more or less as spice required)
Garlic – 4 to 5 flakes
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Note 1:- If you feel that you do not want to use maida then can skip adding this and add atta/chapathi flour/whole wheat flour/multi grain flour or the best thing would be to add half or maida and half of any of these.
Note 2:- Here I have used just boiled and mashed potatoes, but any veggie can be used to make it more colorful and healthier. Clean and chop each vegetable as required. Steam cook or sauté in oil until they are half cooked.

 
Recipe for the cover:-
In a mixing bowl take flour, turmeric powder, salt and a tsp of oil and blend well. Add water slowly and mix well to knead into a soft dough. The consistency of theis dough should be softer than you knead for regular paratha/chapathi. If you push with your finger it has to go in very smoothly. Add another tsp of oil and cover with a lid and keep aside for atleast 1 – 2 hours.
For the filling:-
Grind green chillies with garlic, coriander leaves and mint leaves to a fine paste.( can also add ginger if you want but here I have not).
Heat a tbsp of oil and add cumin seeds, when they splutter add chopped onions and sauté till transculent. Next add the ground paste and fry till the raw smell leaves and water has evaporated. Then add the boiled and mashed potatoes or any other veggies that you prefer and mix well to cook. Also add salt and mix. Remove and cool.

 
For the spicy obbattu:-
Heat a tawa or griddle. Take a plastic sheet/parchment paper/banana leaves if you get them and rub some oil all over it. Take a lemon size of ball for the cover and press well with your hands to spread, the trick is keep the centre part intact and spread the outer parts well to stretch. Place a ball of the filling that you have prepared and cover the filling by pulling the edges of the cover that is done and try to cover it fully or seal the ends that is open. Turn the side and press and roll as paratha with a rolling pin or hands if you can. Lift and place on the heated tawa and cook both sides until nice brown. Can add oil to cook. Serve with your favourite sabji/side dish and enjoy your Spicy/masala/vegetable obbattu or holige or poli or a different version of vegetable paratha.
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6 UGADI RECIPES

Ugadi Festival this year falls on this month 23rd( March 23, 2012). To know more about the festival click here.

Ugadi Pachadi

 



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23 SUNDAKKAI KUZHAMBU

Sundakkai known as Turkey Berry in English and Chundakka/kudhenakai in other Indian Languages. Learn more about it through wikipedia here Learn more about it here.

Benefits of Turkey Berry: Turkey berry is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes. These berries are either used as fresh berries or dried berries. Turkey berries are soaked in butter milk for one day and then dried in the hot sun for at least 15 days. The most significant benefits of this herb are:
1. Turkey berry is an ancient herb and is used in many Ayurvedic treatments. It has sedative, diuretic and digestive properties. It is used in curing coughs. It is a good tonic for liver. The unripe fruits are used to strengthen immunity power and also reduce body heat.
2. Turkey berries are used in the treatment of mucus, cough or phlegm. Berries are dried, powdered and then taken for curing these illnesses.
3. The berries help in proper digestion. They kill harmful bacterial growth in the stomach and intestines. They help in destroying intestinal worms owing to their bitter taste. They cure infections in the stomach and liver. They also stimulate regular activities of the bowel.
4. Turkey berries are used in traditional medicines to cure night blindness. It strengthens the nerves in the eyes and provides a clear vision.
Source http://www.theherbdepot.com/uses-of-herbs_turkey-berry-to-heal-you-quickly-benefits-of-turkey-berry-herb_152.html


Sundakkai Kuzhambu(Gravy). This gravy can be prepared either this way or like vathal kuzhambu. But in my house the fresh sundakkai is prepared this way most of the time. Tastes good with rice and papd.

Wash and pat dry sundakkai. Put it inside a cover and beat it with a stone or spatula or some hard metal or mortal and pestle until it is crushed. 
Sundakkai – 1 cup
Small onions – ½ cup
Coconut grated – 4 tbsp
Tamarind – ½ lime size(soak in a cup of water for 20 minutes and extract pulp)
Pulusu Powder – 2 tbsp(as desired)
Turmweric powder – ¼ tsp
Gingelly oil – 2 or 3 tsp

For tempering:-
Mustard seeds – few
Curry leaves – few
Gingelly oil – 1  tsp



Heat oil in a pressure pan or deep kadai. Add crushed onions(peel small/pearl onions/shallots and run in mixie for 1 - 2 seconds or even can crush on a mortal/pestle)and fry for few minutes. Next add sundakkai along with seeds and fry till it is cooked and color changes. Then add turmeric powder, salt and pulusu podior any curry powder). Next add tamarind water and additional 1 cup of water. Close and cook for one whistle. If not using pressure pan then close with a lid and cook till the sundakkai is cooked and soft( better option is to cook in a pressure pan). Switch off the stove and open once the pressure is gone.
Ground coconut into a fine paste. Add this to the gravy and cook again for another 5 – 6 minutes until the raw smell from the coconut leaves. (optional can add a very small piece of jaggery in the end).
Temper with the tempering ingredients and pour on the gravy.

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20 GOLD FINGER CHAAT


Masala Gold Finger Fryums/ Gold Finger Chaat/ Masala Boti and Vadagam/Vathal/Sandige Chaat





Gold finger fryums is one of my favourite just like anyone. When I was kid I used to insert them in all my fingers and munch it on one by one just like other friends in school or neighbourhood. My son’s too love this snack and I always stock up with it at home. This snack which I am posting now is very similar to Masala Papad that we get as starters in restaurants. Here is the recipe link to Masala Papad. Here I used the same ingredients by filling in gold finger fryums also called as Boti in Bangalore. If you have the ingredients ready, then all you have to do is just fill the gold finger and have it right away or within few minutes before it gets soggy. The same ingredients can be used to top on regular fryums/vadagam/vathal/sandige.

 
Here I have used some chopped red onions, deseeded and chopped tomotoes, chopped deseeded or salad cucumber, grated carrot, salt, lime juice, chilli powder or chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and also can use some sev(oma podi or mixture for crunchness which is optional).
Fry Gold finger in oil. Remove and keep aside.

 
In a separate bowl mix all other ingredients as needed( Note the quantity depends on your individual taste and need). Mix well and stuff inside the gold finger and serve. For a change can mix some sweet chutney and green chutney with other ingredients and mix and then stuff or arrange on top.

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16 VANKAYA PACHADI

Katharikkai/Brinjal/Badhanekayi/Vankaya Pachadi 

 

Brinjal - 5 or 6 medium size 
Tamarind - Half lemon size 
Sambar Powder  or Pulusu Powder - 1 tbsp 
Jaggery - 1 tbsp 
Salt as needed 
Onion - 1 small red onion or Pearl/small onion(shallots) - 6 or 7 sliced 
Grated coconut - 2 or 3 tbsp 
Curry leaves - few 
Mustard seeds - few 
Urad dhal - few 
Gingelly oil - 3 tsp 

 


There are lot of versions of pachadi and this pachadi is very different and very common in my house/native served with rice. The preparation is very easy and the taste of brinjal cooked with tamarind pulp and jaggery is really good.

Wash and cut brinjal into cubes. Best brinjal that goes well for this pachadi are the white varieties known as Thai Brinjal here. The other one is the mullu(thorned) brinjal, that has small thorns on it. Take the brinjal in a vessel. Add tamarind pulp(soak the tamarind in water for 30 minutes and squeeze out water a dilute one with about 2 cups of water). Also add salt and the powder. Cook till it is soft but not mushy. Also add jaggery. Once done remove and keep aside. 



Place a kadai/frying pan and heat oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves. Wait for few seconds and add onion(best taste will be given by small onions). Fry till nice brown and add the cooked brinjal. Check for salt and add more if needed. Finally add the grated coconut and mix well. Remove and serve with rice. Will also taste good with chapathi/roti's. 

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