Friday, November 25, 2011

Southekai Hasi Gojju - Cucumber in coconut sauce

A weekday evening and you’re home late and tired. And not to mention, hungry too. You have little energy left, but still don’t want to compromise on a nutritious meal with some veggie. Add to it, whatever you make should go with rice and with chapathis for different people in the house. What is your option then?
Mine, definitely is this Southekayi hasi gojju - cucumber chopped fine and mixed in an uncooked coconut gravy. Why? Because it is the easiest and quickest thing I can make provided I have cucumber in the fridge. And you want to make it still easier? Then you can just grate off the cucumber instead of chopping! All it takes is 10-12 minutes to get this dish done.

It goes well with rice, chapathis or dosas too. And there is no guilt of eating a junk food as you can have a large quantity of water-filled cucumber.
This is an authentic Karnataka cuisine, that mom used to prepare along with rasam for a Sunday lunch, but I prefer making it on a weekday evening mainly because of the little time and effort it takes.

Try it out yourself and see how simple, yet tasty and wholesome it is...

Southekayi Hasi-Gojju

Making time : 15 min
Serves : 4

Cucumber - 2, medium sized
Coconut - 1/3 cup, grated
Green chilies - 5-6, depending on taste
Fried gram dal - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves - 1 Tbsp, chopped
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Jaggery - a small pinch (optional)
Tamarind - a small marble sized ball
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste
Turmeric - 1 pinch
For Tempering:
Cooking oil - 1 Tsp
Curry leaves - A few sprigs
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Asafetida - a pinch, powdered

• Wash the cucumber, and chop it fine. I like to retain the outer skin for that crunch. You may peel it if you don’t like it that way.
• Meanwhile, roast green chilies, curry leaves in a few drops of oil till they change color
• Allow to cool slightly and grind with coconut, turmeric, salt, tamarind, jaggery, coriander leaves, adding a little water if needed
• If you like to have more of gravy, add a tbsp of chopped cucumber and grind along
• Transfer the ground chutney to a serving bowl
• Mix the finely chopped cucumber
For tempering / tadka:
• Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard and allow to splutter
• Add curry leaves
• Garnish with tadka

• Do not grind the spices too smooth – a little coarse consistency will give a better taste
• In place of fried gram, you can also roast an equal amount of chana dal and use
• Chopping fine is actually a simple task in case of cucumbers; just hold it perpendicular to the board and randomly hit with a knife perpendicular to it and then slice off the chopped portion; you’ll get fine chops easily this way
• If you want to make the process of chopping easier, you may even grate it in a big grater

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hunase Saru - Tamarind Rasam

Summer is long gone here and the days are generally cool and pleasant with some days gloomier. And there are some really gloomy days in between, with no trace of sun, esp a few days back. Such weather generally demands some thing hot to sip on, something that tickles the tongue.
On one such gloomy weekend, my FIL had this desire to sip a glass of hot, tangy tamarind rasam. He fondly complained that it has been ages since it was made at home. I remembered my mom making it on such days and we all sipping it in glasses.
So made this to fulfill my FIL’s demand and also to go back to those childhood days of having it.... it tuned out great and FIL was happy. Very simple to make, with not much of preparation required, it also tastes good with rice also.
Here’s how to make it....

Hunase Saru / Tamarind Rasam

Preparation time : 5 min
Cooking time : 10 min
Serves : 4

Tamarind - 1 big lime sized ball, soaked in water till soft
Salt - 1- 1 ½ tsp or as per taste
Jaggery - 1 big marble sized ball / about 1 Tbsp powder
Coriander - A few sprigs
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

For tadka / Tempering / Oggarane:
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chilies - 4-5, as per taste
Asafetida - a small pinch
Turmeric - a pinch

• Squeeze the soaked tamarind pulp and collect a thin tamarind juice in a vessel
• Add salt and jaggery and bring to boil
• Adjust the consistency by adding enough water - it should be quite runny
• Add the coriander and curry leaves and boil for a couple of minutes

For tadka / Oggarane
• Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow to splutter
• Add dry red chili pieces
• Add asafetida
• Garnish the rasam with tadka
• Serve hot, with piping hot rice or in a small glass to just drink
• This is a very a light rasam, but the right combination of sour-salt-and sweetness makes it a wonderful tongue tickler
• Tastes good to drink as is too

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cabbage Rice (Kai Sasive Anna)

Ok, I had a long ‘vacation-of-the-year’ and back. After the vacation, it was my BIL’s engagement, which took most of my time with preparations, shopping, etc! I’m now ‘Badi Bahoo’ :P, so more responsibilities!

In between all these, there was also this Bangalore Food Bloggers’ meet last Saturday, where some 20+ people met up, ate and had fun! Thanks to Madhuri who arranged it all. Here’s a pic of all of us :)

Now I’m back to routine, but still not been able to catch up with so many things! With full time office, and so many hobbies and activities, I feel I hardly get enough time for anything! Wish there were many more hours in a day ;)

Now to today’s recipe.... this is one very simple and wholesome rice item, with lots of cabbage in it. Chop the cabbage fine or even shred it, which is the only time consuming part. I use the hand held vegetable chopper esp for this and I get very finely chopped cabbage in a few minutes! Makes a good lunch box item.

Here’s the recipe...

Cabbage Rice (Kai sasive anna)

Preparation time : 10 min, excluding time to prepare rice
Cooking time : 15 min
Serves : 4

Cooked rice - 4 cups, sona masuri variety
Cabbage - 2 cups, finely chopped
Grated coconut - 2-3 Tbsp
Green chilies - 5-6, as per taste
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Tamarind - a small marble sized ball (optional)
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste
Coriander leaves - for tempering
For tempering:
Cooking oil - 1-2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Peanuts - 2 Tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste

• Spread the cooked rice in a wide bowl and add a teaspoon of oil so that the grains do not stick
• Keep aside for 5 minutes to cool
• In a pan, heat oil and make tempering:
• Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter
• Add groundnut seeds and fry for a few seconds
• Add Bengal gram dal and urad dal and fry till golden
• Add curry leaves and turmeric and fry for a minute or two till all the ingredients are crisp
• Transfer the tempering to a bowl and pour back only the oil into the pan, carefully
• Add finely chopped cabbage and cover with a lid and let cook on low heat
• If needed, sprinkle some water and stir occasionally
• Meanwhile, grind the green chilies, coconut, tamarind, salt, ½ tsp of mustard seeds in a mixie to form a coarse mixture. Do not add any water
• Add the ground mixture to the cooked cabbage and mix thoroughly, with the heat on
• Once the mixture is well sautéed, turn off the heat
• Add this and the reserved tempering to the spread rice and mix thoroughly
• Serve warm or pack it off for lunch box!

• Make rice with a bit lesser water, so that the grains are separate and not sticky

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vegetable Noodles

After introducing my in-laws to Noodles, with the help of this South Indianized Noodles, a fusion recipe with our own traditional flavors going into noodles, this Chinese version also got accepted! Why just accepted, it became a super hit, esp with my FIL! To an extent where he'd want it for breakfast!!

This being one of the most famous Indo-Chinese food, is usually a hit among most people, and especially with kids. Very easy to make, provided you have the things in hand and can be a one pot meal.

We like the flavors subtle, so I add the soy sauce, vinegar and ajinomoto in smaller quantities. Go ahead and increase the quantities if you like stronger flavors.

Here’s the recipe...

Vegetable Noodles

Preparation time : 10-15 min
Cooking time : 15 min
Serves : 4-5

Chinese Noodles - 250 g
Water - 8 cups
Green chilies - 5-6, as per taste or chili sauce
Garlic - 4-5 cloves
Cooking oil - 2-3 Tbsp
Vegetables (Beans, Carrot, Capsicum, spring onions) - 2 cups, chopped
Onion - 2 medium sized, chopped fine - I didn’t use
Soya sauce - 1 Tsp
Vinegar - 2 tsp
Ajinomoto - a pinch
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste
Pepper powder - ¼ tsp, optional (adjust as per your taste)

• In a large pan bring water to boil
• Add a pinch of salt, a few drops of oil and add the noodles
• Cook for a couple of minute till just done - or as per the instructions on the packet
• When done, pour it over a colander to drain the water and separate the noodles with a fork
• Keep aside for 5 minutes to cool
• In a pan, heat oil and add green chilies, chopped onion, sauté till the onion is translucent
• Add the vegetables, sprinkle some salt and let it cook on medium heat
• When almost done, add soya sauce, vinegar and ajinomoto and mix well
• Mix in the spread noodles and add the remaining salt
• Add pepper powder if you prefer it hot
• Mix thoroughly and let the ingredients combine well with the noodles
• Serve warm with a Manchurian or just tomato ketchup!