Tapioca is a root of a plant Cassava which is freely available through all the seasons of the year in the Southern part of India. It is consumed just boiled or boiled and cooked as a food item. It is a hardy plant and its easy availability helps us to cook it now and then at home. Tapioca Fry is served along with rice based meals and fish curry etc.
METHOD : Choose a fresh, medium size Tapioca pink in colour. Remove the hard, outer skin and wash it well. Dice it into thin slices and shapes of your choice. Boil the diced Tapioca pieces in 2 cups of water for 6,7 minutes and drain the water completely. In a blender, blend the Cumin, G.chili, Garlic cloves, Turmeric powder and Coconut gratings coarsely. Add the ground mix to the boiled Tapioca and cook over low flame for 5 minutes. Heat a skillet with oil over medium flame and add the mustard. When it splutters, add the curry leaves. Pour this content with salt over the cooked Tapioca and stir again for another 5 minutes.
Summer has its woes – heat, heat and sweat. But, it brings the king of the fruits, Mangoes to the markets in abundance. Raw Mango Chutney is a raw mango recipe which tastes sweet, sour, tangy, salty and what not. This dish can be served with tiffen items like Idli, dosa, chappathi and also with rice based meals too.
Time to cook: 30 minutes Servings: 4
Raw Mango: 2 ( 250 grams approximate)
Salt: a pinch
Water: 1/3 Cup
Jaggery ( unrefined sugar ): 75 grams
Dry Red chilli: 3
Ginger Slivers: 3 thin ones
Oil: 1.5 Tablespoon
Mustard: 0.5 Teaspoon
Urad dhal: 0.5 Teaspoon
Remove the skin of the raw mangoes and grate them finely. Take one cup finely scraped mango. Cook it along with the water and salt over low flame for 5 minutes. Then, add the powdered jaggery and cook for another 5 minutes stirring it well. In another frying pan add oil and heat it. Add the mustard, urad dhal, thin ginger slivers and dry red chilli to the oil and wait for the mustard seeds to splutter. Pour it over the cooked mango pulp and cook another 5 minutes over low flame till everything is well mixed and the oil oozes out.
Tips: It can be stored in clean bottles for up to a week in the fridge.
Vada Curry is a recent addition to the breakfast items of Chennai. Besides, it is one of the most sought after breakfast dishes. Vada Curry can be served along with dishes like Idli, dosa, appam as an accompaniment. Also, it can be relished alone on its own too. It has ‘Channa Dhal’ ( Bengal gram dhal ) and so consuming it has all benefits of the dhal.
Cooking Time : 1 hour plus 3 hours of soaking the Dhal
Wash and soak in water Bengal gram dhal for 3 hours. After this, drain without water and grind it coarse in a blender with 0.50 Teaspoon aniseed, 2 garlic cloves and 0.75 teaspoon salt without adding water. Steam the dough as you do for ‘idli” for 10 minutes in an ‘Idli maker’ and break them into small pieces. Chop the Onions, Green chilli and Tomatoes. Keep a skillet over medium flame and add oil.
Once it is hot, add the remaining aniseed with all the spices whole – Bay leaf, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Cloves. Later, the chopped onions and green chilli can be added. Fry it for a few minutes and then put the chopped tomato pieces along with cleaned Mint, Coriander and Curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the Ginger Garlic paste along with Turmeric Powder, Chili Powder and Coriander Powder. Once the mixture is half cooked, pour the water with salt and let it simmer. Add steamed Vada pieces and stir well for 10 minutes over a low flame. Mostly, Vada Curry is served watery.
Tips: Ground Dhal can be shallow fried in a ‘tawa’ instead of being steamed. But it should not be fried crisp. I have given the steaming method as frying with oil is avoided for health benefits.
Unlike most of the greens which grow as herbs or plants, these ‘Agathi Keerai’ are leaves of a tree known as the ‘August tree ‘ or ‘ the hummingbird tree ‘ in English. It has a slight tangy bitter taste to it though it has several benefits such as fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals. It is an easily available greens throughout all the seasons of the year in the southern states of India. Besides, cooking it without spices makes it an easy dish to prepare.
COOKING TIME: 40 minutes
1. Agathi Keerai bunch: 1
2. Mustard seeds: 1 Teaspoon
2. Onion: Big 1 ( approximate75 grams)
3. G. Chili: 2
4. Garlic Cloves: 6
5. Coconut gratings: 0.25 Cup
6. Oil: 1 tablespoon
7. Salt: 0.75 Teaspoon
8. Water: 0.25 Cup
Choose a green tender bunch of these greens without mature yellow color leaves. Remove the tender leaves from the stalks and wash them thoroughly. Chop them into tiny pieces and keep aside. Cut the onion, green chilli, garlic cloves into small pieces. In a skillet, add the oil and keep it over medium flame. First, put the mustard seeds to splutter and then the chopped onion, green chilli and garlic pieces to saute for a few minutes. Then add the chopped greens with water and cover it with a lid to cook for 7 to 8 minutes turning the greens well now and then. When the greens are cooked well, mix the salt and coconut gratings. Let it simmer over low flame for another 5 minutes till the water is fully absorbed.
Tips: This is a side dish which is a good combination for rice-based simple meals.
Any day you feel like having a spicy, hot curry with rice, especially on a day when the usual non-vegetarian items like fish and meat are not easily available in the market, you choose to go for ‘Karuvadu kuzhambu” with the readily stocked dry salted fish at home. Besides, adding local fresh vegetables like Drumstick, Brinjal and even potato helps to add taste and nutrition to it.
Soak the dry fish for 5 minutes in water and remove the scales, fins and other unwanted parts of the fish. After cleaning, wash the dry fish several times in clean water and keep aside applying the turmeric powder. Chop the shallots, Tomatoes, vegetables and make the Coconut gratings to a smooth paste. Soak the tamarind pulp in water. Once done, squeeze it and keep 1.5 cup tamarind water ready.
Keep a vessel preferably a mud pot over medium flame and pour oil. Add first the mustard seeds, followed by the fenugreek and Cumin. After this, add the chopped onions, green chilli, garlic cloves and curry leaves and saute for 5 minutes. Once cooked to a golden brown, add the Chopped tomatoes along with the vegetables and fry well for a couple of minutes. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, salt with 1 cup water and cook for 10 minutes covering it with a lid. Pour the squeezed tamarind along with 1.5 cups water and add the dry fish to cook for another 5 minutes. Check if the vegetables are cooked well. Finally, mix the coconut paste to the gravy and stir well. Let it simmer over low flame till the oil separates on top and you get the correct consistency of the curry.
Karuvadu Kuzhambu is ready to be served with hot rice.
Tips : Taste the curry before adding salt as the dry fish has already salt in it. Fried Pappad or ‘paruppu thuvaiyal ” is a good side dish for this dry fish curry with hot rice.